Miller Dunwiddie UMN Civil Engineering
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Civil Engineering Building Renovation – University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN

Subterranean Restoration

Only five percent of the Civil Engineering Building at the University of Minnesota is above ground. That’s remarkable, considering that this is essentially a seven-story building. With its recessed entry plaza and glass-topped cupola, the 1980s building is one of the most striking modern statements on campus. Unfortunately, in recent years, heavy rains caused water damage to the building’s subsurface levels. Miller Dunwiddie was asked to repair and reinforce the integrity of this special structure.

We began with a complete evaluation of the damaged areas and points of water ingress, including the subterranean levels below the St. Peter sandstone and exterior at grade, plaza and landscaping planters. We determined that masonry repairs, wall flashing, a new vapor barrier, and a new roof would help secure the building from leaks. An original drainage and water-diversion system in the subterranean levels had been disabled years earlier. We restored that system so the building could perform as designed. While much of the work on this building envelope is invisible on the surface, it remains critical to the function and longevity of this truly unique building.