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detecting reinforcement & dimensions of existing columns & foudations

detecting reinforcement & dimensions of existing columns & foudations

detecting reinforcement & dimensions of existing columns & foudations

hello all,
I have a 30 years old building and the owener is planning to build additional one floor, there are no drawings.
Are there ways to detect the reinforcement and dimensions of the existing columns? same question for foundation knowing that there is a basement floor.
Your help is highly appreciated.  


RE: detecting reinforcement & dimensions of existing columns & foudations

At 30 years old, I am assumming you have tried to locate the drawings with the client, building department, original engineer and/or original architect?

Column reinforcing, as long as it is not too conjested, can be located using a covermeter by someone with experience. Architectural finishes will have to be removed. Some of the more expensive covermeters can also determine bar size as well as depth. Vertical bars and ties would have to be located. Some destructive testing is recommended to confirm the covermeter results on a random sampling basis.

Xray can be used but it can be expensive and there still needs to be some destructive testing as cover depth cannot easily be determined by Xray, and could be limited by column size.

Determing info about the foundations, without drawings, is very likely going to require test pits, i.e. destructive testing.


RE: detecting reinforcement & dimensions of existing columns & foudations

Are they concrete columns??  Then maybe an X-ray or other type of testing could be done.  Or just check the columns as if they had minimal reinforcement.

For the footing - drill some holes in the basement floor and find out how big the footing is.

If the building is over 50 years old - BE CAREFUL.. I have found many problems with these older buildings - esp the ones built right after WWII

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