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Thursday, June 1 • 10:30am - 11:00am
(Architecture) Evaluation of an injudicious patch repair campaign on exposed reinforced concrete and how to move on

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The Vilanova Artigas Building, home to the School of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo (FAUUSP), located in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, is an iconic exposed reinforced concrete structure that has influenced generations of Brazilian architects. Built between 1967 and 1969, this building was designed by architects João Batista Vilanova Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi. Similar to many other modern historical properties, where reinforced concrete is exposed to the influence of natural elements, this building has been experiencing problems in conserving the concrete surfaces that characterize its façades.

In this case, the concrete surfaces are imprinted with the texture of the boards from the formwork with reinforcement placed very close to the surface, usually 10mm deep. After almost 50 years of exposure to CO2 and rain, carbonation has advanced over the reinforcement initiating corrosion and causing spalls in the concrete.

In 2010, concerned by the degradation of the roofing structure and the exposed reinforced concrete of the façades, the school initiated the process that culminated in the repair campaign of 2012-2015. The scope of this campaign was to replace the waterproofing system of the roof, substitute the deteriorated fiber-glass translucent skylights and to repair the reinforced concrete elements of the roof and façades. Despite the high cultural value of these elements, the professionals hired to develop and execute the solutions had little knowledge on the appropriate conservation methodologies for historic materials, albeit they were experts in concrete repair. Consequently, the materials and methods chosen for this intervention did not follow the criteria of compatibility and minimal loss to the original building material.

In an effort to avoid further risks associated with the addition of poorly specified patching material, this paper focuses on the analysis of the original concrete and the repairs executed between 2012 and 2015. In order to do this, the original concrete is being studied to determine its properties and components to subsidize the development of criteria for future patch repairs. The scientific analysis includes petrography, X-Ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, SEM, chemical analysis and mechanical tests. This is being complemented by a critical analysis of the entire process of the last repair campaign.

In addition, current conditions are being mapped through 3D laser scanning and the state of reinforcement corrosion will be evaluated through potential mapping and resistivity. This will indicate whether corrosion is currently localized or widespread. If corrosion is found to be localized, this is an important indicator that the patches are aggravating corrosion due to an electrochemical incompatibility to the original concrete.

This analysis will be used to guide future conservation efforts. The most important conclusion is the need to include conservation goals in every step of the process, from management to implementation. This work is part of the development of a Conservation Management Plan for the Vilanova Artigas Building funded by a Keeping It Modern Grant from the Getty Foundation.

avatar for Ana Paula Arato Gonçalves

Ana Paula Arato Gonçalves

researcher, Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade de São Paulo
Ana Paula Arato Gonçalves works as an architect specializing in conservation in São Paulo, Brazil. She has a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, where her thesis focused on early detection of corrosion on concrete reinforcement. She has... Read More →

avatar for Dr. Claudia T. de Andrade Oliveira

Dr. Claudia T. de Andrade Oliveira

Professor, Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade de São Paulo
Claudia T. de Andrade Oliveira is an engineer and currently works as professor of Construction Technology at the School of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo (FAUUSP). She holds a master and doctor degree in Materials and Components for the Construction Industry... Read More →

Thursday June 1, 2017 10:30am - 11:00am CDT
Crystal Ballroom A Lobby Level, West Tower