Forensic Investigation / Waterproofing
University of California, Berkeley
Michael T. Tran
Thomas K. Butt
Alpha Restoration & Waterproofing
Interactive Resources was selected by the University of California, Berkeley, to address chronic water leakage associated with fan room louvers on the 7th floor of Davis Hall, home to the University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Our objective was to diagnose causes and sources and to recommend strategies to stop or mitigate the leakage.
Our investigation focused on the four mechanical equipment fan rooms on the 7th floor, one in each corner. Each room has a large louver in the ceiling, fabricated from sheet metal and inserted into perimeter concrete curbs or parapets. The louvers consist of interlocking “S” shaped blades that follow the slope of the roof. The blades conduct water into sloping gutters on either side, and the gutters run into a trough at the bottom with a drain. Water leakage from rain had been a persistent problem.
Based on our site investigations and water testing, we prepared a report with recommendations, and later construction documents and specifications. We provided construction administration during the remediation work. Our adopted solution involved the application of a high performance reinforced urethane or silicone membrane to the inside of the bottom trough and the gutter-to-through joint.
Additionally, we recommended the application of a seal around the penetrations and a urethane or silicone-based coating system on the sides and top of the concrete parapets to provide a better substrate for sealant joints and to prevent any water penetration through concrete cracks.