Six weeks from now, the tenth international conference on the Structural Analysis of Historic Constructions will take place in Leuven, Belgium. This is a conference devoted solely to the structural engineering aspects of conservation. I’ve both enjoyed and learned from the four previous conferences I’ve attended, including two years ago in Mexico City when Gabi and I presented together on our analysis of the New York Crystal Palace.
Marieta – Antonieta Núñez García – graduated last year from the Advanced Masters in Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions (SAHC, too), will be presenting the coauthored paper “Evaluation of Structural Intervention in the Quartel das Esquadras, Almeida (Portugal)” (Ramos, Núñez García, Fernandes & Lourenco, 2016), based on her Master’s Thesis developed at the University of Minho.
The Quartel das Esquadras is a unique example of early 18th century military barracks placed in the fortified village of Almeida, location of great relevance in the historical border between Portugal and Spain. Most of the spaces enclosed in the barracks are currently unused and showing deterioration, reason for which the municipality aims to recover the importance and full capacity of the building by promoting an adaptive reuse of its spaces. An architectural intervention has been designed in order to reintroduce uses back into the building, which has been proven to be the best way of guaranteeing maintenance, crucial for structural integrity, of historic buildings whose use has become obsolete.
The intervention requires such implementations that some structural elements will have to be removed or modified, altering the current configuration of the structure. The aim of the thesis was to evaluate the structural intervention by means of analyzing the current condition of the structure of the building as well as the expected structural performance after the proposed architectural interventions. The paper focuses on the more technical aspects of the methodology used for the evaluation process, comprising historical research, visual inspection, non-destructive testing and structural analysis.