Historic Buildings

McGrath Engineering has experience working on several aspects of evaluation, maintenance and repair of old buildings and structures.  Our combination of materials engineering and building science knowledge, plus field investigation capabilities and repair/restoration project experience makes our company a very useful component of any historic building restoration team.

We specialize in the nature and detailing of early reinforced concrete structures before the time when modern codes and design methods were employed.  Early concrete structures have unique reinforcing steel types and patterns and concrete quality can range from quite good to very poor.  Where drawings are not available and strengths are unknown, our field team can provide complete services with respect to collection of data.

Recovering accurate data on the precise methods and details of construction is very useful component of the historic restoration and seismic upgrade of old structures, particularly wood frame and masonry construction where drawings are lost or inaccurate.  Having accurate information in advance can save substantial costs of over design and change orders during restoration.  We have “a go anywhere” approach and our experience allows us to collect detailed information with minimal disruption.

In addition to investigation stage condition assessment we provide economical and creative maintenance and repair project management for work such as re-pointing historic mortars, refurbishment and re-painting of wood windows, concrete corrosion damage repair, or water ingress problems repair.  We have assessed a wide variety of old building materials such as:

  • reinforced concrete
  • wood/timber framing
  • wood windows
  • masonry including brick, stone, hollow clay tile
  • copper roofs and ornate scuppers
  • parges and plasters
  • floor finishes