Exposing Exposed Concrete: Considerations for Design, Construction, and Maintenance

Exposing Exposed Concrete: Considerations for Design, Construction, and Maintenance

Exposed concrete walls have become an increasingly popular architectural feature on buildings, functioning as the building structure and weather protection while also providing aesthetics. However, when concrete is left exposed to the elements, its performance, durability, and watertightness require careful consideration to prevent underperformance. Exposed concrete walls are susceptible to cracking and spalling, which result in leakage, aesthetic issues, and in some cases, structural failure. In this webinar, we will review design and installation considerations that professionals should consider when specifying exposed concrete walls, including crack mitigation, thermal performance, structural design, detailing at openings, long-term quality control, and repair methods. We will reinforce these topics with relevant industry standards and failure case studies to help designers understand the depth of design and maintenance plans required for long-term success when specifying exposed concrete walls.


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the differences between a “rainscreen” barrier system and exposed concrete as a barrier.
  • Recognize risks associated with the use of exposed concrete.
  • Understand design and construction basics for exposed concrete.
  • Discuss long-term quality control, maintenance, and repair considerations.

Participants will earn 1.0 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for attending the live webinar. Registration is free. Please note that space is limited – email events@sgh.com to join our waitlist if the session is closed when you register. 

About the Speaker

Sean O'Brien
Sean O'Brien | Building Technology Division Head, New York

Sean leads the Building Technology group in SGH’s New York City office. He has extensive experience in the architecture and engineering field, specializing in building science and building enclosure performance, including analysis and simulation of heat, air, and moisture migration and energy efficiency issues. He has a particular interest in iconic New York City cultural buildings, helping to make them more sustainable with high-performing enclosures. Sean has investigated and designed repairs for a wide variety of building types and has published papers on topics including mechanical system impacts on building enclosure performance and condensation resistance of windows and curtain walls. He is an active member of several professional organizations in New York and nationally. In addition to his extensive experience in building enclosure design, Sean brings to each project his genuine desire to improve the built environment, meet his client’s specific needs, and help educate both clients and team members along the way.

Erin Regan
Erin Regan | Senior Consulting Engineer

Erin Regan is a consulting engineer in the Building Technology group in SGH’s New York City office. She focuses on building energy analysis, finite element analysis, waterproofing, window and curtain wall systems, glass, facades, and below-grade waterproofing. Erin has experience designing, investigating, rehabilitating, commissioning, and managing construction administration of historic and contemporary buildings.