Author: J. Miller (CTP Consulting Engineers)
1 May 2016
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J. Miller (CTP Consulting Engineers)
The term “filler joist” is a generic one used for certain types of building floors dating in particular from the late Victorian era to World War II. These may commonly have embedded iron or steel joists. Those of earlier date, from the 19th century, can have wrought iron sections, or even cast iron tees in early floors. They span one way between beams or bearings, and are encased in concrete made with coke-breeze, clinker, broken brick or conventional aggregates.
The filler-joist floor was – at the time – a very important structural development, now long superseded by other systems, such as flat slabs and composite decks. It grew out of an enthusiastic age of Victorian invention that had created a wide range of proprietary, patented make-ups that all worked in a roughly similar way. Filler joists are encountered frequently in the alteration and remodelling of large office and institutional buildings.
Our built heritage is a finite resource stretching back thousands of years. Protecting and conserving this heritage is a challenge requiring knowledge, skills and experience, together with an ability to bring practical engineering judgement and often creative and imaginative solutions. This paper sets out the challenges faced by engineers and some of the approaches taken in the appraisal and protection of ruins.
In this article, issues associated with the scaffolding of historic structures are briefly explored and illustrated through four case studies. These are projects that crossed the author's desk, as a consulting engineer specialising in the conservation of historic structures, within a few months of each other. They explore some of the constraints imposed by 'historic fabric' and other factors, the compromises made, and the solutions reached.
This article continues from the previous instalment in the series, and aims to guide engineers in assessing the extent of corrosion of steel frames and in selecting appropriate treatment methods.