Georgetown University, Dahlgren Chapel

Washington, DC




2014 Best Project, Renovation/Restoration, ENR MidAtlantic
Georgetown University Dahlgren Chapel
Georgetown University Dahlgren Chapel
Georgetown University Dahlgren Chapel

Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart, dedicated in 1893, is one of the campus’s iconic structures. The brick masonry building, with a below-grade crypt and program space, suffered from water infiltration and experienced structural damage caused by foundation settlement. As part of a comprehensive rehabilitation effort, SGH investigated leakage and designed below-grade waterproofing repairs.


Scope | Solutions


SGH assisted Martin J. Reddy Architects, the designer of record, and Geier Brown Renfro Architects, the lead designer, with designing and selecting waterproofing systems for below-grade foundation walls. We worked closely with the design team to minimize the repairs’ appearance and achieve a robust yet sympathetic solution to address chronic leakage. Highlights of our work include the following:

  • Reviewed existing conditions, the proposed foundation underpinning and stabilization design, and related rehabilitation work

  • Prepared drawings and specifications for below-grade waterproofing

  • Advised the design team about component reliability and durability related to the waterproofing work

  • Developed waterproofing system details at the limestone water table and at similar exposed at-grade conditions


We also provided construction phase services, including the following:

  • Reviewed shop drawings and submittals for below-grade waterproofing, related foundation repairs, surface preparation and parge coating, and limestone water table anchorage

  • Visited the site to observe ongoing construction to compare with the contract documents and tracked action items

  • Responded to contractor requests for information related to the below-grade waterproofing

  • Collaborated with the university and contractor to develop practical solutions for unforeseen conditions encountered during construction

Project Contact(s)