Treatise on Condition Surveys for Concrete and Masonry Structures

Condition assessments of structures are performed for various purposes and for various causes. Consultants who are involved in repairs/retrofitting of structures should possess knowledge and experience of different causes that lead to deterioration of structures as well as expertise in analyzing the evidences collected through visual inspection as well as instrumentation. Strict quality control and good construction practices are also key factors that contribute to durable structures.

The quality of construction in our country has not risen to such a level for categorizing it as good, leave excellent. In such a situation, the potential of repairs and rehabilitation field is immense for the next at least 50 year. Concentrated R&D efforts in the field of repairs and rehabilitation supported by Government, is a need of the hour in order to develop controlled and organized restoration system across the country. Some initiative is needed from Government to attract good and intelligent manpower to the field of R&D and repairs to promote this field, looking at the potential.


Chetan R Raikar, Structwel Designers & Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai

Introduction

Condition assessment/survey of Civil Engineering structures needs great amount of knowledge and experience of practically all the aspects of construction namely structural design, material behavior, construction techniques, failure assessment etc. Condition assessment can be for many purposes. To enlist a few:
  1. Assessing life expectancy
  2. Insurance purpose
  3. Pre-repair / restoration effort
  4. Assessing age related damage
  5. Assessing the damage caused by Calamities like earthquake / fire / flood / blast etc
  6. Assessment of structural stability of buildings in the vicinity of infrastructure construction in metros
  7. Early age damage due to design deficiency
Condition assessment can also be carried out to plan a maintenance strategy particularly for industrial plants.

Knowledge of why structures fail is as important as to know why they don't. A Consultant hence must be a combination of a structural engineer, a material scientist, a construction expert, a testing expert. Teams can be / shall be formed involving team members possessing various skills mentioned above.
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NBM&CW June 2011
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