Electrical Effects during the Wetting-Drying Cycle of Porous Brickwork: Electrical Aspects of Rising Damp

Rising damp is an extremely complex phenomenon that is of great practical interest to the field of building conservation due to the irreversible damages it can make to old and historic structures. The electrical effects occurring in damp masonry have been scarcely researched and are a largely unknown aspect of rising damp. Present paper describes the typical electrical patterns occurring in porous brickwork during a wetting and drying cycle. It has been found that in contrast with dry masonry, where electrical phenomena are virtually non-existent, damp masonry exhibits a wide array of electrical effects. Long-term real-time measurements performed in the lab on small-scale brick structures, using an array of embedded micro-sensors, revealed significant voltage, current, capacitance and resistance variations which can be linked to the movement of moisture inside porous materials. The same measurements performed on actual old buildings revealed a similar behaviour, the electrical effects being more significant in areas of the brickwork affected by rising damp. Understanding these electrical phenomena contributes to a better understanding of the driving mechanisms of rising damp, potentially opening new avenues of dealing with it in a less invasive manner.

Barriers to Competitive Tenders in Building Conservation Works

Conservation works in Malaysia that is procured by public organisation usually follow the traditional approach where the works are tendered based on Bills of Quantities (BQ). One of the purposes of tendering is to enable the selection of a competent contractor that offers a competitive price. While competency of the contractors are assessed by their technical knowledge, experience and track records, the assessment of pricing will be dependent on the tender amount. However, the issue currently faced by the conservation works sector is the difficulty in assessing the competitiveness and reasonableness of the tender amount due to the high variance between the tenders amount. Thus, this paper discusses the factors that cause difficulty to the tenderers in pricing competitively in a bidding exercise for conservation tenders. Data on tendering is collected from interviews with conservation works contractors to gain in-depth understanding of the barriers faced in pricing tenders of conservation works. Findings from the study lent support to the contention that the variance of tender amount is very high amongst tenderers. The factors identified in the survey are the format of BQ, hidden works, experience and labour and material costs.

Conservation and Repair Works for Traditional Timber Mosque in Malaysia: A Review on Techniques

Building life cycle will never be excused from the existence of defects and deterioration. They are common problems in building, existed in newly build or in aged building. Buildings constructed from wood are indeed affected by its agent and serious defects and damages can reduce values to a building. In repair works, it is important to identify the causes and repair techniques that best suites with the condition. This paper reviews the conservation of traditional timber mosque in Malaysia comprises the concept, principles and approaches of mosque conservation in general. As in conservation practice, wood in historic building can be conserved by using various restoration and conservation techniques which this can be grouped as Fully and Partial Replacement, Mechanical Reinforcement, Consolidation by Impregnation and Reinforcement, Removing Paint and also Preservation of Wood and Control Insect Invasion, as to prolong and extended the function of a timber in a building. It resulted that the common techniques adopted in timber mosque conservation are from the conventional ways and the understanding of the repair technique requires the use of only preserve wood to prevent the future immature defects.

Preparation of Tender for Building Conservation Work: Current Practices in Malaysia

Building conservation work generally involves complex and non-standard work different from new building construction processes. In preparing tenders for building conservation projects, therefore, the quantity surveyor must carefully consider the specificity of non-standard items and demarcate the scope of unique conservation work. While the quantity surveyor must appreciate the full range of works to prepare a good tender document, he typically manages many unfamiliar elements, including practical construction methods, restoration techniques and work sequences. Only by fulfilling the demanding requirements of building conservation work can the quantity surveyor enhance his professionalism an area of growing cultural value and economic importance. By discussing several issues crucial to tender preparations for building conservation projects in Malaysia, this paper seeks a deeper understanding of how quantity surveying can better standardize tender preparation work and more successfully manage building conservation processes.