Markup in the Writing Classroom

Genre: bib

Student id: w28

View XML Source View Formatted File View Annotated File

If you have ever lived in a apartment, worked in an office, went to a grocery store, or visited a museum, you have interacting with the work of architects and engineers. Although it is common to pay little attention to the structures around you, these buildings, bridges, and roadways play such a crucial part of how you live every day. Boston is an old city full of beautiful old buildings. Brownstone homes and shops line our streets. Ornate works of art such as the YMCA stand on our campus. However, these structures are failing, as all old buildings do. The stairs and floors are sagging. The walls are crumbling and the beams are splintering. What these buildings need is a little bit of attention. Unfortunately people do not want to invest in a fixer upper. Institutions like Northeastern and property management companies such as Alpha Realty would rather use a building until it has deteriorated to a point of being unsafe and getting condemned. They would rather knock it down and build an efficient utilitarian cinderblock box that will make them profit rather than invest in a piece of history or work to increase the aesthetic value of our beautiful city. When we look to countries like Germany, Switzerland, and France we see numerous examples of old buildings that were preserved and modernized while still maintaining the historical significance of the structure. Modern construction and design technologies have made structural rehabilitation increasingly accessible to building owners and property managers. It is my hope to one day work in an industry that is not simply about demolition and new construction, but one that can take the essence of a beautiful old thing and make it safe and great again.

Branco, Miguel, and Luís Manuel Guerreiro. Seismic Rehabilitation of Historical Masonry Buildings.Engineering Structures. 33.5 (2011): 1626-1634. Web. 12 July 2016.

Written by two professors at the Technical University of Lisbon in Portugal, this journal article presents their research on seismic retrofitting in historic masonry buildings similar to those in and around Boston. Of the degraded buildings, masonry construction is the typology that presents more problems and is more in need of rehabilitation. This study focuses on two aspects of historical building design that present safety concerns today including the unreinforced masonry walls and the use of flexible wooden floor systems. In part one researchers test four different methods for stiffening and strengthening the existing wooden floors forcing them to act as rigid diaphragms to the overall structural system. Additionally in part two of this study the researchers attempt to increase seismic resistance by the use of three different techniques; adding new reinforced concrete walls to the system, introducing a base isolation solution, and using viscous dampers. They found that the use of steel ties within the existing wooden floor system along with allowed for more effective force distribution throughout the system and decreased displacement of existing features and materials. This extensive research serves as a great resource for professionals working in the rehabilitation industry in older cities containing a high quantity of older masonry buildings.

Costa, Aníbal, and João Miranda Guedes. Structural Rehabilitation of Old Buildings. Berlin: Springer, 2014. Web. 12 July 2016.

Edited by department chairs for the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Aveiro and Porto University both in Portugal, this book is a collaboration of pieces written by professors and researchers at each school. This book addresses the different structural systems and construction methods used in a number of different masonry building styles. By examining the structural behavior of the systems today and addressing the damages that have occurred due to different environmental stresses these researchers are able to provide a solid basis for their arguments for and against certain styles of retrofitting and reinforcement. For masonry buildings located in zones of seismic activity it is very important to provide updated reinforcing systems as traditional masonry alone provides no tensile strength to resist movement during seismic events. With chapters focusing on adobe, brick, and stone masonry, this source provides a very thorough and individualized assessment of popular historic methods of construction, conducting vulnerability assessments and analyzing construction maintenance on each.

Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings: Structural Systems.Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures.U.S. Department of the Interior, 2 June 2015. Web. 12 July 2016.

Published by the General Services Administration (GSA), an independent agency formed by the US Government in 1949 to help with the support and management of all functioning federal agencies, this list of guidelines for preservation of historic buildings was originally written by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a reference for rehabilitation and remodel of older structural systems. The general format of this reference article breaks the process of updating or altering a historic building with regards to its structural system into five basic steps of discovery, protection, repair, replacement and alterations. By stressing the importance of a full discovery investigation and the use of appropriate materials in the updated structure, this article and its accompanying articles serve as a valuable reference for members of the general public inexperienced in the business of existing construction remodel or historic building systems.

Meli, Roberto, and Roberto Sanchez-Ramirez. Criteria and Experiences on Structural Rehabilitation of Stone Masonry Buildings in Mexico City.International Journal of Architectural Heritage. 1.1 (2007): 3-28. Web. 12 July 2016.

Professor at the National University of Mexico, Roberto Meli is a highly published researcher specializing in earthquake engineering. This investigation focuses on the major rehabilitation of the Mexico City Cathedral and includes an evaluation of many relevant investigations involving other colonial era masonry structures. Much of the damage that these buildings have faced is due to the impact of vertical loading, differential settlement and seismic vibrations. This study uses extensive structural monitoring systems, field and lab testing of structural members and relevant materials to determine the main causes of damage and the most effective methods of restoration. In the case of Mexico city, the severe changes in ground settlement is a result of over extraction of local groundwater. Boston, although less severe, also experiences a lot of differential ground settlement due to the fact that a large portion of the city is built on fill and other unstable and largely unknown materials.

Weeks, Kay D., and Anne E. Grimmer. The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring and Reconstructing Historic Buildings. DIANE Publishing, 1 Feb. 1995. Web. 12 July 2016.

Published in 1995, this book still serves today as a strong basis with the general guideline for people looking to perform work on a historic structure in the United States. For many structures the biggest concern when starting a rehabilitation project is the fact that other than the obvious facade, most of the structure and its materials are largely unknown until work has begun. Without going into the technical aspects of design this piece focuses on the architecture and materials detailing of buildings and structures throughout history it does bring our attention to a few interesting requirements that would affect structural system changes or updates. This book largely references the publishings of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior and serves to “provide guidance to historical building owners and building managers, preservation consultants, architects, contractors, and project reviewers prior to treatment.”

Return to the main page