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  • Publication
    Forensic investigation methodology for structures experiencing settlement
    (Association for Preservation Technology International (APT), 2006) ; ;
    The progressive settlement of a plantation in North Carolina is explored through a post-damage inspection. If a building is experiencing settlement or other deleterious movement, the underlying causes must be established to prevent further damage and ensure effective repair. This article outlines a methodology for the forensic investigation of historic structures experiencing what may appear to be structural distress and provides a case history exemplifying the effectiveness of the proposed method for establishing settlement-related movements. Through simple and straightforward engineering principles, a logical and methodical approach can be applied to determine contributing factors to historic-building distress. Key elements of this method include documentation of the history of architectural damage and apparent distress, consideration of initial and existing structural loading capacity (including both the structural system and specific materials), exploration of soil conditions, and investigation of groundwater factors.