the Colaborative Inc

U.S. Court House - Texas

Client: Walk, Haydel & Associates, Inc.

Site: Austin, Texas

As part of a Historic Structure Report, the Collaborative completed an analysis of the mortars for this historically significant federal courthouse. The native Texas limestone exterior cladding had been “sealed,“ creating increased deterioration of the mortar due to moisture, especially at head and bed joints of the parapet coping. The various pointing projects undertaken in the past were identified in the field and then confirmed by the firm through laboratory analysis. The presence of fibers, the color of the sand, size and gradation of the sand, and overall mortar mix were also determined in the analysis. This project is typical of most mortar analyses and resulted in a report specifying both original and appropriate repointing mortar mixes, which are not always the same. An evaluation of masonry deterioration is also a part of such a report, because such problems affect mortar condition. In the U.S. Court House in Austin, the underlying concrete structure was shrinking, causing unrelieved stress in the limestone veneer. The Collaborative recommended measures to relieve such stress, using an unobtrusive, cost-effective, and historically appropriate technique.