Track 3: DELIVERY – INTERVENING INTO HISTORIC PLACES / Volet 3 : Réalisation – Intervenir dans les lieux historiques

Connecting New-Age Design with Old-Age Buildings

Friday, October 13
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Design on existing buildings is a specialized field, yet many of the essential tools used to plan, develop, and deliver projects are borrowed from the new building industry. Current standards and practices for new building design – modeling programs, material specifications, building codes, and the like – frequently fall short when applied to existing buildings. The complex nature of building design is amplified in the presence of existing materials, systems, and assemblies that are unidentified, unfamiliar, or unexpected.

Clear communication of the design intent and critical variables, verified or not, is key to aligning expectations across all sides of the project table. As the content of contract documents evolves and Building Information Modeling becomes industry standard, tools for proactively managing the ‘guesswork’ with existing buildings need to expand as well. This presentation will examine design development and delivery methods for existing buildings. Opportunities for advancing connections between design input and output will be shared through project case studies involving structural reconfiguration, systems integration, and exterior envelop restoration. Ideas for adapting and augmenting design tools to better meet the needs of design on existing buildings will be presented through the following lenses:

Investigation – Existing building design typically begins with an investigation phase. The ability to document conditions is greater than ever – with techniques like laser scanning and non-destructive evaluation becoming mainstream – and the amount of data to be processed can be vast. How can designers effectively steer numerous sources of input into a clear and consistent basis of design?

Modeling – The use of BIM technology implies a high degree of accuracy and completeness for new building design that is rarely, if ever, achievable for existing buildings. Interpretation and speculation are necessary, even with a vast and growing range of investigation methods. How can designers harness the computing power of modeling programs to convey the range of conditions and design scenarios that can occur in existing buildings?

Design Documents – The product of any building design is ideally a comprehensive set of contract documents – drawings, specifications, and even design models. Yet even the most carefully coordinated design cannot capture every condition or constraint that may be encountered during construction on existing buildings. How can designers convey aspects of the design that are contingent on verifying critical conditions, assumptions, and variables without obscuring the overall goals and scope?

Learning Objectives:

Lizzie Olson

Senior Project Engineer

Lizzie Olson is a structural engineer with an enduring appreciation for architecture, preservation, and the power of the built environment. She has been with Silman for over 9 years, gaining experience in preservation engineering in New York and across the county. She holds degrees in architectural engineering from the University of Kansas and historic preservation from Columbia University. In recent years, she has taught a course in preservation engineering and has presented and published a paper for APTI.


Send Email for Lizzie Olson

Send Email for Robert Young


Connecting New-Age Design with Old-Age Buildings

Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Connecting New-Age Design with Old-Age Buildings