Charlottesville, VA

University of Virginia, Physics Building


The Jesse Beam Laboratory and Physics Building includes the original building, constructed in 1954, and two wings added in 1980 and 1993. The university retained SGH to assess the condition of the original building’s enclosure and later to provide building enclosure consulting and commissioning services as part of a comprehensive modernization project, including construction of a new addition.

Based on our condition assessment, we identified localized repairs the university could undertake in the short term to mitigate active leakage and long-term remediation strategies for the steep-slope slate roofing, transitional mass masonry walls, and punched and arched window systems to be incorporated into the upcoming modernization project.

The project included interior renovations; upgrades to MEP and fire life safety systems; repairs to the existing enclosure (replacing the slate roof with an insulated and strategically vented assembly, installing new perimeter gutters and flashing, insulating and repairing brick masonry and installing new windows with coordinated perimeter flashings); and constructing a new addition with brick masonry rainscreen cavity walls, wood-framed windows, and low-slope membrane roofing. SGH collaborated with the project team on the building enclosure design and construction, and provided commissioning services for the existing and new buildings. Highlights of our work include:

  • Reviewing the design drawings and specifications for compliance with the owner’s project requirements and providing recommendations related to system selection, constructability, expected performance, and reliability
  • Preparing a BECx plan and specification to establish project roles and responsibilities, quality assurance and quality control procedures, and performance testing
  • Consulting on hygrothermal analyses of transitional masonry wall modifications
  • Providing the team with information to support the LEED submission
  • Assisting the design team in reviewing building enclosure submittals
  • Visiting the site to review the ongoing building enclosure installation, witnessing performance testing, and collaborating with the project team to address field conditions

Project Summary


2024 (anticipated)

Completion Date


Project Size
Repair & Rehabilitation | Preservation
Building Enclosures | Applied Science & Research
University of Virginia
Specialized Capabilities
Building Science | Condition Assessments | Preservation | Roofing & Waterproofing | Environmental Simulations

Key team members

Nicholas Piteo
Nicholas Piteo