Hoffmann Architects

Lafayette College-overview

Lafayette College, Oechsle Hall

Easton, Pennsylvania

Water Infiltration Investigation and Remediation

This state-of-the-art teaching and research facility provides 45,000 sq.ft. of occupied space, which includes classrooms, laboratories, offices, an animal research area, observation rooms, multimedia rooms, and a 150-seat lecture hall. Originally constructed in 1924 as the Alumni Memorial Gymnasium for Lafayette College, this 4-level brick and stone structure was renamed Oechsle Hall following an extensive renovation in 1998-2002, inclusive of the replacement of original steel windows with aluminum windows. The second-floor roof is comprised of a built-up gravel-surfaced assembly. The third-floor roof is comprised of copper roofing, gutters, and decorative corner ornament pieces, drained by an internal drain leader at each of the four corners of the roof.

Since the completion of the prior renovation, water infiltration was persistent at the windows and near the roof drain leaders. Moisture-related damage was observed at window sills, ceilings, and adjacent walls. While most of the damage was found on the top floor, there was evidence of damage on each floor of the building.

Lafayette College retained Hoffmann Architects to investigate the cause of the leaks and to recommend remedial action. To determine the cause of the water infiltration, our design professionals conducted on-site water tests, existing conditions were identified and documented, construction details were confirmed and evaluated for conformance with the specifications, and original documents were compared with the renovation details.

Hoffmann Architects recommended a series of repairs to the existing windows and exterior walls to address the water infiltration issue without removing the installed windows. The window repairs consisted of new flashing at the window heads to bridge the outboard-modified window placement and the replacement of sealant at the window perimeters. Additional recommendations included brick and stone facade repointing and masonry repairs on the third floor; repointing of deteriorated mortar joints; replacement of failed sealant joints; repair of spalled stone and cast stone; and replacement of deteriorated brick on the ground, first and second floors.

With the Owner’s approval of recommendations, our design professionals provided contract documents, bidding and construction administration services for the designed repairs.