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Post-fire investigation of St. Bernard’s church, New Jersey, USA

Title: Post-fire investigation of St. Bernard’s church, New Jersey, USA
Author(s): R.W. Anthony, E.P. Meade, A. Radcliffe-Trenner
Paper category : conference
Book title: RILEM Symposium on On Site Assessment of Concrete, Masonry and Timber Structures - SACoMaTiS 2008
Editor(s): L. Binda, M. di Prisco, R. Felicetti
Print-ISBN: 978-2-35158-061-5
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-075-2
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Publication year: 2008
Pages: 1155 - 1165
Total Pages: 11
Nb references: 3
Language: English

Abstract: On 23 October 2004 St. Bernard’s Church in Bernardsville, New Jersey, USA suffered a devastating fire. The structure was built in the Gothic Revival style and consists of loadbearing masonry exterior walls with wood roof structural elements and wood floor framing.
After the church was stabilized from immediate hazards, a program of testing and analyzing the structural and material state of the church was begun. Because all of the connections within the roof trusses were hidden (by architectural finishes and/or other structural members) it was impossible to determine the way in which members were connected and their condition (at least by visual means alone). Resistance drilling helped the structural engineers to determine the extent of fungal and/or insect damage (dating from prior to the fire). It also helped the structural engineers to determine the construction detailing of the different members that made up the roof trusses. Char depth gauge measurements aided the structural engineers in their subsequent analysis of the trusses; the gauge depth measurements aided in determining the remaining sound wood after the fire. Digital radioscopy provided essential information about the hidden connections within the trusses.

Online publication: 2009-05-26
Publication type : full_text
Public price (Euros): 0.00

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