Blog – Historical Restoration

Peer Review Challenges with a Historic Building

In the span of over a decade, a major cell service provider outfitted a historic metro-west Boston building as a cell service tower.  The work included installing an equipment room in the attic space, installing cell signal transmitters in the …

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Custom Approach to Roof Deck Designs

Back in the 1970’s, a stately Back Bay mansion was converted to condominiums.  The roof was later divided among the two top level units for private roof decks.  In the days before the Massachusetts State Building Code got tough on …

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Anchor Testing in the Field

1. WHEN IT’S TIME FOR AN ANCHOR TEST Anchor manufacturers publish a dizzying array of data about their fasteners’ capacity in various substrates under various conditions.  It’s often the structural engineer’s task to identify the most appropriate anchor for the …

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Historical McLauthlin Elevator Building: Part 2

In our previous blog post we talked about restoring the iconic iron-clad façade of the McLauthlin Elevator Building, however we have been working at this building for a number of years.  12 years ago, this building, over 100 years old …

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The Origins of Yellow Staining

By Robert G. Wilkin, P.E. CBI recently completed a project to recoat the stone on a 200-year-old mill building.  The project was designed under the requirements of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, so the recoated stone needed to match its previous …

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Winter Bidding = Lower Costs?

By Michael S. Teller, A.I.A., NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Principal Bidding strategies vary, but in the world of restoration and repair, bidding work in the winter has some advantages.  Building envelope and historical restoration work must occur in the warm …

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Slate Roofing, Outlasting the Competition

By Jonathan Stevens, Assoc. AIA, LEED BD+C Slate roofing has been around for hundreds of years and adorns many historic buildings.  Architects and designers choose slate because it is beautifully elegant and a highly durable roofing material.  Slate, as we …

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Designing Easy to Use Operable Windows

By Steven Watchorn, LEED AP BD+C & Jenne dos Santos In addition to a window’s primary function of letting natural light into buildings, operable windows also provide a stronger connection to the outdoors allowing users to control natural ventilation and, …

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Sidewalk Vaults

By Stephen McDermott In Boston, Massachusetts and other older established cities, some vintage structures were built with basement spaces that extended below public sidewalks.  These basement vaults, or typically described as hollow sidewalks, were used to store goods and receive …

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