LITHOLOGY AND GEOLOGY FOR ARCHITECTURE
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and understanding capabilities:
At the end of the course, the student will have a wide and critical view on the methods and techniques for the knowledge of construction materials and of its decay and conservation status.
At the end of the course the student will be able to identify all the material and pathological aspects which characterize a surface of an historical building and to assume as a base for the design of its restoration.
The student will have to develop the capability of evaluating critically the conservation status of a historical building, identifying the most suitable techniques for the specific case, looking for an equilibrium between conservation, safety and functionality.
During the course, the student will improve its correctness of speech, with specific reference to the technical terms of restoration, in order to communicate in an effective and precise way a restoration design.
The materials and the techniques for the surface restoration of historical building change continuously. Therefore the student must be able to select, once the problem has been identified, the most suitable intervention, even evaluating options not specifically explained during the course.
It is helpful if students have attended the Restoration course, as the base knowledge of restoration theories and of historical building elements are taken for granted during the course.
It is also useful to have some knowledge of computer aided design (e.g. Autocad), spreadsheet (e.g. Excel) and multimedia presentations (e.g. Powerpoint).
Course contents summary
The course is organized in two parts: a theoretical one and an applied one.
The theoretical part is focused on the following subjects:
1. Characterization of stones.
2. Analysis of deterioration and conservation techniques of stones.
3. Characterization of ceramic materials.
4. Analysis of deterioration and conservation techniques of ceramic materials.
5. Characterization of lime mortars and plaster.
6. Analysis of deterioration and conservation techniques of mortars and plaster.
7. Conservation Project: Mapping of deteriorations and conservation project.
8. Artificial stone and concrete.
9. Analysis of deterioration and conservation techniques of reinforced concrete.
10. Analysis of deterioration and conservation techniques of the wooden elements and metal.
11. Economic evaluation of the conservation project.
The applied part foresees the restoration and conservation of the surface of a real historical building.
In the first period, the students will make surveys (divided in groups) on their case studies, in order to acquire the knowledge level needed to define the interventions, later designed in detail.
1 – Natural stones I
Introduction to the course; What is Geology; Dynamic Earth; Rocks and minerals; Classification of rocks.
2 – Natural stones II
Natural stones in architecture; Stone carving history and techniques; Alteration and damage; Identification and analysis techniques; Case study.
3 – Ceramic materials
What is ceramic; Production techniques; Ceramic materials in architecture; Alteration and weathering; Analysis techniques.
4 – Plaster and mortar
What is plaster, what is mortar; Modern and historical production techniques; Examples of use; Spotlight: frescoes; Alteration and weathering; Analysis techniques.
5 – The conservation project
Lithological mapping; Diagnose and assessment of damage.
6 – Concrete and cement
What is concrete, what is cement; Modern and historical production techniques; Examples of use; Alteration and weathering; Analysis and identification techniques; Considerations on restoration and preservation issues.
7 – Other materials
Characteristics of wood and its use in architecture; wood biological hazards; wood restoration and preservation issues; Characteristics of metal and its use in architecture; alteration of metals; Considerations on restoration and preservation issues.
- Course slides
The course is composed of traditional lectures (taught class), also with Powerpoint presentations.
During the course, also some seminars with external lecturers will be held, to inspect more deeply specific issues.
For the applied part, the students will be divided in groups (3 to 5 people). Each group will develop a surface restoration design on a real historical building and will be followed by the teacher with periodic reviews. The reviews are made in groups, on printed material prepared by the students.
At the middle of the course and at the end, the printed material must be handed down to the teacher.
Moreover, during the course there will be two collective reviews, one at the end of the knowledge path and one at the end of the course: in these occasions, each group will present (with Powerpoint or similar) its own work progress to the teacher and to the other students. These occasions are important both to exercise the communication skills of the students and to exchange and compare experiences among the different groups.
Assessment methods and criteria
The single module has no autonomous judgment, but the learning assessment will be made altogether in the final exam of the Laboratory of Conservation and Restoration, oral and test, and consists of:
Discussion of the restoration design (by group)
- 1/3 of the overall grades.
Oral and test examination on the theoretical part of the program:
- Theoretical strengthening aspects (module of Restoration and Strengthening): 1/3 of the overall grades;
- Test on theoretical materials conservation aspects (module of Lithology and Geology for Architecture): 1/3 of the overall grades.
To pass the exam each of the three parts must receive a positive judgment.
As for all the laboratories, attending the courses is compulsory.