SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

The Montague Building and Watauga Hall: A Comparison of Predicted Service Life Based on Building Materials


Historic timber frame buildings can be renovated using a two-way flat-plate concrete floor system without “gutting” the entire building thereby eliminating costly bracing during construction. Historic timber frame buildings can also be rehabilitated by reinforcing, with steel, every joist and beam if testing and analysis requires this. Predicted service life of these two methods of construction can be vastly different, with the former proving more satisfactory in the long run and the latter barely meeting current building codes in the short term. The challenges for structural engineers are to convince developers that the former method will not jeopardize the tax credits so necessary in converting historic structures into serviceable buildings once again and to assist developers in obtaining historic certification from governmental agencies that administer the tax credit status of the project.

Author Information

Fischetti, DC
Consulting Engineer, P.A., Cary, NC
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Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 117–124
DOI: 10.1520/STP25463S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5153-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1398-5