Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Building 7 Dome


SGH assisted the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by performing building enclosure condition assessments of its Main Group Buildings, which were constructed over several decades in the early 20th century. Building 7, also known as the Rogers Building, features a large dome with a glass block skylight over the building lobby. SGH designed a skylight rehabilitation in 2013 and later designed repairs for the dome cladding to address water leakage.

Our assessments of the Building 7 dome included visual and hands-on surveys from the exterior and interior interstitial and lobby spaces. We performed water testing and documented concealed conditions at exploratory openings.

During our 2012 assessment, we identified water leaking through the existing glass block skylight and designed restoration work that included resetting the glass block in sealant in the existing precast concrete oculus frame, replacing broken glass block units, installing an aluminum weather skylight over the glass block skylight, installing new flashings and sealant, and adding personal fall arrest anchors in the curved portion of the dome to support future maintenance and cleaning.

In 2019, MIT asked SGH to investigate the cause of water stains on the lobby’s plastered ceiling. We determined water was leaking around the curved, limestone-clad portion of the dome, primarily at a continuous cold joint in the concrete structure underneath the cladding. SGH developed conceptual repair options to temporarily mitigate leakage and long-term solutions to rehabilitate the dome. In 2020, MIT undertook a project to address leakage and improve the dome’s condition and its performance. SGH designed repairs, including replacing two limestone courses at the base of the dome’s curved portion to install new waterproofing over the concrete cold joint, repairing deteriorated limestone risers at the stepped portion of dome, replacing copper flashing at and providing waterproofing at step treads, and replacing the membrane roof around the base of the dome.

Project Summary



Completion Date
Repair & Rehabilitation | Preservation
Building Enclosures
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Specialized Capabilities
Condition Assessments | Preservation | Roofing & Waterproofing

Key team members

Emily Hopps
Emily Hopps
Building Technology Division Head, Waltham