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Preserving and restoring our heritage buildings is an important part of retaining a strong connection to our historic built environment and its development over the decades. Historic buildings are a central part of our culture, but retaining their original charm is becoming more and more difficult with strict adherence to new seismic standards required.

Issues with Historical Buildings

“Because of the lack of seismic capabilities with original rooftop masonry, building owners who have been worried about the potentially disastrous effects of a seismic events are removing parapets, balusters and columns,” rooftop restoration expert Jamie Marryatt of GRC New Zealandsays. “Roof collapses and falling masonry were one of the most fatal aspects of the Christchurch earthquakes.

“But because these are generally heritage or historic buildings, their detailing cannot simply be removed and territorial authorities are requiring building owners to reinstate the original detailing. That’s causing a headache for these owners who often aren’t sure how to safely reinstate rooftop detailing.”

Many of the buildings that fall into this class are up to 120 years old, with original unreinforced masonry rooftop detailing, which has little or no seismic capacity and therefore poses a significant risk of harm due to falling during an earthquake.

Preserving and restoring our heritage buildings is an important part of retaining a strong connection to our historic built environment and its development over the decades. Historic buildings are a central part of our culture, but retaining their original charm is becoming more and more difficult with strict adherence to new seismic standards required.

Issues with Historical Buildings

“Because of the lack of seismic capabilities with original rooftop masonry, building owners who have been worried about the potentially disastrous effects of a seismic events are removing parapets, balusters and columns,” rooftop restoration expert Jamie Marryatt of GRC New Zealandsays. “Roof collapses and falling masonry were one of the most fatal aspects of the Christchurch earthquakes.

“But because these are generally heritage or historic buildings, their detailing cannot simply be removed and territorial authorities are requiring building owners to reinstate the original detailing. That’s causing a headache for these owners who often aren’t sure how to safely reinstate rooftop detailing.”

Many of the buildings that fall into this class are up to 120 years old, with original unreinforced masonry rooftop detailing, which has little or no seismic capacity and therefore poses a significant risk of harm due to falling during an earthquake.

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Earthquake Proof Material of Choice

Glass reinforced concrete is fast becoming a favoured option to replace original masonry due to its tensile strength and durability as well as its reduced weight compared to standard concrete.

“Glass reinforced concrete is perfect for rooftop solutions, particularly because of its lighter weight and extremely durable construction,” Jamie says. “At GRC, all our systems are interlocked and fastened to the structure to provide the required structural integrity and seismic capabilities.”

Earthquake Proof Material of Choice

Glass reinforced concrete is fast becoming a favoured option to replace original masonry due to its tensile strength and durability as well as its reduced weight compared to standard concrete.

“Glass reinforced concrete is perfect for rooftop solutions, particularly because of its lighter weight and extremely durable construction,” Jamie says. “At GRC, all our systems are interlocked and fastened to the structure to provide the required structural integrity and seismic capabilities.”

GRC works with building owners who are looking to reinstate or replace original rooftop detailing with a safe, durable solution. In many cases, territorial authorities have given building owners a strict timeframe in which this work must be carried out – generally within a period of 24 months, Jamie says.

Moulding of Structures

Using glass reinforced concrete means moulds of the original parapets, balusters or columns can be taken so new, seismically performing objects can be made that are exact replicas of the original forms. “This can either be done by taking moulds or working from historic photographs.”

GRC works with building owners who are looking to reinstate or replace original rooftop detailing with a safe, durable solution. In many cases, territorial authorities have given building owners a strict timeframe in which this work must be carried out – generally within a period of 24 months, Jamie says.

Moulding of Structures

Using glass reinforced concrete means moulds of the original parapets, balusters or columns can be taken so new, seismically performing objects can be made that are exact replicas of the original forms. “This can either be done by taking moulds or working from historic photographs.”

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Customised Look

Glass reinforced concrete can be left plain to be painted, or can have a concrete oxide put into the mix to colour match it to the existing building. It can also be sandblasted to replicate Hinuera or Oamaru stone.

What is it?

Glass reinforced concrete is a composite material comprising a mix of hydraulic cement, silica sand, alkali-resistant glass fibres and water. “The glass fibres in the mix effectively reinforce the mortar mix, improving its tensile strength,” Jamie says. Originally developed in the 1960s, glass reinforced concrete was designed as a corrosion free alternative to traditional steel reinforced concrete.

“It was initially manufactured as an exterior cladding material, but it can be moulded into a wide variety of complex shapes and of late, its lightweight benefits and seismic capabilities have seen it become extremely popular for rooftop restorations. We find that people are also favouring it because of its durability – you won’t see any degradation of glass reinforced concrete for at least 50 years.”

Get in touch with GRC on ArchiPro here if your heritage or historic building is in need of a rooftop restoration.

Customised Look

Glass reinforced concrete can be left plain to be painted, or can have a concrete oxide put into the mix to colour match it to the existing building. It can also be sandblasted to replicate Hinuera or Oamaru stone.

What is it?

Glass reinforced concrete is a composite material comprising a mix of hydraulic cement, silica sand, alkali-resistant glass fibres and water. “The glass fibres in the mix effectively reinforce the mortar mix, improving its tensile strength,” Jamie says. Originally developed in the 1960s, glass reinforced concrete was designed as a corrosion free alternative to traditional steel reinforced concrete.

“It was initially manufactured as an exterior cladding material, but it can be moulded into a wide variety of complex shapes and of late, its lightweight benefits and seismic capabilities have seen it become extremely popular for rooftop restorations. We find that people are also favouring it because of its durability – you won’t see any degradation of glass reinforced concrete for at least 50 years.”

Get in touch with GRC on ArchiPro here if your heritage or historic building is in need of a rooftop restoration.

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