Author: T. Ryan
1 February 2016
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In contrast, the need to maintain a balance of moisture and flexibility in the body of an old wall is essential. Ignoring this will lead to the classic error of repointing old structures in brittle, impermeable Portland cement(OPC) mortar. The mortar provides the route for evaporation from the core and should be more permeable than the brick or stone. To reverse this by sealing the joints with a hard finish can only lead to trouble.
Timber and stone are the oldest known building materials. Our most ancient buildings are characterised by their use. So it is no surprise that an engineer looking after historic fabric will regularly encounter the need to repair timberwork. The greatest threats to the structural integrity of timber are from attack by rot and insect; therefore, in the damp British Isles, those working in conservation will often need to reach for the sketchpad to record and re-detail areas damaged by the effects of moisture. Interventions to historic timberwork are also necessary when a building is converted. This happens, for example, when floor joists are reframed or loading is assessed for a new use. While philosophically this is different to a simple repair, it nevertheless requires similar skillsets to achieve the best, most sensitive results. This article looks briefly at these matters, first from the aspect of conservation philosophy and material choice to establish some ground rules, and then by showing some of the details typically in use in the UK today. In order to focus on these, it does not consider survey and diagnosis.
This article is the first of two which will discuss the problem of corrosion of steel frames behind masonry elevations. It aims to provide an introduction to this form of construction and to consider the ways in which lack of maintenance can lead to corrosion of the steel frame, before setting out how remedial work should be approached.
Cantilever stone staircases have been used in all sorts of buildings for more than 350 years. Unfortunately, when surveying buildings we can be so intent on getting from floor to floor that we forget to look at the stairs on the way. Like all structures, stairs need regular inspection and maintenance; without which, collapses can ultimately occur.