Houston, TX

Rice University, Kraft Hall


As the university continues to grow, so does the need for new facilities. The Patricia Lipoma Kraft and Jonathan A. Kraft Hall for Social Sciences, the first structure on Rice University’s planned South Axis expansion, consolidates the Economics and Sociology departments and several research institutes in one two-story structure. SGH consulted on the building enclosure design for the project.

SGH consulted on the design of below-grade and plaza waterproofing; exterior wall air and water barrier and associated flashings; waterproofing and flashing transitions at facade cladding and fenestration systems; and roofing systems. Highlights of our work include the following:

  • Evaluating the proposed building enclosure design for airtightness, watertightness, durability, reliability, constructability, and general suitability for the project
  • Reviewing the hygrothermal performance of the typical building wall systems to help choose between a vapor permeable, or impermeable, air and water barrier
  • Using computerized heat and moisture migration software to analyze the typical wall and roof systems for moisture migration and identifying the optimal locations for insulation, air barriers, and vapor retarders
  • Helping develop details to provide air and water barrier continuity and to integrate the air and water barrier, below-grade and horizontal waterproofing, and roofing with the many other building enclosure systems
  • Evaluating roofing options and helping the project team minimize the thickness of the roof assembly, improve drainage, and develop details at complex building expansion joint interfaces
  • Reviewing waterproofing and flashing at exterior wall construction mockups
  • Providing construction phase services, including reviewing contractor submittals, visiting the site to observe ongoing construction, evaluating performance testing conducted by others, and helping the project team address field conditions

Project Summary



Completion Date


Construction Value


Project Size


New Construction
Building Enclosures
Rogers Partners
Specialized Capabilities
Building Science | Roofing & Waterproofing

Key team members

Dean Rutila
Dean Rutila
Building Technology Division Head, Houston, and Safety Director
Amrish Patel
Amrish Patel
Senior Project Manger