A Site With Useful Information And An Unfortunate Name

by Don Friedman on September 14, 2017


Preservation engineering (or conservation engineering outside of North America) is relatively new and suffers from a number of problems common to newish subfields. The biggest problem, from my perspective anyway, is a lack of basic common information. If I want to explain to clients energy-code issues with glass curtain walls, there are any number of resources I can point them to. But if I want to discuss the problems with say, increasing loads on cast-iron columns, I’m on my own. I don’t mind starting from scratch, but it’s often easier and more persuasive if there is a good public resource to use.

Enter the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK) and their Best Practices guides. One of those guides, in among the information on contracts, risk codes, and other modern connects, is the Conservation Information Resource. It’s basically an annotated bibliography, written by Bill Addis, a lifelong devotee to engineering conservation. Even though the format is simple, I find it very useful, as it gathers together in one place a number of disparate resources. It’s UK-centric, as one would expect, but fortunately the issues at hand are based on materials and engineering analysis and therefore translate well.

The site is so good that I have nothing but praise for its content. I do have a quibble about its name: Conservation Information Resource for Civil Engineers is shown as abbreviated as CIRCE. In my opinion, neither Circe nor her current-day namesake is someone I would look to for freely-given help.

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