Mass Masonry Buildings, Part 2: Investigating, Diagnosing, and Mitigating Leakage Problems

Mass Masonry Buildings, Part 2: Investigating, Diagnosing, and Mitigating Leakage Problems

Monumental mass masonry buildings serve as important historic touchstones and cherished symbols of our communities and campuses, but leakage and related deterioration problems often plague them—making their care and stewardship challenging. However, investigating and mitigating leakage problems in these buildings is no easy task. First, there is no standardized procedure for identifying and diagnosing the underlying causes and paths of water leakage that pose significant threats to the historic interior finishes or the structure. Second, there are no solutions to mass masonry wall leakage as simple as finding and patching a hole in a membrane. Instead, experienced investigators and designers must bring their cumulative knowledge and experience to identify signs of leakage; conduct testing to replicate leakage; diagnose leakage causes and paths; and develop solutions tailored to the specific building, issues, and circumstances. In the second session of this two-part webinar series on mass masonry buildings, we will review the causes of leakage and related problems; discuss investigation and diagnosis strategies; and share detailed examples of solutions to mitigating leakage, while maintaining and respecting the historic character and appearance.


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Review mass masonry construction and water management strategies and characteristics.
  • Discuss techniques to investigate and diagnose leakage in mass masonry buildings.
  • Describe various leakage mitigation repair strategies, and compare their pros and cons.
  • Describe and discuss key points needed to successfully implement and oversee mass masonry repairs and leakage mitigation during the construction phase.

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

Niklas Vigener
Niklas Vigener | Chief Technical Officer

Niklas Vigener was trained as a structural engineer and during a quarter-century career at SGH has specialized in investigating and rehabilitating institutional masonry buildings. He has led many of the firm’s most notable building technology and historic preservation projects, and has a particular interest in rehabilitating historic buildings to incorporate high-performance building enclosures. Nik has also held adjunct engineering faculty positions and has lectured widely on technical and leadership topics.