historic margaret morrison facade restoration : carnegie mellon university, pittsburgh, pa

restoration to modern standards

Client: Carnegie Mellon University

The envelope restoration addressed deferred maintenance in a 1913 campus building clad with clay and stone masonry, formed concrete, and glazed terra cotta over a steel frame structural system. Water had penetrated sky-facing joints for decades, severely corroding the building’s steel frame and opening cracks allowing water into the wall. Problems were compounded and masked by a series of superficial repairs which only dealt with surface flaws.

PWWG designed a “restoration to modern standards” which involved substantial de-construction and remedial repair. Structural steel was cleaned and coated or replaced; a new balustrade was cast using original pieces as molds; and all sky-facing joints were isolated from the cavity wall by a new roof slab extension with cap flashings. The roof drain system was replaced with interior drains to simplify routings and cleanouts. Monumental windows received new sills, restored frames which precisely matched the original profiles, and new sashes with double glazing. PWWG also designed solutions for persistent problems with storm water management that had caused flooding in the basement classrooms for years, combined with coordination of design for a new Reflection Garden, an amenity for the campus community.

Construction Cost

$ 2,200,000

Firm Responsibility

Forensic Investigation
Architectural Design
Contract Documents
Contract Administration

Completion Date



Master Builders of PA, 2015 “Renovation Under $10M”

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