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Jc67roch (Structural) (OP)
16 Mar 12 13:07
I am working on structural repairs at an old (1872) winery, and noted that the exterior walls are wood studs with the voids filled with concrete.  (see photo).  I am just wondering if anyone can give me background on this type of construction.  Was the concrete for thermal mass?  Stiffening the walls? On the gable ends it goess all the way up to the roof - and I am a little concerned about the weight of all this concrete on the old wooden structure (some leaning/sideway is evident).  And some of the concrete is leaning out of the stud pockets.  Can anyone shed light on this type of construction, and thoughts about removing the concrete?
dik (Structural)
16 Mar 12 14:13
1872 almost predates Portland Cement Concrete.

I've not encountered walls that have been constructed in that fashion, but I've encountered wood floors with a concrete slab/topping using different size members side by side to achieve some type of composite action.

With concrete adjacent to wood, if there is moisture can lead to dry rot.

Ron (Structural)
16 Mar 12 16:11
Looks like this was done by someone who didn't know what they were doing.  I agree with dik that PCC wasn't used much in that era, so it was likely done later...with some ill-conceived design or no design at all.

This could present a dangerous condition.  If one of the "slabs" of concrete comes loose from the studs, it could fall on someone or something....not good either way.

Warn your client that this is a potential danger and should be corrected.
Helpful Member!  shobroco (Structural)
16 Mar 12 20:27
This looks like nogging (pugging if in a floor between the joists) and was typically done with very soft brick and lime mortar, or clay & straw.  I have never seen concrete, but anything is possible.  It was usually done for soundproofing, fireproofing, and rudimentary insulation.  I've seen it in an 1816 house and several from the 1830s, but almost always using brick in the walls and lime mortar in floors.

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