Preserving the real places and the real stories of Texas.

Real Places 2019: Let’s Keep It Dry

Basement Leak-Prevention And Waterproofing

Breakout 4A

Day/Time: Thursday, January 17, 4–5:15 p.m.
Location: Creekside I, 2nd Floor
Speakers: Jeff Acton, P.E. and Erika Bonfanti, P.E., Acton Partners Consulting

There are basements in Texas! It’s true that they are more common in other parts of the U.S., but architects from “back East” designed many courthouses and other significant buildings with basements. Unfortunately, the skills, knowledge, and maintenance required for keeping them dry is a lost art. Gain insight into the right ways, wrong ways, and stop-gaps to protect your basement without tearing everything apart. Bring your favorite basement horror story to share during this learning session.

Members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) can earn continuing education credits for this activity (or many activities at this event). Texas Society of Architects (TxA) is the provider of record. When Learning Units (LU) and health, safety, and welfare (HSW) credits are available for AIA-approved courses, they are noted at the end of an activity description. More information about AIA’s continuing education program can be found at and



With over 15 years of experience in the engineering and construction industries, Jeff Acton’s specialties include enclosure peer review, detail development, litigation consulting, and large-scale assessment and repair design. He enjoys designing constructible, water- and air-tight solutions for complex architectural details, configurations, and interfaces. A significant part of his work involves assessment and analysis of building enclosure-related issues, such as air and water leakage, cladding distress, and material failures, and his resume includes several famous historic structures. Acton is a U.S. Army veteran, registered professional engineer, and managing principal and owner of Acton Partners.


Erika Bonfanti has more than seven years of experience in building enclosure design and construction, including condition assessments, building forensics, leakage investigations, and evaluation of material distress leading to air leakage, masonry displacement, stucco cracking, and glass breakage. Her resulting repair designs have been constructed on both historic and new projects. She stays up-to-date on building science concepts, using this knowledge to improve the hygrothermal performance of roof and wall systems. Bonfanti is currently consulting with several Texas counties to remedy the causes of roof, wall, and window leaks in their historic courthouses.