Changing Standards

That’s the interior of the bulkhead where a stair meets the roof in an old fire-rated building. Too bad the bulkhead’s not rated, as the steel frame (made of angles and channels) that supports the roof and walls is not in any way protected against fire. Here’s an annotated version to make it clearer: The …

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Why Did They Do That?

A large part of field investigation is trying to get inside the head of whoever designed and built the structure you are looking at.* The idea is that people do things for rational** reasons so if we can figure out those reasons we have a head-start on understanding the built result. The more you understand …

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Trace Evidence

That photo is from an early-1800s house upstate. There’s nothing exceptional about its structure, although architecturally and historically it’s interesting. But there are traces of the past in building materials, and it’s fun, and sometimes instructive, to take a look at them. Here’s a marked-up version of the photo for reference: The most obvious trace …

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