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Use of local stone: cautionary tales

Author(s): Edward Gerns, Rachel Will
Paper category: Proceedings
Book title: Proceedings of the International RILEM Conference
Materials, Systems and Structures in Civil Engineering 2016 segment on
Historical Masonry
Editor(s): Inge Rörig-Dalgaard and Ioannis Ioannou
ISBN: 978-2-35158-178-0
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-179-7
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 228-237
Total Pages: 10
Language : English

Abstract: Until relatively recently, locally available stone was used almost exclusively in construction,
due to availability, limited transportation options and economics. Historically, naturally formed
field stone was used for foundations, localized cladding features and in some instances entire
building facades. Stone, perhaps more than any other natural building material, has numerous
varieties and characteristics within its broader classifications. Many of these local stones were
not necessarily appropriate for some applications and environmental conditions. Since around
1880, and continuing for perhaps 40 years, as quarrying techniques mechanized, the use of
some local stones in larger and thinner individual units as cladding in multi-wythe exterior wall
systems were replacing traditional monolithic field stone wall systems. As these “newer” wall
systems have aged, these applications introduced challenges including unanticipated
weathering characteristics, residual stresses and detrimental inclusions. Where and how these
unique local stones are installed as well as climate and weathering patterns certainly contribute
to the potential deterioration and serviceability challenges. This paper will focus on three stones
used in the United States between the 1850s and the 1960s that have variable performances in
various applications.

Online publication : 2016
Publication type : full_text
Public price (Euros) : 0.00

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