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From about 1880 to 1950, terra cotta was one of the major building materials used to clad significant architectural structures. Although terra cotta is used sparingly today, there are still a tremendous number of terra cotta buildings presently in service. Because of built-in design deficiencies and lack of adequate inspection and repair, an alarming number of these buildings have become a threat to public safety. Building departments are requiring more thorough inspections and repairs by more qualified people every year. Good technical support for the qualified inspector is essential. Technical support presently available is briefly discussed, as well as technical support in development.
masonry, walls, building materials, durability, tests, performance properties
Vice president, Elstner and Associates, Inc., Northbrook, Ill