Friday, 31 January 2014

Structural Repairs

One of the principal concerns of this project were the large number of separation cracks in the floor and walls that were diagnosed in the condition mapping during the course of the project. On opening up of the plaster the cracks were inspected closely and the Structural Engineer Ummed Singh visited the site to complete the structural assessment and prescribe solutions for their repair.

October 2013 Site Meeting with Structural Engineer Ummed Singh to access the structural damage
The discussions with the structural engineer concluded that the building was not in any active structural distress and the cracks needed to be repaired and some masonry needed to be reset. We had two options for the crack repair, one of using proprietary structural solutions such as helifix beams which are imported from UK and increasingly used in restoration of monuments. This systems essentially is about inserting a stainless steel finned bar into the masonry and grouting it with silicon. There were two reasons that we did not adopt this repair methodology, one that we didnt agree in principal with the use of silicon grouts in this case and secondly the entire process of importing the methodology from UK cost more than 20 times the cost of doing things locally and secondly was not sustainable.
Structural Drawings showing repair of cracks by inserting steel plates 
Structural repair of arch by resetting by reconstruction

Instead we decided to work with simple principles of structural design and provide support and repair by rebuilding for the arch failures etc. Crack stitching by stainless steel plates was achieved by locally manufacturing the SS steel plates and carefully inserting them, into the cracked area and repacking the brickwork complete with lime mortar.

Locally manufactured SS steel plates weighing almost 32 kgs as per design of structural engineer

The fractured area has been cleared and plate inserted in the cavity 
After inserting the steel plate the cavity has been packed with bricks and lime mortar 

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