ERA Architects

Conference in Charleston

Recently Andrew Pruss and Jan Kubanek traveled to Charleston, South Carolina to attend the Association for Preservation Technology International Conference, 2012.

Jan Kubanek presented on Sharon Temple, a fascinating project ERA has had the opportunity to work on for several years. Jan’s presentation focused on the importance of working collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team. In this project, ERA was able to make the best use of our multi-disciplinary team’s combined expertise in traditional construction carpentry and wood conservation. The team included a structural engineer specializing in heritage preservation and a carpenter with extensive experience at the Temple site.

Important as well, for both the condition assessment and the conservation approach we adopted, was the use of a diversity of diagnostic tools, from crawling in the dirt to inspect the Temple’s foundations, to more advanced technologies such as laser scanning.

Also presenting at the conference was our friend Gerard Lynch, a master mason and excellent speaker. He held a fascinating and fun two-day workshop on traditional limes, natural cements, and masonry techniques. It was amazing to see hydrated lime mortar being made from kiln-fired oyster shells, as well as a demonstration of the art of tuckpointing. For anyone interested in heritage masonry, Gerard is going to conduct similar courses at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works this October.

Thanks to the people at APTI for this conference: it was a great opportunity for architects, conservators, engineers, contractors, and artisans to share our knowledge, and to focus on the potential of productive collaboration in the work we do.

The top image depicts Drayton Hall, a 1738 Georgian Plantation now in the National Trust; the second image shows Sharon Temple restored; the image just above shows Gerard Lynch demonstrating tuckpointing; and the image below is a detail of the aforementioned oyster shells.