TJENG Volume 2017

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Estimation of Timber Members’ Properties Combining Direct and Indirect Information: Two Applications

Dulce Henriques, A. Cândido
Keywords: Timber members, Ancient buildings, Mechanical properties, Visual strength grading, NDT/SDT
In conservation or rehabilitation works of ancient buildings serious doubts are often raised about the real condition of its structural timber members. Improving the practical knowledge upon visual and local recognition of the members in service and their connections is therefore of huge importance. This subject is nowadays under discussion and international com- mittees (RILEM, COST E55, COST IE0601, COST FP1101) have recently promoted some guid- ance documents to support actions to assess the structural condition of timber members. This research presents two practical situations. The assessment of two pine wood structural ele- ments included in historic buildings located in the center of Lisbon city: a timber floor and a tim- ber roof truss. These structural elements, composed for several timber members were submitted to: i) visual strength grading according to national and international standards; ii) semi- destructive testing; iii) safety assessment. Methodologies for property estimation of timber mem- bers in service are applied and their results discussed. Through the development of this study it became clear the importance of visual inspection for this kind of cultural heritage buildings. The use of a visual strength grade standard specific for timber members in service is also very important. In this case, the standard used accepted four beams that would have been replaced if only other methods had been used. On the other hand, the closer estimation of the density of the elements leads to a more real safety assessment. This study gains great relevance in the current reality in which the industry of building rehabilitation is on the rise but is not always accompanied by the necessary technical knowledge of the technicians involved and often leads to the removal of timber structural members in perfect physical and mechanical conditions..


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