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HP 306 Lab Project Assignments

Projects    Assignments

1. Mortar sampling

 

 

 

Photograph the mortar on the building before sampling. Note color, texture, and tooling marks. Remove three samples of the same type of mortar from separate nearby locations, each between 5 and 10 grams, (about the size of a thumbnail or a pat of butter). Place each sample in a separate sealable poly bag and label with the following information: your name, sample number, building name, building location, sample location, date of sampling. Bring your samples to the lab for project 2.

2. Basic mortar analysis

 

 

Perform a basic mortar analysis on two samples from your building. Save your third sample for future reference. Determine the proportions of aggregate, binder and fines by weight.

Analyze the aggregate through microscopic analysis and sieving. Record the results of your analysis for a professional report below with text, graphs and images that characterize the mortars with sufficient detail to enable a mason to duplicate the samples. The particle size distribution of the aggregate should be presented as a graph.
Link to procedure.

Download mortar analysis template Excel file.

Link to mortar analysis case study example.

3. Mortar matching

 

Based on your analysis from lab project 2, reproduce a mortar that matches your remaining mortar sample from project 1 and has a hardness appropriate for the location conditions of the sample. Present an illustrated bound written report that summarizes your findings from Project 2 and Project 3. Include a discussion of the existing conditions and characteristics of the mortar, describe the procedures and observations made through your analysis. Mention any considerations that should be observed by anyone planning to produce appropriate matching mortars for the building area sampled. Submit both an original sample and your cured reproduced mortar in labeled sealed poly bags attached to the report.
 4. Bricks   Select two bricks for analysis from the collection provided. Analyze the bricks and report your findings with sufficient detail so that similar bricks could be procured that match the color range, surface texture, size, and surface absorbency.
 5. Moisture, humidity, and rising damp You will each be assigned a surface area in Wheeler House where rising damp may be present. Record the temperature of the surface and the temperature and relative humidity of the air close to the area. Record the fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity over a 24 hour period using a digital data logger. Download this information and convert it into an Excel file that can be analyzed and included in your report. Survey the surface area visually and note evidence of rising damp. Record your findings on a grid map elevation of the area. Survey the relative subsurface moisture levels of the area with a moisture meter. Record your findings on a second grid map elevation of the area. Diagnose and report the sources of any rising damp. Present your findings in a short report with separate overlays for the visual evidence and for the subsurface moisture meter findings.
 6. Concrete, terrazzo, terra cotta, tile Select an area of concrete, terrazzo, terra cotta or tile in a UVM building or other suitable building.
Document its composition and condition.
Provide treatment recommendations for its maintenance and conservation. Submit your findings in a brief written report with illustrations.
 7. Plaster and parging Select an area of flat or ornamental plaster or parging in or on a UVM building or other suitable building.
Assess and document its condition. Provide treatment recommendations for its maintenance and conservation. Submit your findings in a brief written report with illustrations.
 8. Wood Assess the condition of the sample of wood that you will be given, including a determination of its moisture content and whether there is any evidence of deterioration from fungal or insect activity. After preparing an area for treatment, use appropriate consolidants and fillers to conserve a section of deteriorated wood. Leave some of the sample untreated for comparison. The work should be smoothed and primed so that it is ready for finish painting. Submit your conserved sample with a brief conservation treatment report that documents the initial conditions and the treatments and materials that you applied.
 9. Paint sampling   Select an historic building with some historic finishes in fair condition. Obtain permission from the owner to take several small paint samples in obscure areas. Remove two paint samples from different locations, each between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch square. Be sure the samples go entirely to the substrate. Place each sample in a sealable poly bag and label with the following information: sample number, building name, building location, sample location, date of sampling, your name.
10. Finishes analysis Perform a microscopic analysis of the cross sections of each sample to determine the number of layers of finishes. For each layer, describe the color and the closest Munsell color match, and test for the presence of lead carbonate pigments. Also note the type of coating for each layer.
11. Paint conditions survey and treatments   Select an historic building with some historic finishes in poor condition that have failed all the way to the substrates. Document the patterns of deterioration and identify the various conditions that may have contributed to the deterioration. Develop recommendations for treatment that address the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that have caused the deterioration. Provide specific recommendations for paint removal (if appropriate), substrate surface preparation, priming systems, and finishing techniques. List the specific products, colors and treatment techniques to be used.

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