Lab Live: Masonry – Applied Science in Action to Evaluate Older Buildings

Lab Live: Masonry – Applied Science in Action to Evaluate Older Buildings

About the Lab Live Series

To understand material performance in the field or determine the causes of underlying building conditions, engineers and material scientists often look to applied science and research methods to improve design and construction processes and probe known issues or problems. By combining technical knowledge with expertise in testing and materials science, these teams can help solve their clients’ most challenging problems by understanding why they occurred in the first place. In Simpson Gumpertz & Heger’s (SGH) virtual “Lab Live” series, we will demonstrate these testing and discovery methods in real time in our Applied Science & Research Center to focus on common and challenging material problems. In these dynamic sessions, we hope to spark discussions that lead to creative ideas and improved collaboration.

In this Session

In the next session of this series, our technical experts and laboratory specialists will focus on older and historic masonry buildings, exploring how SGH’s Applied Science & Research Center uses advanced laboratory testing approaches to evaluate current and future performance issues. Through a series of discussions and demonstrations, we will review common questions that arise when renovating or repurposing masonry structures, including discussions of energy efficiency and insulation. We will also show research, testing, and modeling efforts to understand several key aspects of masonry performance, including freeze-thaw behavior.


  • Understand traditional masonry design and construction approaches for existing and historic brick buildings.
  • Discuss energy performance of these structures and approaches to insulating masonry during renovation and reuse projects.
  • Identify common testing methods to understand masonry performance issues.
  • Recognize how modeling and laboratory analysis can help inform masonry projects.

Participants will earn 1.5 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

David  Artigas
David Artigas | Senior Project Manger

David Artigas is experienced in managing the investigation, design, and construction contract administration of building enclosures on both historic and contemporary buildings of many types in the United States. He also performs thermal and hygrothermal modeling and assessment of building enclosure assemblies, specializing in existing and historic building enclosure systems. David is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and Association for Preservation Technology International (APT).

Peter Babaian
Peter Babaian | Building Technology Division Head, Chicago

Peter Babaian is the Building Technology Division Head for SGH’s Chicago office, where he works with clients to design, investigate, and rehabilitate a variety of building enclosures and structures. He has been enamored with historic masonry and tall skyscrapers since childhood, making his two focuses of practice in rehabilitation and historic preservation and new enclosure consulting inevitable. Peter loves to vacation in older cities to see the juxtaposition of the old and new architecture. He brings his passion for existing, notable buildings to his work, especially in his involvement in The Masonry Society and Landmarks Illinois. Peter’s work on new building enclosures helps clients realize their vision and provide a solid foundation for them to stand the test of time.

Norman Perkins
Norman Perkins | Director of Applied Science & Research

Norman Perkins provides strategic leadership and oversight for SGH’s Applied Science & Research Center and its physical testing, materials science, and research programs. Throughout his career, he has practiced engineering and conducted research on a wide variety of civil, mechanical, environmental, structural, and fire protection engineering efforts.

Maria Raggousis
Maria Raggousis | Consulting Engineer

Maria Raggousis is a member of SGH’s Building Technology group in the firm’s Washington, DC, office. She consults on building enclosure design, rehabilitation, and investigation projects for owners, architects, and general contractors. Maria also specializes in thermal and hygrothermal analysis for both new design and existing building projects to develop performance-based solutions in predicting, mitigating, or reducing moisture-related damage to building enclosures. She is active in local chapters of the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and is a recurring guest lecturer at the Catholic University of America’s Department of Civil Engineering.