Waterproofing new residence for Oklahoma University

Posted on: January 1, 2021 6 AM

Cross village for Oklahoma students

Cross Village is a new on-campus living option for Oklahoma University students. The 500,000-square-foot, mixed-use community comprises 413 student housing units and 40,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space in Norman, Oklahoma. 

Chamberlin’s working history with the general contractor and extensive experience led to them being selected to waterproof the residential complex. A peel-and-stick system was selected for the below-grade waterproofing. The skin of all four buildings received a spray-applied air barrier, firestopping, acoustical sealants and joint sealants. In the parking garage, Chamberlin installed traffic coating, spray-applied water repellents, joint sealants and expansion joints.

Sooner than Later

This was an extremely fast-paced project, as all four buildings and the parking garage were built in one year. With the compressed schedule, Chamberlin executed multiple scopes simultaneously. Once the air barrier application was completed on one building, crews would begin joint sealants on that building while other crews moved to the next building to continue air barrier application. The firestopping scope was on-going throughout the project. Each day, Chamberlin’s project supervisors provided the crews with a clear understanding of their tasks, properly inspected equipment and the necessary tools to maximize each crew member’s time on the jobsite. 

Before job start up, the project team held an initial planning meeting to determine milestone dates with the general contractor and subcontractors working on the project. Throughout the project, weekly update sessions were held to proactively assess progress and determine plans to make up any potential weather delays. Chamberlin’s site superintendent attended these meetings, and each subcontractor discussed their time lines so everyone achieved one master plan together.

pre-project planning

One Time

Chamberlin crew members take pride in doing a high-quality job one time, the first time. Project superintendents were on site observing and mentoring the crews for appropriate preparation, installation techniques, proper adhesion and desirable aesthetics.

Crew members installing the air barrier inspected the material before use to make sure it was in proper condition for application and confirmed the sheathing seams were properly sealed for a watertight system. As the material was spray-applied, crew members tested for proper millage periodically each day striving for a smooth finish and optimal performance.

Prior to joint sealant installation, Chamberlin conducted an adhesion test mock-up to ensure the product and substrate worked together to create an optimal bond. The installation began with cleaning each joint, so the substrate was prepared for proper sealant adherence. The crews carefully installed the backer rod utilizing the proper width-to-depth ratio and finished by installing the sealant resulting in smooth, concave joints. Chamberlin conducted routine adhesion checks throughout the project.

The general contractor used BIM 360 to send out daily punch-list items, and Chamberlin cleared out their punch list weekly. Chamberlin’s attention to detail and expertise gained from decades of waterproofing experience helped them deliver high-quality installations for this college campus.

Filling the Gaps

In the parking garage, the block outs for the expansion joints were wider than the specified product to be installed. One possible solution would be embedding a plate to close in the joint, but that would require drilling into the concrete. The concern with this approach was disrupting the post-tension cables, which could affect the structural integrity of the garage.

Chamberlin did their research and found one manufacturer who produces a joint gap reducer that is installed on the wall of the joint with an epoxy adhesive. A ¾-inch gap reducer combined with a larger expansion joint was the solution. However, this discovery was made three weeks from project finish, so a great deal had to be done in a short time. Chamberlin started by getting the new manufacturer approved by the project team. They then worked with the manufacturer to release the materials they currently had in stock so crews could start installing immediately as they waited for the remainder to arrive. Chamberlin increased manpower to accommodate for the short time frame, as well as the added step of installing a gap reducer in each joint, and completed the installation on time.


Being proactive was vital to productivity on this project. When planning the schedule, a certain percentage of lost time was predicted due to weather during the cold months, as some of the waterproofing products could only be installed at certain minimum temperatures. With this in mind, Chamberlin boosted manpower early to meet schedule needs before weather restrictions arose.

Chamberlin crews installed over 240,000 square feet of air barrier in only four months with up to three spray rigs being utilized at the same time. In the parking garage, 320,000 square feet of water repellent was applied in just two weeks. Despite the large scale of work and challenges faced, Chamberlin successfully completed all of their work on or ahead of schedule with high-quality installations and zero safety incidents.

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