The University of Texas at Austin Welch Hall North Plaza’s renovation involved removing an existing concrete courtyard along with all waterproofing and drainage systems above an existing chemistry library. After removal of the existing system, general contractor Flintco installed a new membrane waterproofing system, new storm drainage system, lightweight insulating concrete deck, a decorative colored concrete topping slab, concrete planters and a drop ceiling in the library.

Photo: Roy Mata

The work involved an elaborate system to protect thousands of books in the library below, along with extensive coordination to accommodate users of the library during the renovation.

The chemistry library had to remain partially open for staff members during the project, so the books and shelving had to remain in place. Shelves were covered in a clear plastic to prevent any leaking from the plaza that could potentially damage thousands of irreplaceable books.

UT staff members needed access to books several times daily, which frequently halted work. Flintco provided hard hats and safety glasses for staff members to enter the jobsite and retrieve books when needed. Each staff member requesting access to the library was escorted through the library by a construction crew member to ensure the staff member’s safety.

Key Players

Submitted by: Flintco Inc.
Owner/developer: The University of Texas, Austin
General contractor: Flintco Inc., Austin
Architect: Taniguchi Architects, Austin
Structural engineer: Frank Lam & Associates Inc., Austin