Thomas Jefferson School of Law in downtown San Diego is an eight-story classroom building, with ground-level retail space, and three levels of underground parking. Concrete construction entailed structural concrete belowgrade, a podium slab at the first floor, and eight levels of concrete aboveground. The owner desired to contain costs while still achieving a structure with superior environmental performance and LEED Gold certification.

By using an integral concrete waterproofing system, the contractor was able to eliminate external water-proofing membranes. This saved time and money, and contributed a LEED point.

By selecting a membrane-free approach to waterproof concrete construction, the school reduced construction by four weeks and saved an estimated $187,000 in construction costs on day one, a 32% improvement over traditional waterproofing approaches. The USGBC awarded TJSL a credit for Membrane Free Construction Through Integral Concrete Waterproofing, (Innovation in Design Credit 1.1).

The building includes a 50-kilowatt-hour photovoltaic system on the main roof, a highly efficient building envelope, and a water use reduction plan to reduce use for the whole building by 20%.

Benefits include:
  • Eliminate 36 tons of landfill debris.
  • Eliminate about 53,844 pounds of nonrenewable materials.
  • Eliminate about 18,567 pounds of polymers.
  • Reduce required onsite equipment because concrete waterproofing is added at the ready-mix plant and not onsite.
  • Eliminate excavation/backfill required for membrane installation reduces construction footprint.
  • Enhance concrete's recyclable. Future membrane removal is eliminated.

Project Participants

OWNER: Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego

CONCRETE PRODUCER: Vulcan Materials Co., Poway, Calif.

CONCRETE CONTRACTOR: JT Wimsatt, San Marcos, Calif.

ARCHITECT/DESIGNER: Fehlman LaBarre, San Diego

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Hope Engineering, San Diego

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Bovis Lend Lease, Los Angeles

MATERIAL SUPPLIER: Hycrete, Carlstadt, N.J.