Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Building 10 Great Dome


Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Main Group Buildings, dedicated in 1916, include Building 10 with its prominent limestone- and copper-clad Great Dome. SGH investigated leakage into the Barker Library below the Great Dome and developed a durable repair solution commiserate with the original design aesthetic. We also led a multidisciplinary team for the restoration of the oculus skylight and the Barker Reading Room.

For the waterproofing repair project, SGH completed the following:

  • Designed repairs to add continuous waterproofing over the stepped portion of the concrete dome, requiring removal of limestone and copper cladding
  • Surveyed existing limestone so new stone could be cut to match original shapes, but with reduced depth to permit proper drainage
  • Tested stepped waterproofing options to verify their ability to accommodate the unique geometry and compatibility with existing built-up waterproofing
  • Designed a custom anchorage assembly to maintain an open cavity behind stones and provide adjustability for setting stones on the circumference
  • Sequenced installation of copper flashing and limestone to match the original flashing and protect the new waterproofing


For the oculus restoration, SGH performed the following:

  • Designed a new stainless steel skylight with 1,042 new prismatic glass blocks to replace the existing concrete-framed glass block skylight
  • Designed a new aluminum-framed, silicone-glazed skylight to provide the weatherproofing for the oculus
  • Reviewed and analyzed the existing laylight frame and designed new safety glazing for the laylight
  • Analyzed air movement to reduce laylight condensation risk potential
  • Monitored construction, provided real-time solutions to issues as they arose, reviewed mockups, and water tested completed installations

Project Summary



Completion Date


Preservation | Repair & Rehabilitation
Building Enclosures
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Specialized Capabilities
Preservation | Roofing & Waterproofing

Key team members

Peter Babaian
Peter Babaian
Building Technology Division Head, Chicago
Emily Hopps
Emily Hopps
Building Technology Division Head, Waltham