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International Journal of Architectural Heritage: Conservation, Analysis, and Restoration


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Adobe and Timber Ties as Main Construction Materials for an Historic Greek Dwelling
Anna-Maria Vissilia & Maria Villi
a b a b

National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece Private Practice, Athens, Greece

Available online: 11 Jun 2010

To cite this article: Anna-Maria Vissilia & Maria Villi (2010): Adobe and Timber Ties as Main Construction Materials for an Historic Greek Dwelling, International Journal of Architectural Heritage: Conservation, Analysis, and Restoration, 4:4, 295-319 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15583050902934973

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International Journal of Architectural Heritage, 4: 295319, 2010 Copyright # Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1558-3058 print / 1558-3066 online DOI: 10.1080/15583050902934973

ADOBE AND TIMBER TIES AS MAIN CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS FOR AN HISTORIC GREEK DWELLING Anna-Maria Vissilia1 and Maria Villi2
1 2

National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece Private Practice, Athens, Greece

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This article examines a composite construction system concerning a Greek historic dwelling. Various aspects of current proposed interventions are discussed illustrating the subsequent restoration based on the architectural and structural analysis of the dwelling and its construction methods and building materials, as well as on laboratory tests on the properties of its main construction material, the adobe (mud bricks). In addition, the main causes of the current weathering of the dwelling are reviewed, with primary focus on the various mechanisms that affect the load-bearing walls of adobe bricks, a local construction material that endured the climatic condition of the region and kept the building extant for more than 100 years. The restorationreuse proposal aims to integrate the dwelling in contemporary life through appropriate interventions so that its architectural, typological, functional, and constructional characteristics will be preserved, based on an internationally accepted framework of principles regarding historic architecture. KEY WORDS: historic architecture, restoration, structure, adobe (mud brick), timber ties

1. INTRODUCTION The historic buildings of Itea, a city of 3,000 inhabitants located in mainland Greece, date back to the second half of the nineteenth century. They evolved slowly through time, responding successfully to the climate through the appropriate selection of construction techniques and materials. Our case study building reflects the same principles of construction and design since it belongs to the historic architecture of Itea. The existence of the historic architecture in Itea is under threat in recent years. Historic dwellings are disappearing rapidly since adobe is now considered inadequate for structural use, in contradiction to the old saying I promise to protect you from earthquakes on the condition you protect me from rain. The abandonment of historic building methods and materials took place around 1945 due to extensive use of reinforced concrete versus masonry, a construction material of significantly higher resistance and reliability. Although such buildings are usually not designed to conform to the texture of the architecture and the climatic conditions of the region, living in them has been considered by the local people as an indication of status. This fact led to the deterioration of the historic architectural texture of the city, and a significant number of the historic buildings of Itea are facing oblivion.
Received 16 March 2009; accepted 31 March 2009. Address correspondence to Anna-Mari Vissilia, Department of Structural Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Kodrou 13, 105-58 Athens, Greece. E-mail: annamaria@vissilia.com 295

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Therefore, rehabilitation strategies for the remaining fragments of the historic heritage of Itea, aiming at sustaining their essential qualities while adapting them to new conditions and needs, may contribute to the strengthening of local cultural traditions and forms. The economic aspects concerning rehabilitation and revitalization schemes are also important. It is interesting to point out that experience in many countries has shown that it may be easier and less costly to restore historic buildings than it was originally thought. In contrast, the cost of demolition and replacement by new buildings has almost always turned out to be more expensive than expected (Steinberg 1996). Historic buildings are important components of city life and it is crucial that political support be generously offered for such substantial rehabilitation and revitalization schemes. It can then be argued that proposals of appropriate methods for intervention and reuse can help in strengthening the argument towards preservation. This article comprises a historical review of the building, an analysis of its architecture, a discussion of its structural system, and of the strength and durability of its materials (including laboratory tests), a presentation of the current state of the building, and finally, the philosophy of its restoration. 2. ARCHITECTURALSTRUCTURAL ANALYSIS AND DOCUMENTATION The protection of the architectural heritage has been a subject of numerous discussions in Greece in recent years. Nevertheless quite often, current restoration practices seem to be preoccupied with issues of appearance rather than with an in depth study and understanding of the buildings form and their relation to structure and construction materials. The authors of this article maintain that, before formulating appropriate restoration concepts, it is important to study a historic construction by researching its typology and architectural character, investigating the qualities of the building materials and the history of the structure, and documentation the current damages and their causes. This study includes an architectural analysis (typological and morphological) of the building, a discussion of its structural system, construction materials and techniques, laboratory tests concerning its main building material. It also comprises a collection of data (photographs, drawings, old photographs, and interviews), bibliographic research, as well as description and assessment of current damages and their causes, and finally the proposed methodology for restoration and reuse. 2.1. Historic Use, Occupancy Patterns and Typology The historic dwelling of the case study is a two-story nineteenth-century building located on the front district of the city of Itea, which adjoins the sea. It is a representative example of the neoclassic type of houses incorporating, at the same time, vernacular elements of the traditional architecture of the area, as they were typified at the nineteenth century (Figure 1) (Kolokotroni and Young 1990). It was built in two phases: the first part of the dwelling was built in 1876, being one of the first houses after the major earthquake of 1870, and the second part was added in 1890. The first part of the dwelling, constructed in 1876, consisted mainly of a compact building form of a square plan layout of 10 m and an extensive garden, incorporated in its typological layout, which allowed flexibility of use according to climatic
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Figure 1. Illustration of the general view of Itea circa 1910 (figure is provided in color online).

conditions. It was developed in two stories: the ground floor was used as a working place for agricultural purposes and storage, and the upper floor was divided into four rooms organized around a central corridor of relatively small size. An interior wooden staircase unified the two floors of the residence. The two rooms placed on the south side were occasionally unified and functioned as the main living room, the so-called sala of a rather large size. The other two, placed symmetrically on the east and west side of the corridor, were used as bedrooms. A main fireplace was situated on the western outer wall of the main living room, which was used for cooking and heating. Indoor bathroom facilities, as well as a separate kitchen were not yet available (Figure 2). In 1890, the original square plan layout of the dwelling was transformed to a rectangular layout (10 X 15 m). The spatial arrangement remained conventional.

STORAGE ROOM

OVEN

KITCHEN

0.00 +0.22 WELL 0.17 STORAGE ROOM

0.00 STORAGE ROOM

W.C. 0.00

PLAN OF THE GROUND FLOOR

Figure 2. Plan of the ground floor (figure is provided in color online).

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DINING ROOM KITCHEN BEDROOM


STORAGE

DINING ROOM WELL

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PLAN OF THE FIRST FLOOR

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Figure 3. Plan of the first floor (figure is provided in color online).

Another wooden staircase leading to the ground floor, a central corridor and three distinct rooms set around it, one of which was used as the kitchen, were added. The ground floor was still used for agricultural storage where olives and olive oil were kept in kegs along with other food items and household objects. A one-storey orthogonal building was also added to the main house on its north side. This additional building was used to cover further agricultural needs, as well as additional cooking and laundry facilities. Finally, a small room was located in the garden away from the main living units, which was used as the bathroom of the dwelling (Figure 3). 2.2. Construction Materials and Techniques The method of construction of this historic dwelling is highly place-specific: the construction system was based on the availability of local materials and on technical methods responding to local constrains, empirical knowledge, and professional mastery (Givoni 1998). The building form was conditioned by its structure and articulation of construction details, which, in the opinion of the authors of this article are basic factors for bringing architecture to realization. The building, being constructed in an earthquake-prone area, had suffered numerous earthquakes (e.g., a few major earthquakes: Atalante in 1894, Alkyonides in 1981, Kalamata in 1986, Aigio in 1995, Athens in 1999), as well as erosion due to its proximity to the sea. It is important to note that the dwelling managed to survive for such a long time, enduring the frequent seismic events due mainly to its structural system (construction materials and techniques). Understanding the traditional wisdom of the buildings earthquake-resistant structural system and assessing the quality of its materials are prerequisites for a reliable evaluation of the current load-bearing state and adequacy of the building. The main local building material is adobe (sun-dried mud bricks), which was also used for constructing the load-bearing walls of this dwelling. Adobe units were made of earth mixed with straw along with water, pressed in wooden moulds, and dried in the hot sun for a few days until they were ready to be used for the construction. The structural behavior of the adobe-bearing walls depends on:

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1. The structural properties of the adobe bricks quality of adobe unit, type of joining mortar, and ways of laying the units; 2. Their position, arrangement, connection, and interaction with the bearing and non-bearing elements including position and construction of openings, type, arrangement and placement of the floors and roof structure and more importantly their specific constructional detailing; 3. Their specific geometric characteristics; and 4. Their relative positioning in relation to the main horizontal direction of the seismic forces. All of these points must be further examined. As mentioned previously, the structural efficiency of the adobe wall depends on the specific properties and characteristics of its units. The adobe wall responds well to compression, but its tensile strength is weak. To accurately estimate quality of the adobe construction of the specific case study dwelling, samples have been taken of both the adobe bricks and the plaster. In the laboratory, both the bending strength of the adobe brick and the tensile strength of the plaster have been measured.1 The bending strength of the adobe-brick has been measured according to ASTM C-293-02. Three-point bending tests were carried out in three masonry units (Figure 4). As shown in Figure 4 the load was applied vertically to the fibers. The results of the bending tests are presented in Table 1. The flexural strength of the bricks was found equal to 0.83 MPa. For the measurement of the tensile strength of the mortars the mortar-fragment test method (Tassios et al. 1989) was used, using a device that allows for testing in direct tension (Katsaragakis 1987). For this purpose, I-shape specimens were made of mortar fragments that were glued with epoxy resin between two T-shape cementmoulds (Figure 5). After testing the vertical projection of the failure area (A, Figure 5) was measured for each fragment and the tensile strength ft was obtained (Table 2). The mean value of the tensile strength of six specimens was found equal to 0.35 MPa. From

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Figure 4. Measurements in a simple schematic illustration for one of the three adobe units (figure is provided in color online).

Laboratory tests on the properties of adobe were conducted at the Laboratory of Reinforced Concrete, National Technical University of Athens (Athens, Greece) by Professor E. Vintzileou. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE 4(4): 295319

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Specimen # 1 2 3

L (mm) 310 380 370

L1 (mm) 200 280 280

b (mm) 175 165 165

H (mm) 100 110 110

P (Nt) 4200 4400 4000 Mean value

ft (Mpa) 0.72 0.93 0.84 0.83

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Figure 5. Photograph of the T-shape cement moulds and mortar fragment (figure is provided in color online).

Table 2. Tensile strength of the mortar fragment Mortar # K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 Nx (N) 230.69 90.83 403.75 120.78 217.60 82.57 A (mm2) 692 540 860 286 559 268 Average ft(MPa) 0.33 0.17 0.47 0.42 0.39 0.31 0.35

the laboratory results, it becomes obvious that elements that respond well to tensile forces must be incorporated into the construction of the adobe walls in order to reinforce them against earthquakes and ground and wind forces. In the examined case, the adobe walls are constructed with mortar of the same material as the adobe units. Thus, homogeneity is its best advantage concerning its response to seismic forces. The walls are either left uncovered and give the dwelling a coarse character due to their rough texture and a morphological entity, or plaster is used to cover them. The way they form the external walls based on their modularity is shown in Figure 6. The adobe walls are 70 cm wide, 8 m average height, and are built with horizontally set timber ties with various dimensions (6 cm x 8 cm or 10 cm x 12 cm), spaced at 7090 cm. These timber ties are going around the building, acting as reinforcement, confirming masonry, thus the ductility and ensuring improved out-ofplane behavior of walls during earthquakes (Vintzileou and Touliatos 2008). The creation of these horizontal ties at regular intervals permitted the continuation of construction at higher levels even though the mortar at the lower levels was not yet
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Figure 6. Illustration of the modularity of the adobe units (figure is provided in color online).

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Figure 7. Photograph of the adobe wall and timber ties (figure is provided in color online).

dried and solidified (Figure 7). Such a way of construction protects against sudden subsidence and cracking of the walls (Kouremenos 1989). A section of the wall shows that a set of timber ties is placed along the two sides of the walls. This parallel arrangement is never broken but only partially interrupted at the inner side of the walls whenever a closet or a fireplace is found (Figure 8). The spacing of the horizontal timber ties along the height of the walls varies and depends on the different phases of the construction. These phases are reflected on the positions of the timber ties expressing the overall morphology of the building: level of the stone base, level of the floor and the roof, and lower and upper levels of the openings. The timber ties not only strengthen the performance of the walls against horizontal forces (e.g., seismic, wind), they are also necessary in order to assist the walls to carry the concentrated vertical loads that are applied on them at the levels where the horizontal heavy elements of the floor and the roof rest. This assistance is very important due to the limited compressive strength of the adobe walls. In addition, these timber ties help in distributing the loads of the beams of the floor and the roof evenly and, by doing this, protect the walls against vertical cracks (Vintzileou and Touliatos 2008).
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Figure 8. Axonometric illustration of the historic dwelling (figure is provided in color online).

The first set of timber ties is placed above the stone base in order to be protected from humidity and water. Thus, stone construction forms a base of approximately0.90 cm in height above the ground level on which the bearing adobe walls rest. All bearing walls rest on stone foundations. Their width is approximately double that of the wall that they support and they are approximately 1 m deep. The stone walls have a width of 0.70 cm, with exceptional attention paid to the carving and the building of the cornerstones. The mortar assists in layering and the cohesiveness of the stones (Figure 8). A set of timber ties is placed at the level of the floor. Timber is used to construct the mezzanine floor of the dwelling. The floor consists of the patera beams that bear the wooden floor placed right above the timber ties. The beams are made of cypress and are of circular cross-section 0.35cm in diameter and 810 m in length. These are placed in holes that have already been made into the walls, 0.300.50 cm apart. The boards, planks of hard wood were nailed to the beams (Figure 9). The load bearing walls support the roof frame made of cypress wood placed above the timber ties found in this position. This roof frame rests only on the peripheral bearing walls and not in any interior ones. The roof has been constructed as a double-pitched roof in the front part of the building (up to the middle bearing wall of the y-direction) and as a single-pitched one at the back (beyond the middle wall). The part covered by the single-pitched roof is the later addition. The trusses of the roof in the front part are placed along the x-direction and, thus, the vertical loads are channeled to the three bearing walls of the y-direction. At the back part, where the

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Figure 9. Photograph of the patera that bear the wooden floor (figure is provided in color online).

roof is single-pitched, the loads are carried by the two walls on which the roof rests. The final layer of the roof comprises wooden boards and clay tiles that are placed on the top boards (Figure 10). The timber ties play a structural role even in the construction of the balconies. The fixing and construction of the balconies are interrelated to the placing of the ties. The timber ties at the level where the cantilevers of the balconies rest enable the bearing wall below to carry horizontal and vertical loads more efficiently. Openings are part of constructions with zero structural strength they are points of discontinuity and weakness (considerable wall failures occur around openings and usually at the four corners where various forces concentrate). Openings influence directly the structural behavior of the load-bearing walls, and this is of course the case for adobe walls as well. Therefore, the design and geometry of the openings as well as their placement, juxtaposition, number, and size range are of vital importance (Figures 11 and 12). The openings of the facades are organized along vertical and horizontal zones within the zones of the timber ties, which define the length of windows and doors and become their window seals and upper parts. The reinforcement of the areas around the openings is further improved by the two additional zones of timber ties that exist within the levels of the top and bottom of the openings. The window case is an independent wooden frame is additionally nailed at the transverse wooden studs that connect the pair of timber ties at the sides of the openings (Figure 8). The particular detailing and joining of the timber ties suggests a conscious effort from the part of the maker to secure their continuity: 1) along their length, 2) at the corners, and 3) across their width (Vintzileou and Touliatos 2008). 1. Since timber parts are only 34 m long, joining them is necessary to produce longer pieces. For this purpose, the ends of the ties are cut diagonally and connected with nails. This way of joining which is a common one, ensures continuity but is of limited strength (Figure 13). 2. At the corners, the sets of timber ties are connected by simply placing them the one on top of the other. In this way the ties occur at a slightly different level at the adjacent walls (Figure 14). Since the corner- joints are of tremendous importance for the general structural behavior of the building, additional metal joints at the levels of the floor and the roof connect the timber ties (Figure 15). Another
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purlines 6060 every 0.50m
80160

8016

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80

8080

808

connecting beam 0.20m longitudinal 412 stirrups 8/10

8080
12.51

100220 100220 0.70 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00

100220

100220

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100220

100220

100220

100220

100220

0.50

100220

purlins 6060 every 0.50m 0 1 2 3 m.

Figure 10. Schematic illustration of the roof structure (figure is provided in color online).

Figure 11. Schematic illustration of the main facade of the dwelling. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE 4(4): 295319

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Figure 12. Schematic illustration of the north facade of the dwelling.

Figure 13. Photograph of the timber ties: detail along their length (figure is provided in color online).

strengthening element is the placing of a diagonal piece of wood that joins the corners at the roof level. At this level, the tying of the whole building is completed, and the cooperation of the roof structure with the load bearing walls is needed.3) Across the width of the wall the two timber ties are connected with pieces of wood that are placed perpendicularly between them every 50 cm and are nailed to them. They are called klapes and are 54 cm long with a cross section of 6 x 8 cm. At the levels of the floor, the roof as well as at the areas of the balconies, the klapes are omitted and are replaced by the wooden beams that rest on the walls at these levels (Figure 8). In conclusion, we can argue that the structural strengthening of the building through the system of timber ties in an adobe wall construction is historically recognized as an efficient vernacular technique of distributing seismic forces to the bearing walls since floor and roof structure do not provide satisfactory diaphragm
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Figure 14. Photograph of the timber ties: detail at the corners (figure is provided in color online).

Figure 15. Photograph of the metal joints at the corners (figure is provided in color online).

action to ensure proper distribution of loads according to contemporary understanding of the term diaphragm and according to international regulations. This is the case because the planks are nailed to the main beams, which run only in one direction, and the walls parallel to these main beams are not connected to them (Figures 16 and 17) (Vintzileou and Touliatos 2008).

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Y 0.18 X

Figure 16. Schematic illustration of the structural system of the ground floor.

Y X

Figure 17. Schematic illustration of the structural system of the first floor.

The structural system described herein is evaluated as providing a rational layout of bearing elements, each having well defined roles in the proper load transfer to the building foundation. Clever use of local construction materials, construction techniques, and craftsmanship contributed to a solid structural concept that managed to endure seismic loads, as evidenced by the buildings performance throughout its lifetime and by its limited structural damage, described in more detail later in text. 3. ASSESSMENT OF CURRENT STATUS In any architectural project the issue of materials durability is always present. In planning the restoration of an adobe building, it is necessary both to determine the
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nature of the buildings deterioration and to identify and correct the sources of deterioration. Such an accurate assessment of their current status is the starting point to propose a successful restoration that is sensitive to the integrity of the historic adobe building and to develop a maintenance program once the restoration is completed (Ipekoglu 2005). The case study dwelling has survived for more than 100 years without any maintenance or repair, preserving its original plan, mass and facade characteristics as well as its materials without any structural or morphological interventions. Its survival may be explained because of the climatic conditions of Itea, the construction techniques, the excellent workmanship, and exclusive use of adobe bricks as its main construction material. The damages observed by a visual close-up inspection of the bearing and non-bearing elements are divided into two categories: structural damages and non-structural damages.

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1. Structural damages: Slight material deterioration is noted in some parts of the loadbearing walls of the dwelling from their interior side, and a corrosion problem in noted concerning the adobe bricks forming the outer eastern corner of the dwelling. Such collapsed sections of walls and deep cavities create structural discontinuities and form points of weakness in otherwise monolithic adobe walls. The roof structure of the garden building has recently collapsed; deterioration-corrosion of the adobe bricks of the one story building in the garden is dense on all sections of the walls up to approximately 1 m below the roof level. In addition, the roof of the main building exhibits leaking problems, which cause staining of both external and interior walls, affecting at the same time the quality and strength of adobe. 2. Non-structural damages: Noted damages are: deterioration of the balconies concrete floors, which have replaced the original wooden ones; cracks in the plaster both in the exterior and the interior of the building shell; cracks in the joining between the load-bearing walls and the interior partitions; cracks in the interior corners joining the original structure with the added one; wooden shutters in bad condition; wooden frameworks of the exterior openings worn out; part of the upper floor worn out and uneven; and missing, or severely damaged fenestration of the building in the garden. The main sources of the historic buildings deterioration are seismic activity, water, animals, material incompatibilities, and vandalism. 1. Seismic activity: Cracks observed in the inner corners of the building, added to the main one in 1890, are due to pressure from various small earthquakes that took place over the years and to the poor structural connection to the original building. However, there is no cracking observed on the adobe walls except some short hairline cracks that are caused as the adobe shrinks and continues to dry. Such an observation indicates that the historic building does not suffer from severe structural damages; rather it seems to enjoy proper design and construction, sufficient foundations, adequate materials, and a relatively good response to seismic activity. 2. Water: The cause of adobe units deterioration concerning the walls of the one story building in the garden is the collapse of its roof. Thus, rainwater enters regularly and for many years inside and outside of the building, causing chemical activities on the building fabric. The leaking problems of the main dwellings roof
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are due to the weathering of the materials and their conjunctions employed in the construction. Load-bearing walls and related wooden elements that have been severely eroded by the channeling of water is one of the most frequently encountered problems in adobe architecture. Successful stabilization, restoration, and the ultimate survival of the historic adobe building depend upon efficiency of the structure to shed water. 3. Animals: Mice may travel through adobe walls as they do through natural soil. They tend to live in adobe structures, burrowing and nesting in walls or in foundations. The adobe deterioration problem reported for some parts of the load-bearing walls of the dwelling from their interior side is due to the presence of mice, which dug holes and tunnels in order to freely circulate within the building tissue. These animals undermine and destroy the structural soundness of the adobe building. 4. Material incompatibilities: The cracks caused on the surface coating of the walls are due either to poor craftsmanship and poor quality of the plaster or inadequate connection to the adobe walls. 5. Vandalism: The corrosion problem observed in the adobe bricks forming the outer eastern corner is the result of the violent demolition of the adjacent historic dwelling without taking any appropriate measures and the long time needed to fully restore it. It can be assessed that the major cracks that occur in both the exterior walls as well as the partition ones are contained within the plaster, whereas satisfactory condition is noted for the stone masonry of the base, for the adobe brick masonry of the walls above, and for the timber ties, wherever visible at the current state. We can assess that the damages that appear in the building are localized cracks in some piers and windowsills that go no deeper than the plaster. In addition, the wood of the timber ties, the wooden planks, and the wooden beams of the floors are assessed to be in relatively good condition, considering the age. The main construction material adobe is homogenous and in excellent condition in the parts of the building left untouched by the influence of environmental factors. It has survived and endured the climatic factors (humidity, rainfall, temperature fluctuation) of the place until today, fulfilling its predicted performance (Heathcote 1995). Summing up, we can assess that, the primary cause of material deterioration is exposure to moisture and dampness, which influence the strength of adobe bricks, and eventually allow for the degradation of the material structure. Occasional poor craftsmanship, lack of proper maintenance, and unpredicted existence of mice are additional causes of deterioration. It is also worth noticing that the dwelling was not damaged by the earthquake activity, which took place recently in the area (Figures 18 and 19).

4. STRATEGY FOR INTERVENTION The proposed strategy of intervention aims at improving the available bearing capacity of the building particularly with respect to a possible future seismic event, taking into account the recommendations for the analysis, conservation and structural restoration of architectural heritage that has been recently approved by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS, Paris, France), placing emphasis on the contribution of the structural engineer to thoroughly survey and understand the structural behavior and material characteristics of heritage buildings
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Figure 18. Photograph of the main facade of the dwelling at its current state (figure is provided in color online).

(Lourenco 2006). Indeed, the compatibility of the restoration technology may be ensured only by understanding the building as the product of a specific technological civilization. Preserving and restoring a historic adobe building is most successful when the materials and methods used for restoration are as similar as possible to the techniques used in the original construction (Oxley 2003). 4.1. Preservation and Bracing Decisions The decisions concerning the preservation and bracing of the building are based on the following criteria:          Conservation of the original historical materials and workmanship Conservation of the buildings original technology Identification and correction of the sources causing the deterioration Development of a restoration plan that is sensitive to the integrity of the historic adobe building Proposed repairs that are reversible and do not cause damage to important fabric if they have to be removed Use of materials and construction techniques very similar to or at least compatible with those used in the original structure Difficulty and precariousness of combining the adobe brick elements with contemporary materials such as concrete or steel Structural performance that the building has shown throughout its life-span Difficulty of the preexisting system of construction and materials to comply with the new building codes (Goodhew and Griffithr 2005)

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Figure 19. Photograph of the north facade of the dwelling at its current state (figure is provided in color online).

 Careful cost estimation, which will determine an economically viable budget for the restoration  Development of a maintenance plan once the restoration is competed. Based on these parameters the proposed intervention addresses root causes aiming at: 1) the replacement of weak bearing and non bearing elements with stronger ones; 2) the protection of bearing and non bearing elements from humidity and erosion; and 3) the reinforcement of the structural system of the building against seismic forces without disturbing its existing structural system and load transferring pattern. 4.2. Proposed Measures for Intervention To achieve these goals, the following measures are proposed: repairing adobe walls; replacing adobe walls; replacing old surface coating; replacing and repairing of

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the clay tile roofs; replacing timber ties; repairing and replacing wooden elements (windows, doors, floors); structural reinforcement; addressing mechanical considerations; and maintenance (Forsyth 2008). 4.2.1. Repairing adobe walls In repairing adobe walls, every effort will be made to find adobe bricks and mud mortar that is compatible with the fabric of the historic adobe building. Cavities will be repaired using adobe with a texture and color similar to the original raw material. They are to be filled in layers; each layer being left to dry before being scored to provide a mechanical key before the next is applied. The holes are finally overfilled and the surface is pared to the line of the wall. When an individual adobe brick has partially disintegrated, it may be patched in place. The deteriorated material may be scraped out and replaced with appropriate adobe brick. It is necessary to spray the new adobe and surrounding area lightly with water to facilitate a better bond. In many cases, it is recommended that fragments of the original adobe brick may be grounded up, mixed with water, and reused to patch the eroded area. In repairing cracks in adobe walls which are minimal (only 10 cm in depth or less), it is necessary to rake out the cracks to a depth a two or three times the width of a mortar joint to obtain a mechanical bond of the mortar to the adobe bricks. The bricks are sprayed lightly with water to increase the cohesive bond. New adobe mud mortar may then be used to fill the cracks in layers. The mud mortar is to match the original material, color, and texture. It is important to not replace adobe mud mortar with lime or Portland cement mortar since they do not have the same thermal expansion rate as adobe brick. With the continual thermal expansion and contraction of adobe bricks, lime or Portland cement mortars will cause the bricks the weaker materials to crack, crumble, and eventually disintegrate (Cornerstones Community Partnerships 2006). 4.2.2. Replacing adobe walls When it is impossible to repair an adobe wall or major parts of it because of excessive structural damage, it is then necessary to rebuild the wall determining how to best key in the new wall with the existing wall. Adobe bricks similar to the original raw material will be used following the pattern the original adobes were laid so that the joints alternate from course to course. A maximum of three to four courses will be laid in every 23 days, allowing ample time for the mud mortar joints to dry, since adding too many courses in a short period of time may cause the adobes to shift. It is also recommended to reuse any wooden ties from the original construction as possible. Small-scale repairs are made by cutting out the eroded bricks and rebuilding damaged or deteriorated parts of the walls using similar adobe bricks laid with mud mortar of the same properties as the bricks. Traditional adobe construction techniques and materials are suggested for use to repair or rebuild parts of the walls (Keefe 2005). 4.2.3. Replacing old surface coating The old surface coating suffers from natural deterioration and needs to be replaced. Recommendations are removal down to the substrate of the walls, all the way to the adobe original material. This process will be done with care not to damage the adobe brick fabric underneath. Every effort will be made to recoat the surfaces with the same material that originally coated the surface, which is lime plaster. Lime is one of the most sustainable, reversible, and compatible
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materials for use with adobe historic buildings because of a number of characteristics that define its chemical and mechanical advantages on adobe walls (McHenry 1984): 1. Stickiness lime binds gently, adhering to surfaces even without the use of a metal lath; 2. Durability lime is very durable if successfully applied and infinitely repairable; 3. Breathability lime dries out buildings and avoids condensation problems it allows healthy buildings with evaporative surfaces and a maintained equilibrium of moisture content in the fabric, reducing timber decay and the need for chemical treatment; 4. Low thermal conductivity lime is warmer than cement plasters in cold weather and also improves conditions in hot weather; 5. Beneficial acoustic properties; and 6. Autogenous healing lime develops may small cracks instead of individual large cracks that occur in cement plastered buildings. When water penetrates these fine cracks, it dissolves free lime and brings it to the surface. As water evaporates, the lime is deposited and begins to heal the cracks itself), protection (lime is a fire retardant, protecting timber) (US Department of the Interior 2004). All bearing walls will be covered with new lime plaster, as indicated by current practices in order to stabilize the structure. In preparation for application of the lime plaster, limewater will be used in wetting the substrate, which increases the adhesive and cohesive characteristics of the adobe. A chemical bond is formed between the lime and the mud, as the limewater dries and re-carbonates in the adobe walls. The most common local weatherproofing and durable treatment is a permeable lime plaster of three parts washed concrete sand to one part lime putty applied in three coats. Such a lime based plaster is designed to prevent erosion and abrasion of the adobe substrate while allowing the free passage of water and a degree of thermal and moisture expansion to take place. This is supported on an expanded mesh of galvanized wire fixed to the wall with galvanized nails of sufficient length to securely attach it. The metal mesh serves the plaster to adhere to adobe substrates and protects the wall fabric against cracking. This way the structural performance of the bearing wall system will be improved in both vertical and horizontal direction. In addition the structure will be better protected against humidity and other environmental conditions. Also, vertical and horizontal corners where plaster meets wood surfaces (i.e.. window and door frames) will also be waterproofed and reinforced with metal mesh to prevent cracking and spalling. The first coat serves to fill low spots and small voids and to provide a flat, uniform surface for application of the final coats. Plaster will be applied with force. The second coat will be applied with adequate force to prevent cracking and then leveled with a straightedge to a thickness that covers irregularities in the leveling coat. The finish coat of lime plaster may be slightly richer (use more lime) than the leveling or second coat. Finally, color coat will be applied on the stucco surface instead of paints of oil or synthetic plastic base, which tend to form a moisture barrier causing cracks and peeling. 4.2.4. Replacing and repairing of the clay tile roofs A watertight roof is essential in the preservation of a historic structure. The roof of the garden building will

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be completely replaced; any historic material that might be incorporated into the new roof will be carefully selected, stored, and reused. The new roof will be constructed with its original form and detailing using similar materials, and will not be heavier than the roof it is replacing. The old clay tile roof of the main building is intended for restoration and maintenance with its original form and materials. A thorough examination of the roof is recommended to start with an appraisal of the existing condition and quality of the roofing material itself. Before any repair work is performed, a complete internal and external inspection of the roof will be planned to determine all the causes of leaking and to identify the alternatives for repair. It appears that the roof structure is sound and that the leaking problem is limited to deteriorated gutters, flashing, and downspouts. Roof drains will be replaced in kind to match the historic material to secure protection against rainfall erosion. Copper is preferred for use in historic clay tile roofs because of its durability and long-lasting qualities. The historical wooden trusses of the main dwelling will be conserved. All timber that may be affected by leaks in the roof will be examined carefully and repaired if needed. Reinforcement of their knots is also recommended. This way, all vertical roof loads will be fully transferred to the bearing walls and the structure will be insulated against humidity and other environmental factors. The roof structure is to be concealed. Therefore, it may provide a cavity space within, in which insulation materials may be efficiently used. In addition, the old clay tiles will be retained and reused. They are not only one of the most distinctive historic roofing material because of their shape, color, profile, pattern, and texture, but they are also harder and better suited to weather the erosive action of rainwater. The tiles appear to be intact but no longer securely attached to the roof substrate due to deterioration of the fastening system or roofing members. The old tile roof is to be stripped of all its tiles very carefully since old clay tiles are inherently fragile, in order to re-lay the tiles with new fastenings. All roof tiles will be numbered and a diagram will be drawn showing the location of each tile to ensure that it is reinstalled in its original location. The tiles will be reattached one-by-one, after the necessary repairs have been made to the roof. The use of traditional lime mortar is recommended because it is more watertight and compatible with the old clay tiles (US Department of the Interior 2004). 4.2.5. Replacing timber ties The vulnerability of timber ties to decay depends on the quality and species of timber. It is essential to identify the type of decay mechanisms and provide specific solutions to prevent their continued activity at present. Timber ties will be replaced with similar timber ties wherever needed without disturbing their original system. In some cases, instead of replacement, reinforcement and repairing of the existing ones may be recommended. The particular detailing of their joints can also be examined and either redesigned or simply reinforced. 4.2.6. Repairing and replacing wooden elements (windows, doors, floors) Historic wooden windows, doors, floors, staircases, and other original details are an important aspect of the architectural character of the building. Their design, craftsmanship, and other qualities make them worthy of preservation. Evaluating their significance and planning for their repair is a complex process. The primary emphasis is on the issues of their significance and repair including evaluation of their physical condition, techniques of repair, and design considerations when
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replacement is necessary. More specifically, the key to successful planning for fenestration restoration is a careful evaluation of existing physical conditions on a unit-by-unit basis. In any evaluation, it is essential to note the fenestration location, the condition of the paint, and the condition of the frame, sill, and sash. Many factors such as poor design, moisture, vandalism, insert attack, and lack of maintenance can contribute to wood deterioration, but moisture is the primary contributing factor in wooden fenestration decay. All fenestration units will be inspected to see if water is entering around the edges of the frame and, if so, the joints or seams will be caulked to eliminate this danger. One clue to the location of areas of excessive moisture is the condition of the paint; therefore, each fenestration will be examined for areas of paint failure. The key to longevity lies in the importance of good detailing, keeping the timbers free of dampness, and implementing regular and appropriate maintenance. Following the inspection and analysis of the results, the scope of the necessary repairs will be evident and a plan for the restoration may be formulated. Generally the actions necessary to return fenestration to like new condition falls into three broad categories: routine maintenance procedures, structural stabilization, and wood restoration and conservation techniques. Routine maintenance repairs are usually labor intensive and relatively uncomplicated. It normally includes the following steps: some degree of interior and exterior paint removal, sash removal and repair (including re-glazing where necessary), repairs to the frame, weather-stripping and reinstallation of the sash, and repainting. Following such relatively simple repairs, the fenestration becomes weather tight, like new in appearance, and serviceable for many years to come. Both the historic material and the detailing and craftsmanship of the original fenestration are preserved (US Department of the Interior 2004). Some fenestration show some additional degree of physical deterioration, especially in the vulnerable areas mentioned previously, but even badly damaged fenestration may be repaired using simple processes. Partially decayed wood can be waterproofed, patched, built-up, or consolidated and then painted to achieve a sound condition, good appearance, and greatly extended life. One established technique for repairing wood that shows signs of rot is to dry the wood; treat decayed areas with a fungicide; waterproof with two or three applications of boiled linseed oil; fill cracks and holes with putty; and after a skin forms on the putty paint the surface. Wood may also be strengthened and stabilized by consolidation, using epoxies that saturate the porous decayed wood and then harden. When parts of the frame or sash are so badly deteriorated that they cannot be stabilized there are methods that permit the retention of some of the original fabric. These methods involve replacing the deteriorated parts with new matching pieces, or splicing new wood into existing members. The techniques require more skill and are more expensive than any of the previously discussed alternatives. It may be necessary to remove the sash and/or the affected parts of the frame and have a carpenter reproduce the damaged or missing parts (US Department of the Interior 2004). In addition, all wooden elements embedded in the historic building will be examined carefully for moisture contents that favor decay and insect attacks. The various wood restoration and conservation techniques needed may be grouped as partial or complete replacement, mechanical reinforcement, consolidation by impregnation, and reinforcement and consolidation. It is important to keep in mind that an old wood contains valuable information about the building of which it is a part; therefore
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repair is advisable before replacement. There are various techniques of wood restoration recommended (US Department of the Interior 2004): 1. Timber-to-timber repairs. In traditional carpentry, timber-to-timber repair is the most obvious choice when selecting a technique. Where old wood is being partly replaced, the new wood is carefully inserted into the old wood where the unsound old wood has been neatly chiseled away and usually undercut. 2. Metal reinforcement. Such a repair choice has been used for centuries in timber construction. Steel scrap and threaded bars can be the most cost-effective and conservative repair (reversible apart from a few screw or bolt holes). 3. Resin repairs. Resin repair allows a piece to be retained that otherwise would be discarded forever. Glues and resins are specialist materials that are to be used in the correct conditions and strictly to manufacturers instructions.

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Although the retention of original fenestration is the guiding principle for the restoration project, there is a point when the condition of a specific fenestration may clearly indicate replacement. If some parts are still sound enough there may be retained and patches inserted. When deteriorated wooden elements of the historic building need replacement, it is best to use materials compatible with the historic material; the new material will match the details and craftsmanship of the original as well as the color, surface texture, surface reflectivity, and finish of the original material. The decision process for selecting replacement fenestration will not begin with a survey of the contemporary products that are available as replacements, but with a look at the original fenestration which are being replaced. It will attempt to understand and record the contribution of the fenestration to the appearance of the facade, the pattern of the openings and their size, the frame and sash proportions, the configuration of frames and profiles, the type of wood, the paint color, the glass characteristics, and all associated details such as other decorative elements (US Department of the Interior 2004). 4.2.7. Structural reinforcement The historic building is intended to be structurally reinforced to survive earthquakes without damaging its integrity and significance. Planning the retrofit of the case study dwelling is a process that requires teamwork on the part of engineers and architects. A number of seismic strengthening schemes will be examined, developed, and studied to determine their compatibility with existing construction; reliability; redundancy; impact on architectural, mechanical, and electrical systems; suitability for phasing of construction work; costs; and detailed implementation requirements. Recognition of the configuration of the historic structure and inherent areas of weakness are essential to addressing appropriate alternatives for seismic retrofit. The plan and elevation are as important as building materials as structural systems in determining the historic buildings survival in an earthquake. The restoration plan will include a system of reinforcement that will be introduced sensitively and is reversible to the greatest extent possible to allow removal for future use of improved systems and traditional repair of remaining historic materials; its design, placement, patterning, and detailing respects the historic character and integrity of the building whether hidden or exposed.
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The historic building will be seismic upgraded using a flexible approach to the building codes for moderate earthquakes. To ensure the survival of the structure and satisfaction of some minimum requirements in an earthquake, inherent seismic deficiencies of the building such as poor floor to wall framing connections, non-braced adobe walls and lack of an effective roof diaphragm are recommended to be corrected (US Department of the Interior 2004). The formation of a stiff peripheral zone (i.e., a timber diaphragm compatible to the original materials that will provide a level base for the roof) will improve the performance of the bearing walls under seismic forces. In addition, a floor diaphragm will be provided by replacing the worn-out wooden floor planks with sufficiently thick, strong plywood, which will be nailed on the main beams and connected to the vertical elements of the building (the adobe walls). This way, the philosophy of the transfer of vertical loads of the intermediate floors to the bearing walls will be maintained, assuring improved stiffness to avoid undesired deflections. At the same time a stronger diaphragm action will also be achieved at the same location as in the original building, which contributes to the better performance of the bearing walls during earthquakes. 4.2.8. Addressing mechanical considerations Water, waste, and vent piping along with electrical systems will be installed to accommodate current needs of the new owners. Moreover, an appropriate heating system (i.e., a radiant panel-type system) will be chosen which will take advantage of, or at least recognize, the thermal mass and lag effect of adobe walls. The selected mechanical system will require the least intrusion into the historic fabric of the building and could be updated or altered without major intervention into the wall and floor systems. The primary focus will be to describe ways to achieve the maximum energy savings in the historic building without jeopardizing its architectural, cultural and historical qualities (Weaver 1997). 4.2.9. Maintenance As soon as restoration will be completed, a plan of continuing maintenance will be initiated. Cracking in adobe walls and all water leaks will be noted and remedied at their earliest possible stages. The roof will be inspected periodically for broken tiles and for leaks in the interior of the building. Surface coatings will also be inspected frequently and repaired or replaced as needed. Observing adobe buildings for subtle changes and performing maintenance on a regular basis is recommended in order to stabilize a historic adobe building (Weaver 1997). 5. CONCLUSIONS The historic dwelling discussed above is a significant part of local cultural heritage and deserves to be preserved for future generations. Today, it is unoccupied, neglected, and exposed to environmental elements. It offers an opportunity for an application of the restoration techniques and the methodology of intervention discussed herein. This article records and interprets all the data of the building from the architectural, technological, and structural points of view. The restoration proposal follows the assessment and analysis of the historic evolution of the building as well as the diagnosis of the damages the dwelling has undergone. On the completion of the architecturalstructural analysis, it is evident that the notion of typology and architectural character is considered and examined as a value that with the aesthetichistorical values and the construction qualityauthenticity, which heavily depends
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on adobe bricks and timber ties, constitute the main criteria regarding its preservation and restoration. In conclusion, to attempt a competent preservation and maintenance of an adobe building is a unique challenge that requires to develop an in-depth knowledge of adobe as a construction material, understanding the adobe historic building as a system, and understanding the forces of nature that seek to return the building at its original state. Such restoration may serve to sustain the embedded knowledge about traditional construction materials and techniques and even support it scientifically.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The authors would like to thank Professor Elli Vintzileou for her patient advice, criticism and discussion throughout the writing process. We are also very grateful for the laboratory tests she carried out at the Laboratory of Reinforced Concrete, National Technical University of Athens (Athens, Greece).

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