Reinforced concrete conservation

There are some of the points to consider regaring the structural appraisal and repairs of reinforced concrete conservation.

Finding out the date of the original construction will help identify the likely structural system used during the period the building was constructed. Any record drawings can help determine the original use and design loads, and if the structure has been altered or extended.

The key is to carry out as much investigations as possible: trial pits to confirm the adequacy of existing foundation, opening up to expose reinforcements, cover-meter survey, testing of concrete to establish the depths of carbonation or chloride and sulphate levels.

The quality of the construction should be appraised, and signs of any previous repairs assessed. It is important to identify if the defects are due to structural problems (e.g. movement or overloading) or by material defects (corrosion, alkali-silica reaction, etc) so that any proposed repairs will be able to address the problems.

1 Dudley Zoo, Dudley

The animal enclosures and other structures designed by Tecton and engineered by Ove Arup are one of the most important groups of modern movement buildings in the UK. In 2011 we were appointed as part of the team to prepare a submission for Heritage Lottery Funding to four of the structures; the entrance with its curved reinforced concrete roofs and the Bear Ravine.