A systematic method for the appraisal and renovation of existing structures

Finkelstein, Ronald Simpson
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Although the history o f building structures in Southern Africa extends back only about 200 years, many older important historic structures are now approaching an age at which serious deterioration has become evident and the necessity for repair and renovation :s essential in order to preserve these structures. The principal objective o f this dissertation has been to formulate a systematic approach to the appraisal o f old ov historic structures taking into account the extensive knowledge base o f research information available on age-related problems in structures. As the appraisal and renovation procedure is very different from design o f new structures, a systematic approach is required involving new investigative techniques and extensive experience not generally available. Consequently, an important aspect o f this dissertation is the application o f an Expert System to the appraisal of structures which includes guidance on the actual procedures, inspection methods and testing, diagnostic and forensic engineering and remedial technology. The dissertation does not purport to be exhaustive in the technical sense, rather the intention is to demonstrate that a systematic, expert-system based approach to structural appraisal and renovation is feasible. However, all basic elements are in place for a comprehensive and technically complete treatment o f the problem. Further research is required on establishing the full database and on diagnostic systems. The information contained within the Expert System is unique to this subject and the logic systems