CIRCE - Construction materials

This section of the Conservation Information Resource for Civil Engineers (CIRCE), provides guidance on all types of construction materials that civil and building engineers are likely to encounter when working on conservation, restoration and extending the life of existing structures.

Each sub-section provides links to information and guidance about the characteristics and properties of the materials, to methods and approaches for inspecting, assessing and appraising materials and, finally, to techniques and approaches for remediation, repair and conservation.

After checking the first section, which covers all materials, select the particular construction material to explore the links to further information and guidance. Additional links may also be found under particular types of structure, e.g. Bridges: timber.

All materials

Shop front, Rue Reamur Paris
Shop front, Rue Réaumur, Paris, Photo: Bill Addis

The following guidance is of relevance to those working with all types of construction materials.

Key: Click on the resource title to get more information.

Where content displays the direct icon, the information is accessible directly from the link. Otherwise the link provides full details of the resource and where it can be obtained.

Characteristics and properties

Construction Materials Reference Book by David Doran and Bob Cather [488 pp]

Guide to deterioration and failure of building materials by R O Heckroodt (Ed.), 2002 [164 pp] direct

A history of the safety factors by A. N. Beal, IStructE 2011 [14 pp] direct

Inspection, assessment and appraisal

Appraisal of existing structures Institution of Structural Engineers, 2010 [197 pp]

Remediation, repair and conservation

Refurbishment and Repair in Construction by David Doran, James Douglas & Richard Pratley, (Whittles Publishing, 2009) [332 pp]

Masonry - stone and brick

Roman aqueduct, Segovia, Spain Photo: Bill Addis
Roman aqueduct, Segovia, Spain Photo: Bill Addis

The following guidance is of relevance to those working with stone and brick construction materials.

Key: Click on the resource title to get more information.

Where content displays the direct icon, the information is accessible directly from the link. Otherwise the link provides full details of the resource and where it can be obtained.

Characteristics and properties

Construction Materials Reference Book by David Doran and Bob Cather [488 pp]

Stone masonry materials and skills: A methodology for surveys of sandstone building facades, Historic Scotland, 2007 [38 pp] direct

Inspection, assessment and appraisal

Masonry structures: Structural investigation and assessment by Ian Hume [web pages] direct

Appraisal and repair of masonry by G Parkinson et al., 1996 [216 pp]

Conservation compendium Part 4: Assessment and replacement of stone by Ed Morton, IStructE 2015 [3 pp]

What lies beneath: Non-destructive investigation of masonry defects [web pages] direct

Non-destructive evaluation: Structural performance of masonry by D. Harvey et al., APTI, 2010 [8 pp] direct

Mortar

Mortar analysis. Part 1: Mortar-making materials by L. Schnabel 2008 [4 pp] direct

Mortar analysis. Part 2: Analytical methods by L. Schnabel 2009 [7 pp] direct

Mortar analysis. Part 3: buying the right services by L. Schnabel 2011 [4 pp] direct

Remediation, repair and conservation

Corrosion in masonry clad early twentieth century steel framed buildings, Historic Scotland, 2000 [94 pp] direct

Lime mortars in traditional buildings, Historic Scotland, 2014 [48 pp] direct

Preparation and use of lime mortars, Historic Scotland, 2003 [80 pp] direct

Scottish aggregates for building conservation, Historic Scotland, 1994 [56 pp] direct

Stone cleaning: a guide for practitioners, Historic Scotland, 1994 [126 pp] direct

Stone cleaning of granite buildings, Historic Scotland, 1997 [50 pp] direct

Laser Stone cleaning in Scotland - Research Report, 2005 [134 pp]

Unbonded frp to improve the in-plane performance of masonry panels by T. Stratford, 2010 [8 pp] direct

Experimental bond behavior of frp sheets glued on brick masonry by D. Oliveira et al., 2011 [20 pp] direct

Iron and steel

Neues Museum, Berlin
Neues Museum, Berlin, Photo: Bill Addis

The following guidance applies to those working with iron and steel.

Key: Click on the resource title to get more information.

Where content displays the direct icon, the information is accessible directly from the link. Otherwise the link provides full details of the resource and where it can be obtained.

Characteristics and properties

ICE Manual of Construction Materials: Metals and Alloys by Wei Sha (Ed.), 2010 [120 pp]

Construction Materials Reference Book by David Doran and Bob Cather [488 pp]

An iron will by Clive Richardson (properties of cast iron, wrought iron and steel) [5 web pages] DIRECT

Conservation compendium Part 3: Historic wrought iron, cast iron and mild steel by John Ruddy, IStructE 2015 [3 pp]

William Hazledine (1763–1840): Pioneering iron founder by A. Pattison ICE 2014 [20 pp] DIRECT

William Hazledine, Shropshire ironmaster and millwright: A reconstruction of his life, and his contribution to the development of engineering, 1780 - 1840 by A. Pattison, MPhil thesis 2011 [284 pp] DIRECT

Historical Structural Steelwork Handbook: Properties of UK And European Cast Iron, Wrought Iron and Steel Sections, including Design, Load and Stress Data, since the mid-19th Century by W. Bates, British Constructional Steelwork Association, 1984 [76 pp] DIRECT

Pocket Companion Containing Useful Information & Tables Pertaining to the use of Steel Manufactured by Dorman Long & Company Limited. Middlesbrough, England. Computed and Edited by the Constructional Department. For the use of Engineers, Architects and Builders. 1906 [283 pp] DIRECT

Steel beam (historical sections) analysis spreadsheet to BS 5950 [Spreadsheet] DIRECT

Riveted connections in historical metal structures (1840-1940). Hot-driven rivets: technology, design and experiments. PhD thesis by Quentin Collette 2014 [266 pp] DIRECT

Evolution of historical riveted connections: Joining typologies, installation techniques and calculation methods by Q. Collette et al., 2011 [12 pp] DIRECT

An experimental investigation of mechanical properties of structural cast iron at elevated temperatures and after cooling down by C. Maraveasa, et al. 2015 [13 pp]

Corrugated iron and other ferrous metal cladding, Historic Scotland, 2004 [64 pp] DIRECT

The Iron library holds over 40,000 books and some 800 periodicals devoted to iron and steel, dating back several centuries. It is based in Schaffhausen in Switzerland and is open to the public.

The National Heritage Ironwork Group focuses solely on historic ironwork. While its emphasis is mainly on decorative ironwork, it does address structural ironwork too.

The Historical Metallurgy Society has a wealth of material on all metals, especially iron and its alloys.

Inspection, assessment and appraisal

Assessment procedures for structural wrought iron by Matthew O’Sullivan, PhD Thesis 2013 [310 pp] DIRECT

Remediation, repair and conservation

Cathodic protection of iron and steel: Recent applications to heritage buildings by David Farrell, Kevin Davies and Iain McCaig [web pages] DIRECT

Practical aspects of cathodic protection for the conservation of iron and steel in heritage buildings by David Farrell and Kevin Davies, 2004 [13 pp] DIRECT

Concrete and reinforced concrete

Market building, Innsbruck, Austria
Market building, Innsbruck, Austria, Photo: Bill Addis

The following guidance is specifically relevant to working with concrete and reinforced concrete.

Key: Click on the resource title to get more information.

Where content displays the direct icon, the information is accessible directly from the link. Otherwise the link provides full details of the resource and where it can be obtained.

Characteristics and properties

Construction Materials Reference Book by David Doran and Bob Cather [488 pp]

Historic Concrete: The Background to Appraisal by James Sutherland et al, 2001 [384 pp]

Historical approaches to the design of concrete buildings and structures, The Concrete Society, 2009 [? pp]

Historic reinforcing bars and steel fabric, The Concrete Society 2004 [3 pp]

Inspection, assessment and appraisal

Historic concrete in Scotland. Part 1: History and development, Historic Scotland, 2013 [40 pp] direct

Historic concrete in Scotland. Part 2: Investigation and assessment of defects, Historic Scotland, 2014 [32 pp] direct

Historic concrete in Scotland. Part 3: Maintenance and repair of historic concrete structures, Historic Scotland, 2014 [40 pp] direct

Appraisal and Repair of Reinforced Concrete by R Holland, 1997 [160 pp]

Assessment of in-situ concrete strength using data obtained from core testing, The Concrete Society 2013 [7 pp]

Guidance on radar testing of concrete structures, The Concrete Society 1997 [80 pp]

Corrosion

The assessment of corrosion-damaged concrete structures, M. P. Webster, PhD Thesis, University of Birmingham, 2000 [318 pp] direct

Electrochemical tests for reinforcement corrosion, The Concrete Society 2004 [? pp]

The relevance of cracking in concrete to corrosion of reinforcement, The Concrete Society 1995 [32 pp]

Corrosion investigation: a guide to half-cell mapping by P Chess et al., 1996 [40 pp]

HAC concrete in the UK: assessment, durability management, maintenance and refurbishment, The Concrete Society 2002 [20 pp]

Deteriorated concrete: inspection and physicochemical analysis by F. Rendell et al., 2002 [208 pp]

Assessment and repair of fire-damaged concrete, The Concrete Society 1990 [? pp]

Remediation, repair and conservation

Concrete Repair Manual, BRE 2003 [? pp]

Concrete Repair Manual (4th Ed,) American Concrete Institute 2013 [2,363 pp]

Concrete repair - a practical guide, The Concrete Society 2011 [309 pp]

Repair and Renovation of Concrete Structures Conference 2005 [59 papers]

Concrete repairs - performance in service and current practice, The Concrete Society 2007 [? pp]

Achieving durable repaired concrete structures: adopting a performance-based intervention strategy, The Concrete Society 2007 [? pp]

Concrete repair according to the new European standard EN 1504, by M. Raupach [10 pp] direct

Repair of concrete structures with reference to BS EN 1504, The Concrete Society 2009 [? pp]

EN 1504 Products and systems for the protection and repair of concrete structures - Definitions, requirements, quality control and evaluation of conformity:

Cathodic protection of steel in concrete, including model specification, The Concrete Society 2011 [105 pp]

Construction and repair with wet-process sprayed concrete and mortar, The Concrete Society 2002 [45 pp]

Diagnosis of deterioration in concrete structures - identification of defects, evaluation and development of remedial action, The Concrete Society 2000 [? pp]

Timber

De l’Orme roof, Mont Dauphin, France
De l’Orme roof, Mont Dauphin, France, Photo: Bill Addis

The following guidance is specifically relevant to working with timber.

Key: Click on the resource title to get more information.

Where content displays the direct icon, the information is accessible directly from the link. Otherwise the link provides full details of the resource and where it can be obtained.

Characteristics and properties

Construction Materials Reference Book by David Doran and Bob Cather [488 pp]

Timber decay by Dr Jagjit Singh [Web pages] direct

Others are available only to members of TRADA, including:

Inspection, assessment and appraisal

The Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) has many technical guides on timber and its use, mainly in buildings. Some of these are available to anyone including:

Wood condition assessment manual, Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory (USA), 2014 [100 pp] direct

Structural condition assessment of in-service wood, Forest Products Journal 2006 [5 pp] direct

Non-destructive evaluation: Wood by R. Anthony, APTI 2010 [6 pp] direct

Basics of wood inspection: Considerations for historic preservation by R. Anthony, APTI 2007 [6 pp] direct

A grading protocol for structural lumber and timber in historic structures, APTI 2009 [46 pp] direct

In-situ assessment of timber structures: Assessment methods and case studies by Thomas Lechner, Chalmers University of Technology, 2013 [62 pp] direct

In Situ Assessment of Structural Timber, Eds: Bohumil Kasal, Thomas Tannert, RILEM

Remediation, repair and conservation

Adhesive-bonded repair systems for structural timber, 2013

Timber decay in buildings: The conservation approach to treatment by Brian Ridout, English Heritage / Historic Scotland, 2000 [232 pp] direct

Guide for the design and construction of externally-bonded frp systems for strengthening existing structures: Timber structures, Italian National Research Council, 2005 [54 pp] direct

Miscellaneous materials: Earth structures

Rammed earth construction, Paderne castle
Rammed earth construction, Paderne castle, Portugal, Photo: Ignacio-Javier Gil-Crespo

The following guidance applies to those working with earth.

Key: Click on the resource title to get more information.

Where content displays the direct icon, the information is accessible directly from the link. Otherwise the link provides full details of the resource and where it can be obtained.

Characteristics and properties

Building with Earth by John Norton (Intermediate Technology Development Group, 1986) [74 pp] DIRECT

Earth Construction: A Comprehensive Guide by Hugo Houben & Hubert Guillard. (Intermediate Technology Development Group, 1994) [376 pp]

Rammed Earth Structures by Julian Keable & Rowland Keable (Practical Action Publishing, 2011) [211 pp]

Inspection, assessment and appraisal

Earth structures and construction in Scotland: A guide to the recognition and conservation of earth technology in Scottish buildings, Historic Scotland, 1996 [138 pp] DIRECT

Remediation, repair and conservation

The repair of earth-walled buildings by Bob Nother, Institute of Historic Building Conservation, [10 web pages] DIRECT