Design, Durability, and Defects: Why Service Life is an Important Aspect of Sustainability

Travis St. Louis - Senior Project Manager

Olivia Palmer - Associate Project Consultant

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

SGH Logo

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

at 6:00 pm


Over time, building facades of all shapes and sizes require maintenance, repair, or even replacement whether due to leakage, performance issues, or simple aging of the assembly. In this presentation, we will explore two case studies highlighting lessons learned from cladding failure investigations. The case studies will illustrate the importance of designing for durability, performing routine maintenance, and consequences of construction defects.

By routinely maintaining a properly designed building envelope, the overall service life of a building can be drastically extended. Extending a building’s service life will save embodied carbon that would otherwise be generated if the existing building was replaced instead of repaired. In addition, improving the building envelope will further reduce operational embodied carbon generations and improve energy efficiency of the building.

Travis St. Louis - Senior Project Manager

Travis St. Louis is a proud Northeastern Husky who graduated with a Civil Engineers degree in 2010. During his time at Northeastern, he completed three co-ops, one at a general contractor in Boston, one at SGH in San Francisco, and one at SGH in Waltham. He loved his time at SGH, and since he had already spent 5 years in Boston, decided to adventure to a new coast to start his engineer career (and he enjoyed learning about seismic resiliency). For three years at Northeastern, he lived on Columbus Ave, across the Mass Ave Orange Line T stop, before the new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building existed. He is very jealous that current students have access to such a state-of-the art building and programs but is a proud alumni regardless.

Olivia Palmer - Associate Project Consultant

Olivia Palmer is a recent east-coast transplant adapting to the warm weather in San Francisco. As another proud husky, she graduated from Northeastern in May 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s in Sustainable Building Systems. Although she deeply mourns the loss of Conor Larkin’s , she does not miss the blizzards in Boston.

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