San Diego, CA

UC San Diego, Humanities and Social Sciences Building


UC San Diego undertook a project to renovate and rehabilitate the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Building. The building, designed by Richard George Wheeler & Associates, was constructed circa 1970 and is designated as a historic building. SGH provided building enclosure and fire life safety consulting services for the project, which focuses on the central eight-story tower.

To address ongoing water intrusion and deterioration of the existing precast concrete curtain wall panels with integral fins and punched glazed openings, UC San Diego wanted to replace existing facade on Levels 3 through 8 of the tower. SGH consulted on the design of the new wall assembly. Highlights of our work include the following:

  • Preparing performance-based technical specifications for new architectural precast concrete panels and glazing assemblies
  • Providing recommendations to improve thermal performance
  • Helping design custom aluminum-framed assemblies with insulated glazing units to replace original single-pane, gasketed glazing assemblies
  • Developing details to integrate the new glazing assembly with the precast concrete panels and to integrate the panels with adjacent systems to provide a watertight enclosure
  • Specifying a fire containment approach to provide code-compliant firestopping between the new panels and the existing slab edges
  • Providing construction administration services for the facade work

In addition to firestopping at slab edges, SGH evaluated existing conditions at the HSS Building to identify fire life safety items that must be addressed as part of the upcoming project. Highlights of our work include the following:

  • Developing a code compliance narrative identifying features that are noncompliant with the current California Building Code
  • Preparing details/specifications for integrating new/replacement elements
  • Evaluating accessibility and potential impacts to the project scope

Project Summary



Completion Date


Construction Value
Repair & Rehabilitation | Preservation
Building Enclosures | Performance & Code Consulting
Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners
Specialized Capabilities
Building Science | Condition Assessments | Facades & Glazing | Fire Life Safety & Accessibility

Key team members

Nathan Wittasek
Nathan Wittasek
Amy Hackney
Amy Hackney
Building Technology Region Head, West