The Salk Institute - Commercial Lining - Bill Howe

The Salk Institute – Commercial Lining

Commercial - LINING

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Project Overview


Rehabilitate an aging underground sewer main without causing any disruption to the prestigious campus or damaging its architecture.


Cleaned and prepared infrastructure, installed CIPP liner restoring functionality of the sewer main without disrupting campus operations or damaging the unique architectural features of the building.

Location: La Jolla, CA

Client Background and Project Scope

The Salk Institute is a world-famous and historical biological research institute in La Jolla,
California. Built in the 1960s by Dr. Jonas Salk, the developer of the polio vaccine, and architect Louis Kahn, this beautiful facility is located on a cliff perched above the Pacific Ocean. Dr. Salk and Kahn put an extraordinary effort into every design feature of the laboratory campus, from the benches to the stairs, and the floors to the ceilings.

The building contains about 300 feet of 4″-wide underground sewer main. This pipe line runs approximately 10 feet beneath the outdoor corridors near the many stairwells. After this sewer main experienced several failures, the customer realized that the aged infrastructure had multiple cracks, so the structural integrity was jeopardized. This sewer main is located beneath large, luxurious travertine tile blocks, which would be very expensive and difficult to replace.

If the customer had chosen a traditional repair method the expensive and unique travertine tile flooring would have been damaged. Replacement travertine tiles would not have looked the same as the original tile from the 1960s. The construction from a traditional repipe would have also caused a mess on campus and would have forced several, if not all, restroom closures impeding operations.


Some tiles were carefully lifted out of place in order to access the main line’s clean outs. The main line was cleaned and prepared, lining was installed, guaranteeing restoration of function and tiles were safely put back in place. Bill Howe’s Pull-in-Place process is unique, eco-friendly and non-destructive. This epoxy liner will protect the underground main from forming cracks, buildup or root intrusion. Technicians worked during normal business hours and did not disrupt the laboratory’s normal operations.


Instead of a messy, time-consuming and disruptive repipe, this customer chose a proven pipe rehabilitation method with highly trained commercial technicians. We’re proud to have saved the famous Salk Institute a significant amount of money, time and inconvenience. Instead, the great minds at the institute can put that money and time toward their life saving projects, such as curing cancer, AIDS and diabetes.

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The Salk Institute – Commercial Lining

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