Aerial view of Niagara University Academic Complex

Niagara University Academic Complex

Location Niagara University, NY

Category Education

Facade Investigation / Repair and Expert Witness Consultation

Completed in 2007, the Academic Complex at Niagara University is home to the Colleges of Education and Business Administration, as well as educational support services. The complex includes a three-story, 35,000 sf facility housing the College of Education and a one-story section for the Centers for Literacy and Family Support. An adjacent four-story building, originally Perboyre Hall and now Bisgrove Hall, was also incorporated into the complex. Fully renovated and expanded with a two-story, 11,000 sf addition, Bisgrove Hall contains the business school along with conference and banquet facilities. Despite the academic center’s high-tech educational resources, the exterior enclosure exhibited persistent moisture problems.

Hoffmann Architects + Engineers was retained by independent counsel representing the university to evaluate leak conditions, deliver expert testimony regarding building envelope defects, and provide litigation support for arbitration. Niagara University then retained Hoffmann to provide architectural and engineering services to restore weather integrity at the facade.

During the investigation, Hoffmann’s design professionals observed problems with the air barrier and insulation systems, flashing and venting systems, masonry veneer anchorage, masonry construction, and glazing. Initially, Hoffmann prepared contract documents for partial facade repair, limited to areas where condition assessment necessitated removal of large portions of the exterior wall. Niagara University then retained Hoffmann to expand the documents and apply the repair strategy to the entire facade. Hoffmann provided on-site contract administration during the rehabilitation project.

By identifying the locations and causes of water infiltration, anchorage deficiencies, poor thermal performance, and other defects, Hoffmann provided Niagara University with information necessary to pursue resolution of their claim in arbitration.

Moreover, our architects and engineers developed a program of repairs to resolve building envelope defects at the educational complex, enabling the university to move forward, confident in the integrity and stability of the rehabilitated facade.

Elevation view of Niagara University Academic Complex