The renovation of existing buildings often holds many advantages over new construction, including greater economy, improved sustainability, and the maintenance of engineering heritage and architectural character in our built environment. Yet, the renovation of existing structures presents many challenges to structural engineers. These challenges include structural materials that are no longer in widespread use (e.g., unreinforced masonry arches and vaults, cast iron, and wrought iron) as well as structural materials for which analysis and design practices have changed significantly over the last half-century (e.g., wood, steel, and reinforced concrete).
This first course in the theory and practice of preservation engineering will include a review of the building code requirements related to work on existing buildings and a discussion of the load paths (both vertical and horizontal) through such structures. Further, this course will begin its review of structural materials with those that were available prior to the Industrial Revolution-namely masonry and timber. The course will conclude with an overview of the response of wood structures to wind and seismic loads. Wood deterioration mechanisms and structural repair strategies for wood will also be presented.