Houghton Construction Blog

Spring 2019

The outside is totally done!

New entrance

new brick and windows front

Below is the new side door facing Fenton.

New side door

New windows for the main office - there were never windows in this location before.

New windows at main office

9/4/18  They've begun to install the frames for the windows

Framing for Windows


Here they are setting up the framework and and tying the rebar for the reinforced concrete walls for the area way.  You can see this if you walk on the weird "sidewalk" next to Fenton.

framing for concreteTying rebar for concrete


815/18  Brickwork on the south sides up to the second floor

brick work on south side

These are air monitors - they have a filter inside that is removed daily and then analyzed to make sure that no harmful materials are being released.  There are monitors all around the building.

air monitors

Here they are excavating the new "areaway" - this provides ventilation to the HVAC systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) in the basement.

area way excavation

8/3/18 - They have just started to lay the brick.  This particular brick is very hard and therefore needs to be laid in layers of ~12 high or the weight load will compress the mortar in the bottom layers,  Because of this, they will be working around the building doing a layer at a time.

1st layer of brick

7/31/18  Clean Roof!  They have removed all of the exhaust duct work and mechanical equipment from the roof.

clean roof

7/26/18   This is one of the new window walls that has been treated with a vapor barrier.  On the right, a worker is installing water proofing on the foundation that is below grade.

vapor barrierwater proofing under brick shelf

7/20/18 Sealing up the "Dungeon" door.  Many will not know this, but there was an external door by the loading dock that lead to a waste storage area we fondly called the dungeon.  This picture shows it blocked up (at the botton of the stairs to the right).

Dungeon door sealed

7/19/18 "wing walls" - framing for windows

wing walls

7/9/18  New walls under windows and window lintel

new window wallslintel








6/11 & 7/11/18 Demolition of old ramp and framing of new one

old ramp demolitionnew ramp framing








6/15/18  Pouring a "brick ledge" foundation since the new brick will stick out more than the original.

pouring concrete brick ledge

5/17/18 Most windows are removed and 1st floor has no walls.  Notice how much equipment is still on the roof - this will all be gone soon.

windows removed1st floor with no walls








5/3/18 - the top space with the window removed was my old office.... I happened to walk by as they ripped it out - made me sad, 

windows removed

5/3/18 - Removal of Masonry above front entrance

This phase of the project involves the removal of all of the external brick, "parging" (repairing with cementious mortar) of the underlying masonry block, and then replacement of the brick.  In the picture you can see the brick removal and below that, the reason the brick needed to be removed and replaced.  Take a really good look at this picture, this is the masonry block the covered the wall by the front entrance - notice how there are places where there is NO mortar and even where bricks where shoved in where block should have been used.  This needs to be repaired to that any external brick won't fall off!

Removal of Brick and damaged masonary

existing masonary

4/13/18 - Lotsa Rubbish!

rubble 2hood rubbish

4/2/18 - Corner General Chemistry Lab

corner gen chem lab after gutting

Chase-way between the brick hall and internal room walls

chase way

3/26/18 What is left of the 2nd floor lounge.... many students spent a lot of time there!



This is the Mastic that was below the tiles and under some of the benches - it's removal had to be done by the abatement experts as it contains asbestos.  

mastic that was under the tiles

2/14/18 - 3/13/18

One of the first thing the contractor needed to do was to protect the terrazzo flooring which we hope to keep.  In addition, lighting needed to be installed as the existing lights will be removed and recycled.     Right picture is before removal of lights and piping, wiring & ducts in ceiling.

Houghton 2nd floor after protectionduct work to remove


Here the abatement team is removing an acid waste line from an old general chemistry lab and the organic lab after the benches are removed

removal of acid lineOrganic lab after bench removal









Phase 1:  Demolition/Abatement & Envelope Reconstruction.

In this phase we will see:

  1. demolition of all walls, flooring, mechanical and electrical systems, plumbing and brick
  2. Abatement of all asbestos in the flooring mastic (glue) and insulation
  3. Abatement of all PCB's in the window caulking
  4. Replacement and repair of the "envelope" which is the outside skin including the brick, underlying block and the windows.
  5. Formation of a new entrance on the north side of the building (facing Fenton)




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