Track 1: Decline vs. Revival: Tempering the Impulse to Tear Down and Start Over
The Importance of and Methodology for Understanding Antiquated Floor Systems and How to Preserve and Adapt them to Modern Uses – Lessons Learned from a Variety of Floor Systems in Washington, DC
Tuesday, September 25
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: BNCC- 101AH
The preservation of antiquated floor systems can face many challenges at the onset of a project. The decision to retain, modify, or demolish existing floors is often made early in design, when understanding of the existing systems and proposed programming are limited. The pressure to tear down and start over with a system that has known costs and risks can be strong; however, this pressure can be offset by educating stakeholders about how the system’s re-use can be validated.
Drawing from case studies with several types of antiquated floor systems encountered in Washington, DC, this presentation will provide an overview of the methodology used for understanding an antiquated floor system’s materials, limitations, construction methods, fire ratings, and analysis methods that allows for their continued use and adaptation. Floor systems to be discussed include Guastavino vaults; the Metropolitan System; hollow clay tile flat arch systems, and an early version of a Fabric Form slab.
When dealing with an antiquated floor system, the first step is to identify the system through preliminary research and site investigations. At this stage, it is important to understand the process by which the continued use of the floor will be feasible or not feasible. This process includes research, site investigations, analysis, probes, more analysis, and potentially in-situ testing. Understanding the full process allows the engineer to guide the design team through it with the goal of preserving the existing floor system. It is equally important to understand the intended use so that the engineer can provide guidance on the capabilities and limitations of the antiquated floor systems which many will not be familiar with and whose design is often a significant departure from modern floor systems. In the situation where the use is not yet solidified, “bracketing” the possibilities allows project team members to make determinations by taking into account the floor’s potential capabilities and limitations.
- 1. Upon completion, participant will be able to understand the analysis methods for common antiquated floor slab systems.
- 2. Upon completion, participant will be able to describe the common limitations of antiquated floor systems.
- 3. Upon completion, participant will be able to understand common structural considerations that should be made during the assessment of antiquated floors.
- 4. Upon completion, participant will be able to describe the historic fire proofing methods in floor systems.