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Remove, Relocate, or Replace Heavy Elements

Cornices, corbels, and other architectural elements are common among historic, unreinforced masonry structures. Such elements are generally constructed of stone or other heavy, brittle materials and often fail due to poor anchorage or bracing. Stone awnings and decorative features may not have proper anchorage or reinforcement. The dead weight added by these elements can increase lateral forces. To reduce damage, heavy non-structural elements should be minimized. Such elements may be removed, relocated, or replaced using lighter materials, or replaced with an independent structure. 

Effectiveness:

  • Very effective.

Limitations:

  • Lighter replacement elements or independent structures are still subject to damage.

Replace Stone Facing With Lighter Material

Stone facing and precast concrete wall panels typically fail where anchorage is poor or at sections of the building that experience large deflections. Earthquakes can cause the heavy stone facings of buildings to shake loose and fall. The dead weight added to the structure by the stone facing can increase seismic forces. Heavy stone facing can be replaced with lighter materials such as lightweight concrete, shotcrete, cement plaster (stucco) or a stone veneer. Many of these materials can be applied directly to the building and reinforced using steel or wire mesh.

Effectiveness:

  • Very effective.

Limitations:

  • Lighter replacement materials are still subject to damage.

Considerations:

 

 

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Randolph Langenbach

M-Arch (Harvard), Dipl.Conservation (York, England)


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