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McGill University – Redpath Hall

Montréal, Québec

Photo credits : Vincent Brière


McGill University

Type of use

Academic building

Year of construction


Work type

Façade repair and temporary stabilization

This building, built in 1893 and therefore exposed to the Montreal climate for more than a century, was showing obvious signs of distress, particularly on the façades, which prompted McGill University to consider their repair. The freeze-thaw cycles to which the building has been exposed over the years have affected the interior of the walls, particularly the infill between the façade stones and the back wall. The latter, composed of a mixture of mortar and small stone fragments, has undergone repeated swelling that has served to push the façade stones towards the outside of the walls, thus creating a continuous void within the wall and reducing the stability of the masonry elements.

The arched roof construction is supported laterally by massive stone masonry buttresses that had to be dismantled and then reassembled. This required temporary stabilization by means of tie rods installed inside the large concert hall.

The rehabilitation of the buttresses while keeping the building’s walls intact required intensive monitoring, in conjunction with the architects, and careful observation of the behaviour of the entire building during temporary stabilization to control wall movements during the work.

NCK provided complete structural engineering consulting services for the complete project.