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A distinction is drawn between the assessment of a building which shows evidence of inadequacy and one in which a change of use is intended. Matters are suggested which should be considered in an investigation and comment is offered on where load testing may be inappropriate. Attention is drawn to the distincfion between the design of a new building and the assessment for strength of an existing one and to the need to be
satisfied on adequacy for purpose rather than to conformity Codes. Finally importance is placed on the need for engineering judgement to give due weight to significant but not readily quantified factors.
Training and early experience of a structural engineer may sometimes be confined to teamwork on major works in order to derive maximum benefit from his acquisition of knowledge of engineering and scientific principles. This paper attempts to give advice that should help an engineer when first confronted with problems related to domestic conversions which are not dealt with in standard textbooks. In these circumstances improvisation, commonsense and a basic knowledge of building construction are more valuable than a depth of knowledge of sophisticated theorems. The paper intends to describe some legal implications in addition to advice on exploration of existing work and design and detailing of proposed alterations.
R. Martin Silber
This paper examines in general and critical terms the standards required and achievable in the rehabilitation of old buildings in the context of present political and economic policies. It looks at the requirements of Statutory Regulations, in particular those concerned with fire protection, thermal and acoustic insulation, and illustrates some of the problems in achieving acceptable standards by examining the requirements for a possible new system of lightweight concrete flooring which might be of use in rehabilitation work.