Structural Investigation of Historic Buildings: A Case Study Guide to Preservation Technology for Buildings, Bridges, Towers and Mills

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John Wiley & Sons, Feb 9, 2009 - Architecture - 275 pages
A toolkit for giving our historic built environment a second life

Conservation of our existing structures has obvious economic and social value. Moreover, historic structures provide an excellent laboratory for studying aspects of structural engineering, materials science, forensic engineering, and building design. Structural Investigation of Historic Buildings: A Case Study Guide to Preservation Technology for Buildings, Bridges, Towers, and Mills provides a practical guide for consulting structural engineers and others on dealing with issues unique to historic structures.

Emphasizing structural evaluation and condition assessment based on sound preservation philosophy, but without burdening the reader with tedious calculations, the book discusses the role of the structural engineer in the evaluation and preservation process and discusses such topics as structural safety, analysis, and conservation. Engaging case studies, drawn from the author's own practice, include:

  • The Montague Building and Watauga Hall

  • The Restoration of St. Helena's Church

  • Market Hall Rehabilitation

  • Differential Settlement at St. Philip's Moravian Church

  • James Madison's Montpelier

  • Relocating the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

  • The Timber Trusses of Burr, Town, and Haupt

  • The Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge

  • A New Covered Bridge for Old Salem

  • The Tohickon Aqueduct

Each case study features a description of the project and its history, a condition assessment, structural analysis, discussion, recommendations, and a description of the subsequent intervention as executed with drawings and photographs.

Both a foundational text for students anticipating a career in preservation and a guide for seasoned structural engineers, Structural Investigation of Historic Buildings gives preservation-minded professionals the tools they need to ensure that potential candidates for restoration, rehabilitation, or adaptive reuse do not meet the wrecking ball without a second chance.


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Structural Safety
Simplified Engineering 21
Historic Timber Structures
Watauga Hall and the Montague Building
The Restoration of St Helenas Church
Market Hall Rehabilitation
Differential Settlement at St Philips Moravian
James Madisons Montpelier
Engineering Characteristics of a Vernacular Construction Material
Relocating the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Crisis in American Covered Bridges
The Timber Trusses of Burr Town and Haupt 211 CHAPTER 16 The CornishWindsor Covered Bridge
A New Covered Bridge for Old Salem
The Tohickon Aqueduct
One Engineers Point of View

Timber Glulam and Conservation

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

David C. Fischetti, PE, is a civil engineering graduate of Clemson University. A Registered Professional Engineer in seventeen states, he has thirty-nine years of structural design experience. He is President of DCF Engineering, Inc., located in Cary, North Carolina.

Bibliographic information