Columbia University

Columbia University
New York, NY

Ongoing Investigations and Repairs

As one of the largest property owners on New York City's Upper West Side, Columbia University requires an array of investigative and repair services in order to maintain its extensive property portfolio. The University needed an interdisciplinary firm that could offer not only a wide range of specializations but also the skills and experience to simultaneously manage multiple projects and timelines.


In addition to institutional structures on the main campus, Columbia University owns approximately 6,000 residential units in 168 buildings throughout surrounding neighborhoods. These buildings, sixty of which were constructed between 1905 and 1910, are primarily used to house students, faculty, and staff.


WJE's long-standing relationship with Columbia University began in the early 1990s, when WJE investigated exterior distress on three, thirty-story apartment buildings known as the Bard Haven Towers. After performing visual surveys of the concrete and masonry and collecting concrete samples for petrographic examination, compressive strength testing, and unit measurement testing, WJE recommended a plan for repairing and waterproofing the building's facade.

Since the successful completion of that initial project, WJE has completed work on more than one hundred Columbia University buildings. Projects have included investigation, repair, and replacement of roofs, exterior walls, floors, foundations, terraces, and plazas in addition to petrographic studies of stone, concrete, and other building materials. WJE has also performed water penetration testing, replaced windows, and designed restoration for terra cotta, brick, and stone masonry. Furthermore, most of WJE's projects were completed while the buildings were fully occupied.