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RE: Stone house

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One other thought, you might want to use lime mortar in place of
Portland cement mortar.  Lime mortar acts more like glue and is more
pliable allowing for redistribution of loads.  It also minimizes the use
of expansion/control joints.  See
http://www.heritageconservation.net/index.htm

Gary W. Loomis, P.E., Senior Structural Engineering
Master Engineers and Designers, Inc.
-----Original Message-----
From: Gary L. Hodgson and Assoc. [mailto:ghodgson(--nospam--at)bellnet.ca] 
Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2007 8:31 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Stone house

Gary,
I think you have a great name.  I am located in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

If you have been here, you will know that there are a lot of stone 
houses, built of Queenston limestone.  However, finding people who know 
what they doing with stone is difficult as those who are knowledgeable 
are scarce and busy.  Consequently, a local school has started up in an 
old stone mansion to teach the students old technologies, the idea being

that they won't necessarily be artisans but rather knowledgeable 
managers, curators, supervisors, etc although they can do the work if 
they wish.  I made initial contact with them because of my problem.  I 
have also found a name of a old hand British stone mason who emigrated 
to Canada and he may be available.  However as it is field-stone, I want

to find out more rather than cut limestone.
Gary

Gary Loomis wrote:
> We provide structural assessments and design of repairs/renovations of
historic structures and the issue of stone walls including dry laid has
come up in the past.  We could not find any historic information on the
evaluation or design of these walls.  Currently we are involved with a
project near Lancaster, PA evaluating a house constructed of iron stone
and brown stone and a covered bridge supported by brownstone piers.  The
house is from the mid 1700's and the bridge mid 1800's.  Also, there are
plenty of houses in the area built of field stone. 
>
> We have a 3rd generation stone mason on staff as a mechanical
engineer.  There are guidelines that have been handed down from
generation to generation.  He has repaired a 3 story home constructed of
field stone.  The wall was 16" thick increasing to 24" thick at the
foundation.  He also said the weak straw is the mortar and use the
strength of the mortar - usually Type M.  Is there an experienced stone
mason in the area that is doing the work?  We typically analyze the wall
as unreinforced masonry based on working stress methodology and select
an allowable stress based on the mortar.  If it is an existing wall we
have our stone mason also visually inspect it.  He also is able to tap
into his resources for information.
>
> Where are you located?  Are there other stone houses in the area?  If
so go and look how they are constructed.  Are there experienced stone
masons in the area?  Talk with them.  Most of them have a wealth of
information to share.  If they don't, do not let them near the project.
Sometimes we get to wrapped up in the analysis and what does the
computer say.  
>
> Gary Loomis, PE
>
>  
>
> Fellow listers,
> I was asked yesterday by a regular client if I could design a stone
> house for him-field stone.  Give him credit, he also asked if he
should
> build a house out of stone.  This is new to me and I wonder if anyone
> out there has any words of wisdom or warning.
> Gary
>
>
>   
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