By focusing on the specific physical characteristics and requirements of historic buildings, it is possible to provide reports, drawings, and specifications that give detailed guidance to designers, contractors, and owners on the aspects of work specific to such buildings.
In addition to ordinary structural design, there are four distinct but closely related services in preservation engineering: investigation, existing conditions analysis, feasibility analysis, and context review. These services may be provided individually or grouped depending on the scope of work for a particular building and the scope of services to be provided by the architect and structural engineer of record.
Investigation includes on-site visual observation of the building’s existing structural condition and type, recommendations for destructive probing or non-destructive testing as appropriate, reports on findings including photographs and drawings as appropriate, and historic document research as required by unique conditions.
Existing Condition Analysis includes structural analysis of the building as designed, as modified, or as damaged (whichever is appropriate) to check for life-safety problems, code-compliance, and expected longevity.
Feasibility Analysis includes code review and schematic structural analysis of the building for proposed alterations and repairs.
Context Review includes a description of the major structural and enclosure systems of the building, comparison of the building to similar buildings of its era, and a review of the known strengths and weaknesses of the identified type.
Design includes analysis and design of new and altered building structure, analysis and design of repairs to historic materials, creation of drawings and specifications, and creation of sequencing and logistics recommendations for work that may be unfamiliar to contractors or where sequencing is crucial to structural stability during the work..
Construction Administration includes reviewing submittals by contractors, reviewing unexpected conditions found during the work, coordination with the contractor and owner on phasing and logistics, and reviewing the effect of the work on historic materials to remain.
Regardless of the type of service, all reports include, as appropriate, photos in high-resolution color, details on CAD, and descriptions of the documents used as sources.
In addition to the experience of the principals, our services draw on an existing database of CAD details, photographs, information on individual buildings, and information on building types and systems. This unique database is the result of decades of research and analysis, and continues to grow as new research findings are entered and as OSE develops original solutions for projects where precedents have not been established.