Patterns and monitoring of decay
Published:January 01, 2007
Decay mapping and condition assessment have proved to be useful tools in understanding stone decay and identification of remedial action. In this paper an holistic strategy is taken to the study of façade decay at the medieval Bonamargy Friary, on the north Antrim coast, Northern Ireland. After lithology and decay forms are mapped, interrelationships between decay form, stone type and environment are identified and quantified. This is accomplished through analysis of the spatial association of decay forms, and is used to inform our understanding of decay processes and environmental and lithological controls on those processes. This approach is combined with the application of the UAS (‘Unit’, ‘Area’, ‘Spread’) staging system developed by Warke et al. that is based upon a ‘whole-building’ approach to the assessment of stone condition, the spread to decay and a staged approach to conservation intervention. The case study demonstrates how the combination of these approaches improves our understanding of the factors that control stone decay whilst providing a clearer understanding of the cumulative impact of combined decay mechanisms.
Figures & Tables
Building Stone Decay: From Diagnosis to Conservation
Stone buildings and monuments from the cultural centres of many of the world's urban areas. Frequently these areas are prone to high levels of atmospheric pollution that promote a variety of aggressive stone decay processes. Because of this, stone decay is now widely recognized as a severe threat to much of our cultural heritage. If this threat is to be successfully addressed it is essential that the symptoms of decay are clearly identified, that appropriate stone properties are accurately characterized and that decay processes are precisely identified. It is undoubtedly the case that successful conservation has to be underpinned by a comprehensive understanding of the causes of decay and the factors that control them. The accomplishment of these demanding goals requires an interdisciplinary approach based on co-operation between geologists, environmental scientists, chemists, material scientists, civil engineers, restorers and architects. In pursuit of this collaboration, this volume aims to strengthen the knowledge base dealing with the causes, consequences, prevention and solution of stone decay problems.