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Technical Architecture

Technical Architecture

Chrysler Building, New York

This specialized branch of architectural analysis and design addresses historic and traditional building enclosures and weatherproofing systems but avoids linking the functional aspects of building performance to the planning or decorative aspects. Historic and traditional buildings present unique challenges as they are often culturally significant but may not meet contemporary performance standards. Their archaic materials and systems are vulnerable to improper modification or deferred maintenance. When damage or deterioration occurs, appropriate understanding of root causes is necessary before repairs can be designed. Since these buildings are often expensive to alter or repair, we strive for nondestructive evaluation and nominally intrusive probes, testing and remediation to minimize any damage to the built fabric.

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Preservation Engineering

Preservation Engineering

Central Synagogue, New York
Courtesy Esto Photographics

This specialized branch of structural engineering addresses buildings with vintage systems and materials in which building performance is not easily predicted. Although this practice applies to all old buildings, preservation engineering typically focuses on the evolving forms, materials and systems of “old” industrialized construction between 1850 and the 1950s. Construction methods used in these buildings are no longer taught in contemporary schools so our expertise comes from extensive experience working with vintage structures and applying current engineering principles. These buildings may or may not meet current codes and standards, may have been constructed of materials and with methods or systems that are no longer used, or may be vernacular buildings designed before the development of applied-science methods in engineering and architecture. These buildings may be structurally safe, but if the system is misunderstood, potentially deleterious or unsafe conditions could result if they are modified incorrectly. Use of appropriate materials and intervention/remedial design are critical for the continued intended performance of the structure.

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Construction Monitoring

Construction Monitoring

150 Nassau Street, Manhattan, New York

We assist building owners and developers in managing the effect of adjacent construction on existing buildings by analyzing existing building structures, establishing acceptable vibration limits and measuring vibration levels. Based on our experience with new construction we also review plans for new buildings, including excavation, foundations, underpinning, dewatering and work with the construction team to minimize the impact from adjacent sites to reduce work stoppages. Clients may be an existing building owner, developer, or we may serve as a mediating body between an existing building owner and a developer.

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