This paper presents our experiences in the investigation, design, and installation of replacement steel windows for two renovation projects at a major university in the northeast: a student residential complex and the law school. We review the construction of the existing walls (cast-in-place concrete barrier wall at the student residential complex and brick and stone masonry barrier wall at the law school), and the construction and performance of the original steel windows. To maintain the appearance of these architecturally significant buildings, the university elected to install replacement steel windows. We discuss special design considerations for steel windows (versus the more prevalent aluminum replacement window), including available window section profiles, corrosion protection, frame fabrication, and glazing design. We also review window flashing concepts we employed for the barrier wall construction, which has no drainage cavity. We summarize lessons learned during the window selection, design, fabrication, testing, and installation phases of the projects, and present recommendations for improved durability and water penetration resistance of steel windows.
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