Cumming Hall - Nova Scotia Architectural College

Bible Hill – Colchester County, Nova Scotia

Historic restoration of exterior load bearing masonry walls.
(Date Original Building Completed: 1904)

Owner: Province of Nova Scotia
Client: Nova Scotia Department of Supply and Services
(now Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works)

Consulting Services by J.W. Cowie Engineering Limited:

1. Engineering Investigation:

  • Investigation of the exterior walls revealed the following:
  • The walls were bulged outward from the building and not anchored to the floors.
  • Through wall cracking extended throughout the walls.
  • The original mortar throughout the walls was a lime/sand mortar with no cement.  The mortar had little compressive strength and no bond strength.
  • Past repairs disfigured the appearance of the walls and did not address the significant structural defects.

2. Restoration Design Drawings and Specifications for Tendering:

  • The restoration design drawings and specifications required the following:
  • Provide flexural strength to the walls by installing vertical reinforcing steel extending from the first floor to roof.
  • Rebuild portions of the walls.
  • Anchor the walls to the first floor, second floor, and roof.
  • Repoint and clean the walls throughout.
  • Mortar mix throughout the entire construction was a hydrated lime/Portland cement/sand mortar mix.
  • Fascia, Cornice, Gutters and Rainwater Leaders:
  • Remove existing painted aluminum construction and replace with lead-coated copper sheeting.  Profile of cornice to match 1904 construction.

3. Consulting Services During Construction:

  • Provided restoration design details to resolved concealed construction defects.
  • Inspection and testing.
  • Administrated the Contract on behalf of the Owner.

 



01. North (front) elevation and West elevation of Cumming Hall prior to Cowie restoration.




02. Front entrance and partial North elevation of Cumming Hall prior to Cowie restoration.




03. Partial West elevation of Cumming Hall prior to Cowie restoration.




04. Previous restoration of facia and gutters using painted sheet aluminium prior to Cowie restoration.




05. Front gable wall with dimension sandstone masonry arch above main entrance prior to Cowie restoration.




06. Vertical steel beams placed against exterior face of brick masonry wall by Owner prior to Cowie investigation/restoration, in an effort to keep bulged and cracked load bearing masonry walls from collapsing outwards




07. Bulged brickwork at the upper portion of the wall shown in photograph 06.




08. Additional example of vertical steel beams placed against face of brick masonry walls by Owner in attempt to restrain bulged brickwork. Photograph taken before Cowie restoration.




09. Close-up of upper portion of bulged brickwork shown in photograph 08.




10. Cowie restoration: Face brick removed exposing deteriorated condition of inner wythes of brickwork. Vertical saw cut chases made in brickwork to permit strengthening with reinforced concrete.




11. Cowie restoration: Face brick removed exposing deteriorated condition of inner wythes of brickwork. Vertical saw cut chases made in brickwork to permit strengthening with reinforced concrete.




12. Cowie restoration: Face brick removed exposing deteriorated condition of inner wythes of brickwork. Vertical saw cut chases made in brickwork to permit strengthening with reinforced concrete.




13. Strengthening of existing timber roof trusses and restoring anchorages at exterior load bearing wall pilasters.




14. Strengthening detail at bearing end of existing timber roof truss.




15. Exterior masonry wall, strengthening timber roof framing, and anchorage of wall to roof framing.




16. Horizontal trusses within attic to provide lateral support to exterior masonry walls.




17. Typical anchorage of exterior masonry walls to timber floor decking of building.




18. Example of anchorage plate for connection of exterior masonry wall to timber floor deck of building.




19. Restored fascia, cornice and roof gutter system with lead-coated sheet copper. Profile of cornice conforms to original profile (1904). Portion of original profile was found in attic, from which restoration drawings were developed.




20. View of restored gutter and lead-coated sheet cornice and fascia.




21. Lead-coated sheet copper fascia and new gutter system.




22. Fascia, cornice and gutter restored with lead-coated sheet copper.




23. Restored leaded copper fascia.




24. Restored leaded copper fascia and cornice restored with lead-coated sheet copper.




25. Restored stone masonry arch, lead-coated sheet copper cornice and fascia.




26. Lead-coated sheet copper fascia on gable end at front of building.




27. New rainwater leader and collector made of lead-coated copper sheeting.




28. North and West elevations of Cumming Hall after Cowie restoration. Compare with photo 01. taken prior to Cowie restoration.




29. Front (North) elevation subsequent to Cowie restoration.




30. Front (North) elevation of Cumming Hall subsequent to Cowie restoration.




31. West elevation of Cumming Hall subsequent to Cowie restoration. Refer to photo 03 of West elevation taken prior to Cowie restoration.


 


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HALIFAX OFFICE
1046 Barrington Street, Suite 200
Halifax Nova Scotia B3H 2R1
(902) 422 4493

TORONTO OFFICE
c/o Konsolidated Structural
306 - 2968 Dundas Street West
Toronto Ontario M6P 1Y8
(416) 762-3224

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


HALIFAX OFFICE
1046 Barrington Street, Suite 200
Halifax Nova Scotia B3H 2R1
(902) 422 4493

TORONTO OFFICE
c/o Konsolidated Structural
306 - 2968 Dundas Street West
Toronto Ontario M6P 1Y8
(416) 762-3224