Cambridge, MA

Brentford Hall


Constructed in the 1920s, Brentford Hall is a condominium building with load-bearing, mass-masonry walls supported by shallow footings. The abutter to Brentford Hall planned to demolish its existing wood-framed building and construct a new structure with a basement extending more than 15 ft below Brentford Hall’s footings. SGH reviewed the proposed demolition and excavation support plans, and consulted with the Brentford Hall owners to help them implement measures to mitigate potential impacts from the adjacent work.

SGH evaluated the abutter’s proposed plans and submittals, including demolition means and methods, details for an excavation support system, and plans for underpinning along the property line. Highlights of our work include the following:

  • Discussed the demolition and new construction plans with the abutter’s developer and engineer and provided feedback to the abutter prior to the start of any work
  • Performed periodic monitoring during demolition to assess if the work was being performed in accordance with the approved submittal
  • Reviewed pre-construction condition surveys by others and supplemented them with photo and video documentation
  • Requested test pit excavations to confirm existing foundation assumptions and documented the soil and foundation conditions in the pits
  • Communicated concerns about potential excavation-induced building movements, leading to modifications to the excavation support design and building movement monitoring during construction
  • Identified threshold and limiting movement values and reviewed survey data to evaluate building performance during the excavation work
  • Evaluated post-construction photographs of Brentford Hall to compare to pre-construction conditions and opine on whether the damage was a result of the adjacent construction

Project Summary



Completion Date
Repair & Rehabilitation
Brentford Hall Condominium Trust
Specialized Capabilities
Temporary Construction | Geotechnical

Key team members

Scott DiFiore
Scott DiFiore
Heavy Civil Division Head, Boston
William Konicki
William Konicki
Senior Principal