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SEB GUIDELINES

SEBGL MT6

Guidelines on Structural Survey and Appraisal

of Historical Buildings

Part I: Materials and Structural Forms

Structural Engineering Branch


Architectural Services Department
August 2012

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CONTENTS

Content Page

1. Introduction ............................................................................................... 1

2. Historical Buildings in Hong Kong ......................................................... 2

3. Record Drawings and Calculations of Historical Buildings .. 4

4. Construction Materials ............................................................................ 5

5. Structural Forms ...................................................................................... 27

6. Specification and Corrosion Protection .................................................. 72

7. List of References ..................................................................................... 72

Annex A Examples of Structural Forms of Graded Historical Buildings

Acknowledgment

Structural Engineering Branch would like to record their thanks to Ir Eric P W CHAN
and Ir K Y MA for their help in preparing the manuscripts.

Copyright and Disclaimer of Liability

This Guideline or any part of it shall not be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or
any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission from
Architectural Services Department. Moreover, this Guideline is intended for the internal
use of the staff in Architectural Services Department only, and should not be relied on by
any third party. No liability is therefore undertaken to any third party. While every effort
has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in
this Guideline at the time of publication, no guarantee is given nor responsibility taken by
Architectural Services Department for errors or omissions in it. The information is
provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own
assessment or interpretation of the information. Readers are advised to verify all relevant
representation, statements and information with their own professional knowledge.
Architectural Services Department accepts no liability for any use of the said information
and data or reliance placed on it (including the formulae and data). Compliance with this
Guideline does not itself confer immunity from legal obligations.

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1. Introduction

1.1 ArchSD has committed to enhance our services by developing and providing
service on Government-wide total asset and facilities management. Under this
objective, SEB has committed to carry out detailed structural survey of all
Government buildings aged 30 or above by the Fiscal Year 2017/18, in addition
to providing routine and emergency maintenance services to these buildings.
Concurrently, Buildings (Amendment) Ordinance 2010 was enacted by the
Legislative Council in June 2011, which introduced the Mandatory Building
Inspection Scheme (MBIS) into Buildings Ordinance. Under the MBIS,
owners of buildings aged 30 years or above (except domestic buildings not
exceeding 3 storeys) are required to carry out inspections (and, if necessary,
repair works) of the common parts, external walls and projections of the
buildings once every 10 years.

1.2 Besides the MBIS, the public have increasingly awareness of values of
historical buildings, and would like to conserve or revitalise such buildings as
far as possible. Well-known revitalisation projects completed by ArchSD in the
past decade include: Restoration and Preservation of King Law Ka Shuk
completed in 2001 (UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural
Heritage Conservation 2001-Merit Award), the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery
Centre completed in 2005 (HKIA Annual Awards 2005-Special Architectural
Award (Heritage)), Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum (the former Kom Tong Hall)
completed in 2007 (Quality Building Award 2008-Merit Award (Heritage)),
Stanley Blake Pier completed in 2007 (HKILA Award 2008-Silver Medal
Award and HKIA Annual Awards 2008-Special Architectural Award (Urban
Design)), and Conversion of Yau Ma Tei Theatre and Red Brick Building into a
Xiqu Activity Centre completed in 2011.

1.3 However, in carrying out the detailed structural survey and appraisal of the
historical buildings, project officer may have noted that the design methods,
loadings, materials and construction of these buildings are very much different
from the current practice. Addis (1997) commented that [m]any wonderful
buildings have been demolished or irreparably damaged because the chosen
engineers have had inadequate experience of old buildings or certain types of
construction. This is particularly the cases for historic buildings, some of them
being graded or declared. Clancy and Stagg (2004) list a number of essential
requirements for structural engineers for carrying out structural survey and
appraisal of historical buildings, including: knowledge of the type of building;
in-depth but also broad understanding of structural theory; ability to recognise
what is original and what are extensions and alterations to a building; good
knowledge of behaviour of all major construction materials; knowledge of past
as well as present codes of practice and design standards; etc.

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1.4 This set of guidelines consists of two parts, providing information and
guidelines for project officer in carrying out detailed structural survey, appraisal
and/or design for adaptive reuse of historical buildings. Part I of this set of
guidelines (this Guideline) concentrates on the materials and structural forms
of historical buildings, and provides project officer:

i) a review of the construction materials, structural forms and the


construction methods of Government buildings in Hong Kong since the
mid-19th century till the end 1970s;
ii) a summary of the strength of the construction materials in historical
buildings; and
iii) a list of references containing information on historical buildings that are
useful in carrying out detailed structural survey, appraisal of historical
buildings and/or adaptive reuse.

Part II deals with the methods and procedures for carrying out detailed
structural survey, appraisal and/or adaptive reuse of historical buildings, and
provides project officer:
i) an overview of the evolution of building legislation and design codes in
Hong Kong;
ii) the common structural defects identified in historical buildings; and
iii) guidelines on carrying out detailed structural survey and appraisal for
existing or adaptive reuse of such buildings.

2. Historical Buildings in Hong Kong

2.1 Protection of Historical Buildings in Hong Kong

2.1.1 In this Guideline, historical buildings are distinguished from historic


buildings. The term historical building is used to define a building of
traditional construction with age over 50. Historic building is defined as a
building of architectural or historic interest or significance. The interest or
significance may be local or national, and may be a consequence of, for
example, the buildings age, built form or location. It may result from its
connection with a person or persons, or with local or national events or industry;
or from a combination of these or other factors (Urquhart 2007).

2.1.2 In Hong Kong, historical buildings are graded by Antiquities and Monuments
Office (AMO). According to AMO (URL: www.amo.gov.hk/), 1,444
historical buildings including both Chinese and Western styles in Hong Kong
have been assessed up till 14 June 2012. 929 historical buildings have been
graded, and there are a total of 101 declared monuments. Many of them are
still serving the public, such as study halls, art galleries, resources centre,
museums and places for worship. ArchSD, as the maintenance agent of
Government buildings, is responsible for the maintenance (including the
building structures) of a number of them, e.g. the old Supreme Court Building,
the former Wan Chai Post Office, the former Kowloon British School, the Court
of Final Appeal Building. Project officer is further advised to seek comments
from AMO, should their new development projects with deep excavation or

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with foundation system generating signification level of vibration are close to
declared monuments or graded historical buildings.

2.2 Declared Monuments

Hong Kong has many monuments which need proper preservation. Under
Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance, places, buildings, site or structure with
historical, archaeological, or paleontological significance may be declared as
declared monuments by the Antiquities Authority, after the consultation with
the Antiquities Advisory Board and with the approval of the Chief Executive.
Once a building is declared, it receives legal protection for preservation, and
AMO is empowered to prevent alterations, or to impose conditions upon any
proposed alterations of such buildings or places, in order to protect the
monument. A particular point to be noted for project officer in carrying out
detailed structural survey and/or alteration works in a declared monument is that
Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance prohibits any works (including building
works, routine maintenance, repair, plant or fell trees, demolition) being carried
out on such site without a permit (s.5).

2.3 Graded Historical Buildings

Graded historical buildings (available: www.amo.gov.hk/form/historical.pdf;


accessed: 14 June 2012) are classified under a three-tier grading system (Table
1). Although grading of historical building is for AMOs internal reference and
graded historical buildings do not enjoy statutory protection, project officer
should note that AMO should be notified of and invited to comment on any
building proposals or demolition applications affecting such buildings.
Table 1. Grading for Historical Building
Grading Meaning
Grade I1 Buildings of outstanding merit which should be preserved at
all costs.
2
Grade II Buildings of special merits, efforts should be made to
selectively preserve.
Grade III3 Buildings of some merits, but not yet qualified for
consideration as possible monument. These are to be
recorded and used as a pool for future selection.
1
Notes: As at 14 June 2012, there are 160 historical buildings with Grade I status.
2
As at 14 June 2012, there are 324 historical buildings with Grade II status.
3
As at 14 June 2012, there are 645 historical buildings with Grade III status.
(Source: AMO)

2.4 Principles of Conservation

The aim of conservation is to retain and safeguard the cultural significance of a


place with unswerving respect of the existing fabric, which includes the
aesthetic, historical and physical integrity of the cultural property. The
emphasis in conservation is on saving what may seem an ordinary or even
worthless part of the fabric, e.g. a joist, lime-washed wall. Minimal intervention
is therefore the basic component underlying all conservation principles. That is,
only change that is absolutely essential for the buildings own good is

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acceptable; and it should only be carried out after all other options have been
exhausted (Allwinkle et al 1997). Lam (2003) therefore derived the level of
intervention based on the level of cultural significance (Table 2). His list of
levels of intervention is: replica, relocate, partial retention, replace, restore,
repair, consolidate, and do-nothing, whilst Ross (2002) advanced the five Rs-
retain, repair, reinforce, replicate and replace - for remedial works for a
deteriorated structure, in the ascending level of intervention.

Table 2. Levels of Intervention of Different Options in Conservation

(Source: Lam 2003)

3. Record Drawings and Calculations of Historical Buildings

3.1 ArchSD has developed an information system (the RDRS) in storing the
record drawings and calculations of Government buildings in electronic form.
These record drawings and calculations can be retrieved from the following
URLs:
Record drawings: http://asdweb/rdrs/
Calculation: http://asdweb/rdrs/

SEB has also produced as-constructed structural layout of some of the historical
buildings with the full reports, and they can be retrieved in the following URL:

http://asdiis/sebiis/2k/application/dssr/archives.aspx

3.2 In addition to the soft copy, SEB has also kept microfilms of some record
drawings and hard copy of the calculation. Project officer can approach PTO/3
to retrieve the hard copy, though all calculations are being converted to soft
copies and will be stored in the RDRS. However, project officer should note
that most of the record drawings and calculations of buildings completed before
the Second World War (the WWII) had been destroyed during the war. For
those records, project officer may try the Public Records Office, which may
contain as-built drawings (usually the architectural drawing) of these pre-WWII
Government buildings. The University of Hong Kong also uploads a full-text
image database in the following URL providing online access to pre-WWII
Government publications such as reports on public works, proceedings of the

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Legislative Council, and reports of government departments and special
committees, which contains valuable information on the progress of pre-WWII
public works projects:

http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkgro/index.jsp

There are also in the market two books, namely Measured Drawings Volume
One: Hong Kong Historical Chinese Buildings (Wong and Liu 1999a) and
Measured Drawings Volume Two: Hong Kong Historical Western Buildings
(Wong and Liu 1999b), containing the as-surveyed drawings of historical
buildings in Hong Kong (including those of former Kom Tong Hall, Tsim Sha
Tsui former KCRC Clock Tower, etc). However, these two books again show
the as-surveyed architectural layouts of these buildings, though structural
information can be deduced from the architectural layouts.

4. Construction Materials Used in Historical Buildings

4.1 Materials always come first in the advancement of construction techniques.


Technological development is usually preceded by the advancement of new
materials, which would then be followed by research to understand their
behaviour and finally, design methods would be derived to carry out the design.
Hence, an understanding of the major construction materials available (since the
mid-19th century) will first be described, which will be followed by a summary
of the structural forms. Design methods and evolution of design codes will be
described in Part II of this set of guidelines.

4.2 The major construction materials for historical buildings were: brick/masonry,
structural steel/cast-iron/wrought iron, timber, and later reinforced concrete.
The following provides a brief historical summary of the major construction
materials together with their strengths at different ages. Knowledge on this area
may help project officer to recognise roughly the construction materials and
their strength, once the year of construction of a historical building is known.
The following summary of the historical development of construction materials
is based on the information and review provided in Addis and Bussell (2003),
Bussell (1997, 1999, 2007), Sutherland (2001) and Ma (2007), and hence these
sources will not be acknowledged in the text. Moreover, as there are only a few
publications on historical development of structural engineering practice in
Hong Kong especially in the 19th century and early 20th century, reference has
to be made to that in the UK, as general engineering practice in Hong Kong has
been very much based on and influenced by those in the UK by reasons of
historical ties.

4.3 Brick, Masonry and Timber

4.3.1 Table 3 summarises the changes in construction materials since the mid-16th
century. Brick, masonry and timber were used as the main construction
materials since earliest times of human civilisation. It was only in the mid-19th
century that with experience of the load-bearing and spanning capabilities of
cast iron and wrought iron, engineers started to investigate the two new
alternative materials steel and reinforced concrete - to replace brick, masonry

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or stone. Even then, brick, masonry or timber was continually used in Hong
Kong as structural materials. Typical structural materials used for load bearing
elements were Canton grey brick, red brick and Hong Kong granite bonded by
lime-mortar or Roman cement (later by Portland cement) as vertical elements,
whilst Manila hardwood or teak, American, China or Baltic fir were used for
roofing or f1ooring. The Murray House (originally completed in 1846), the
Flagstaff House (the former office and residence of the Commander of the
British Forces in Hong Kong built in the 1840s), St Johns Cathedral
(completed in 1849), and the former Central School at Hollywood Road
(completed in 1889) (Figure 1(a), Figure 1(b) and Figure 1(c)) were typical
examples during this period.

Figure 1(a). Layout of 1/F of the former Central School at Hollywood Road
(completed in 1889 and destroyed during the WWII)
(Source: AMO)

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Figure 1(b). South elevation of the former Central School at Hollywood Road
(completed in 1889 and destroyed during the WWII)
(Source: AMO)

Figure 1(c). Former Central School at Hollywood Road facing Staunton Street
(completed in 1889 and destroyed during the WWII)
(Source: AMO)

Table 3. Chronology of timber, masonry and brick construction

(Source: Beckmann and Bowles 2004)

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4.3.2 Timber

4.3.2.1 Timber is one of the oldest building materials. Timber may be classified
according to the zone at which it is obtained from a tree trunk (Figure 2).
Those obtained near the centre are called heartwood (), and are usually
darker than the portion adjacent to the bark. Those light coloured wood is
called sapwood (). Sapwood and heartwood are about equally strength,
and the main difference between them is that sapwood has lower natural decay
resistance than heartwood (Australian National Association of Forest
Industries 2004).

(a) Terminology (b) Camphor


Figure 2. Tree cross-section
(Source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

4.3.2.2 Timber may also be classified into the two types according to its species,
namely, softwood (or conifer) and hardwood (or non-conifer). Softwood
comes from the coniferous (cone-bearing) species such as the pines, spruces
and Douglas fir with seeds in a cone-like structure. Hardwood comes from the
broadleaved group of species such as the eucalypts, oaks, and meranti. The
terms softwood and hardwood do not indicate softness or hardness of
particular timbers. Many hardwoods are even softer and lighter than some
softwoods, e.g. willow, poplar, balsa, paulownia.

4.3.2.3 The strength properties of timber are determined by: timber species, degree of
seasoning as measured by moisture content (dry timber being stronger than
green) and the presence of defects (e.g. knot). The presence of moisture is
also a contributing factor for fungal attack. In trees, moisture content may be
as much as 200% of the weight of wood substance; but it will lose moisture
after harvesting. Such initial drying of the wood after harvesting and milling
will not cause a change in its dimension. However, as the wood is dried out to
a moisture content below about 30%, further gain or loss of moisture will
cause dimensional change.

4.3.2.4 There is a lack of study or laboratory testing results on the strength properties
of the timber used in historical buildings, and indeed, it is doubted whether
proper structural design had been carried out for such timber structures at the
time of construction. References to the UK practice at that time are not
appropriate, as both timber species and the degree of seasoning differed. In
Hong Kong, most timber spcies comes from the tropical forests in Southeast
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Asia, whilst those in the UK come from temperate forests. A good reference
on the timber commonly available in the market in around the 1950s in Hong
Kong is Timber Used in Hong Kong (Tamworth 1952). In particular,
Tamworth (1952) recorded that the timber species that were used at that time
include Teak (), Douglas Fir (), Seraya (), Keruing (
, ), Kapur (, ), Balau (, ), Billian (
), Selangan Batu (, ), Krabak (), Chengal (),
Selangan Batu Merah, (), and Oak (). Table 5(a) summarises
the mechanical properties (obtained from laboratory test at that time) of some
of these timber species in Hong Kong. In the 1950s, grading of different
timber species was still in infancy stage, which should have become mature in
the 1970s. Table 5(b) gives two classes of timber used in Hong Kong in the
1970s, and lists the permissible stresses as given in Building (Construction)
Regulations 1976.

4.3.2.5 Comparison between the tested flexural yield values in Table 5(a) and the
permissible flexural values in Table 5(b) shows that the tested values are
much higher than the permissible values. These may be attributed to the fact
that the values in Table 5(a) had not included the effect of defects (e.g. the
presence of knots), creep effect, overloading, sampling size, etc (Tamworth
1952). A safety factor must therefore be applied to these values to get the
corresponding permissible stresses. Tamworth (1952) suggested the use of a
FOS of 5.5. Urquhart (2007) further reminded engineers that the strength and
elastic modulus of old timbers are often greater than those specified in current
codes of practice. Moreover, it was further stated that not simply the timber
strengths, sizes, and spans that should be assessed, because a major weakness
in an old floor may be the joints and connections between the timber members,
and between other structural elements (Urquhart 2007).

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Table 5(a). Mechanical properties of timber used in Hong Kong in the 1950s
As a Beam As a Post
Moisture
Flexural Ultimate Modulus Ultimate Flexural Ultimate Modulus Compressive Yield
Content
Type of Wood Yield Flexural of Shear Yield Flexural of Strength Perpendicular
(%)
Strength Strength Elasticity Strength Strength Strength Elasticity to Grain
(as tested)
(MPa) (MPa) (GPa) (MPa) (MPa) (MPa) (GPa) (MPa)
Teak () 52 49 79 11.5 7.2 28 41 13.4 7.3
Douglas Flr (Coast)
() 36 33 52 10.7 6.4 24 27 - 3.5
Douglas Flr
(Mountain)
() 38 25 44 8.1 6.1 18 21 - 3.1
Red Seraya
() 63 32 53 11.4 6.2 20 29 13.4 2.4
White Seraya
() 73 32 55 9.8 5.9 19 30 12.0 2.4
Keruing () 65 43 71 15.0 7.6 26 39 17.2 4.2
Kapur (,
) 55 53 84 16.0 8.3 29 44 17.2 5.1
Balau (,) 50 78 122 18.1 13.1 39 69 20.7 9.5
Billian
() 38 83 134 18.1 14.1 44 80 22.8 17.4
Oak () 90 31 57 9.2 8.3 20 28 11.4 4.5
To convert the tested
figures to values at
12% MC, multiply
these figures by 1.8 1.59 1.31 1.45 2 2 2 2 2

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Table 5(b). Permissible stresses of timber used in Hong Kong
in the 1970s
Maximum permissible values
Kind of stresses
Class A Timber Class B Timber
Flexural stress 7.0MPa 5.5MPa
Shear stress 0.7MPa 0.7MPa
Modulus of elasticity 11GPa 8.3GPa
Compressive stress
2.4MPa 1.7MPa
perpendicular to grain
Compressive stress in 6.6MPa to 1.1MPa 5.3MPa to 0.9MPa
posts or struts for l/b ratio from 6 to 58 for l/b ratio from 6 to 58
(Source: Building (Construction) Regulations 1976)

4.3.3 Masonry and Brick

Precise strength data of masonry and brick are rarely required for appraisal, as
wall and pier sections were typically sized by rules of thumb and were usually
quite lightly stressed by comparison with their crushing strength (IStructE 2010).
In addition, the strength of masonry and brick is influenced by mortar strength
rather than its crushing strength. Table 4 shows the strength of granite, brick
and mortar alone. The characteristic strength fk of the masonry or brick wall
can then be obtained using the following equation in BS EN 1996: Design of
Masonry Structures:
fk = Kfbfm
where fk = characteristic compressive strength of masonry;
K = a constant obtained in BS EN 1996-1-1 (= 0.45 for dimensioned
natural stone masonry);
fb = mean compressive strength of masonry or brick;
fm = compressive strength of mortar;
for lime mortar = 0.65;
and for lime mortar = 0.25.

Project officer should note that the lime mortar in BS EN 1996 contains more
than 65% by mass of Portland cement clinker. However, pure non-hydraulic
lime without cement was used in historical buildings, and no provisions are
provided in BS EN 1996 for such material. The values of and quoted above
should therefore be used with caution.

Table 4. Compressive strength of granite, brick and mortar


Material Compressive Strength (MPa)
Granite 140-200
Brick 2-20
Mortar 0.5-1.0
(Source: IStructE 2010)

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4.4.1 Cast Iron and Wrought Iron

In the 19th century, apart from masonry and timber, the main structural
materials were cast iron (containing 2-5% carbon) and wrought iron (containing
0.1-0.5% carbon) (Table 6). Cast iron, while molten, is easily poured into sand
moulds. It has a relatively high compressive stress, a natural resistance to rust;
but a very low tensile capacity. Moreover, cast iron is brittle and can fail
suddenly. Wrought iron is very malleable (and was therefore called malleable
iron), and its main weakness is that it is stronger in tension than in compression.
Both cast iron and wrought iron vary widely in physical properties and are
vulnerable to flaws, and as such, a conservative FOS had been used.

Table 6. Chronology of cast iron, wrought iron and steel construction

(Source: Beckmann and Bowles 2004)

4.4.2 Structural Steel

Commercially viable, large-scale production of steel through iron conversion


did not take place until 1855, with the development of the Bessemer (or
BessemerKelly) process. This process enabled a massive production of steel
for structural purposes. By 1900, steel had largely replaced wrought iron for
structural work in the UK, because steel has its advantage that it was more
readily rolled into long and heavy sections such as joists and channels.
However, most of the early use of structural steel was restricted to horizontal
elements as floor beams. Cast iron columns (mainly circular hollow) and
brick/masonry walls continued to be used until early 20th century; but from the
1880s they were progressively superseded by wrought iron columns (Bussell
1997).

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In these early days, different manufacturers produced their own sections to suit
the orders of their respective clients. Dorman Long and Company Section Book
was first published in 1887 while the Redpath Brown & Company Handbook
was published in 1892. The standardization of sections was made in 1904 when
the UK Engineering Standards Association standardised the section as well as
the quality of steel. These sections were made in the forms of fat, L-, T-, U- and
I-sections; but hollow sections (though were available in the mid-1930s) were
not used in building works until the 1970s (Addis 1997). Project officer may
consult Historical Structural Steel Handbook (Bates 1991) to check the
sectional properties of these early days steel sections. BS 15: Structural Steel
for Bridges, etc., and General Building Construction appeared in 1906 (which
was amended in 1912, 1941, 1948 and 1961) specifying the chemical
composition and mechanical properties of structural steel.

In Hong Kong, in around 1909, structural steel had been in use in Blake Pier
pavilion and old Supreme Court Building. The as-surveyed drawings of Blake
Pier pavilion further showed that the original pavilion was built with cast iron
posts, similar to the practice in the UK (Wong et al 2007).

4.4.3 Differentiating Structural Steel, Wrought Iron and Cast Iron

Table 7 shows the differences in mechanical properties among cast iron,


wrought iron and structural steel. In historical buildings, project officer may
sometimes be required to differentiate among cast iron, wrought iron and steel.
Cast iron beams can easily be identified, as they usually had unequal flanges
with large tension flange (Figure 3 and Photo 1), since cast iron is weak in
tension. Moreover, its span was usually no more than 4m (Rabun 2000). Cast
iron columns could be made in circular in section (Figure 4 and Photo 2), and
structural steel hollow sections were only available in the 1960s.

Table 7. Differences in mechanical properties


among cast iron, wrought iron and structural steel

Mechanical property Cast iron Wrought Steel


iron
Tensile strength Poor Good Good-excellent
Compressive strength Good Good Good-excellent
Ductility Poor, brittle tensile Good Good
failure mode
(Source: Bussell 1997)

Figure 3. Typical cross-section of cast iron beams


(Source: Bussell 1997)

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Photo 1. Typical cross section of cast iron beam
showing thicker and wider tension flange
(Source: Beal 2011)

Photo 2. Cast iron columns at Flagstaff House Annex (built in the 1840s)

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Figure 4. Typical cast iron column with bolt connections
(Source: Bates 1991 and CIRIA 1986)

It may, however, be difficult to differentiate wrought iron from structural steel,


due to their similar way and the similar forms in which they were produced.
One particular way is to note that in the early 20th century rolled steel sections
were often engraved with the name of the manufacturer and the particulars of
the section (Photo 3, Photo 4 and Photo 5). Table 8 lists the characteristics of
such materials for visual identification. Samples, of course, may be taken for
chemical analysis or metallographic inspection; but project officer should note
that such sampling should not affect the historical values of the buildings.
Moreover, project officer should note that flame cutting should not be used in
obtaining samples from the structure, as the operation may damage or weaken
cast iron, while with wrought iron or steel the resultant heat affected zone will
give a misleading picture of the metals structure.

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Photo 3. Steel sections engraved with manufacturer
(Cargo Fleet) in former Yau Ma Tei Theatre (completed in 1930)

Photo 4. Steel sections engraved with manufacturer


(Port Talbot) in former Yau Ma Tei Theatre (completed in 1930)

Photo 5. Steel sections engraved with manufacturer (Glengarnock)


in old Supreme Court Building (completed in 1912)

4.4.4 Connections

Bolting and riveting were usually used to join structural steel sections together
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Project officer should note that rivets
were not (or should not be) used for cast iron, because the hammering forces
forming rivets could facture the brittle cast iron. Instead, they were connected
together by iron bolts. Hence, if project officer finds that riveting was used to
joining sections together, this serves as a quick way to differentiate it from cast
iron. Welding by electric arc was introduced in the UK during the 1920s.
However, it did not become an established practice even in British
constructional steelwork until the 1940s, and as late as in the 1960s, both in the
UK and Hong Kong, riveting was still chosen to connect some of the steelwork.
Hence, if welding was used in joining sections together, it is likely that it was
constructed after the WWII.

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Table 8. Differences among cast iron, wrought iron and steel

(Source: Bussell 1997)

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4.4.5 Strength

4.4.5.1 Pre-Second World War

In the early days, manufacturers seldom measured and quoted the yield stress
of their steel, as the yield stress was not used in the design, which was based
on their permissible stress. Beal (2011) quoted that the average ultimate
tensile strength (UTS) of cast iron and wrought iron to be 93MPa (6t/in) and
280-370MPa (18-24t/in) respectively. However, project officer should note
high variability in the strength of early days production, and hence a FOS of 4
was adopted to calculate its permissible stress. Similarly, for structural steel,
there was no specified yield stress. Beal (2011) quoted that in the early days
of structural steel, the average UTS was about 432-494MPa (28-32t/in), and
again, there was considerable variability of the strengths, even between
pieces in the same building (Addis 1997). Similar to cast iron and wrought
iron, a FOS of 4 was applied to obtain its permissible stress.

The earlier paragraphs noted that the first edition of BS 15 (specifying the
chemical composition and mechanical properties of mild steel) was published
in 1906, and London County Council 1909 Act was the first official document
specifying a permissible bending stress of 116MPa (7.5t/in) for both tension
and compression for mild steel structural steel. In 1927, the Institution of
Structural Engineers recommended a permissible stress of 124MPa (8t/in) for
both bending and axial compression in steel and the same value was adopted
in the first edition of BS 449: 1932.

High tensile structural steel (with maximum carbon content of 0.3%) was
available in the early 1930s, and BS 548: High Tensile Structural Steel for
Bridges etc, and General Building Construction was published in 1934 to
cover their mechanical properties (Bussell 1997). The allowable stresses of
high tensile steel were increased by approximately 50% (except for column
stresses where the increases depended on the slenderness ratio). Though high
tensile structural steel could have higher allowable stresses, their relative
higher carbon content led to the formation of brittle martensitic layer near the
weld causing weld hardening and consequent danger of weld failure. There is
no information on whether such high tensile structural steel had been used in
Hong Kong, and it was usually engraved with the words H.T. to distinguish
itself from mild steel structural steel (Bussell 1997).

Table 9 shows the values of strengths for wrought iron and steel and the
appropriate partial safety factors as stated in The Assessment of Highway
Bridges and Structures (2001) (BD 21/01) and IStructE (2010).

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Table 9. Strength of Cast Iron, Steel and Wrought Iron
in Pre-WWII Historical Buildings
Material Ultimate Yield Permissible Elastic Material
Strength Stress Stress Modulus Factor
(MPa) (MPa) (MPa) (GPa)
Tension
32 39
Tension
(depending on
90 250 80-150
No defined DL/LL ratio) 3
Cast iron -
yield point 33 4
Compression 90-1383
Compression
775 1100
154 3
124 4
Tension Tension and
170-220
Wrought 324 371 compression
220 3 1.20 2
iron1 Compression 141 3 3
200
278 593 77 4
Tension and
Tension
Mild Steel 232 386 5 compression 190 - 210 1.05-1.15 3
433 494 5
(pre-1955) 230 3 147 3 205 3 1.25
330 3
116 4
High
Tension Tension
Tensile 262 317 6 - -
510 593 6 165 7
Steel
Notes: 1IStructE (2010) notes that the strength of wrought iron is directional, with at
right-angles of the line of rolling being about two-thirds to three-quarters of that
in the line of rolling.
2
The load factors for DL and LL should be 1.1 and 1.5 respectively (IStructE
2010.
3
Values given in BD 21/01
4
Values given in London County Council 1909 Act
5
Values given in BS 15
6
Values given in BS 548
7
Values given in BS 449
(Source: BD 21/01 and IStructE 2010)

4.4.5.2 Post-Second World War

During the WWII, in order to economise scarce materials, an amendment was


made to BS 449: 1932 in 1939 to increase the permissible stress of mild steel
to 154MPa (10t/in), while the permissible stresses for axial tension and
compression remained unchanged. After the WWII, BS 15: 1948 increased
minimum yield stresses for mild steel to 235MPa (15.25t/in) for thin sections
and 228MPa (14.75t/in) for steel with thickness greater than 19.1mm thick.
With the increase in minimum yield stresses, BS 449:1948 retained the
wartime permissible bending stress of 154MPa (10t/in) and increased the
permissible stress for direct tension to 139MPa (9t/in). In 1959, the
permissible bending stress of mild steel was increased to 162MPa, then in
1969 to 165MPa and in 1989 was increased to 180N/mm.

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BS 968: High Tensile Steel (Fusion Welding Quality) for Bridges and General
Building Construction was issued in 1941 (and was amended in 1943 and
1962) for high tensile structural steel in order to solve the problem of weld
hardening of the earlier high tensile structural steel, and the permissible steel
specified in BS 968 were higher than for mild steel but less than those to BS
548.

In 1968, the first edition of BS 4360: Weldable Structural Steel was published
to cover both mild steel and high tensile structural steel. Table 10(a) lists the
chronology of the yield stress, and permissible bending and compressive
stresses of mild steel structural steel since the WWII, and Table 10(b) lists the
mechanical properties of high tensile structural steel.

Table 10(a). Strength of post-WWII mild steel structural steel


Permissible Permissible
Material Yield Stress Design
Year Bending Compressive
Standard (MPa) Code
Stress (MPa) Stress (MPa)
1948 BS 15 235 ( 19mm) BS 449 154 139
228 (> 19mm)
1961 BS 15 247 ( 19mm) BS 449 162 147
232 (> 19mm)
1969 BS 4360 255 ( 16mm) BS 449 165 155
245 (> 16mm)
1986 BS 4360 275 ( 16mm) BS 449 180 170
265 (> 16mm)
(Source: Beal 2011)

Table 10(b). Strength of high tensile structural steel in BS 968:1962


Ultimate
Permissible Permissible
Tensile Design
Yield Stress (MPa) Bending Compressive
Strength Code
Stress (MPa) Stress (MPa)
(MPa)
441 - 536 317 ( 16mm) BS 449 200 186
310 (> 16mm but 32mm)
303 (> 32mm)
(Source: Bates 1991)

4.4.5.3 Material Testing

Adopting the above characteristic strengths is normally adequate for structural


appraisal such that if this assessment is satisfactory, then the member is
adequate. No material testing is therefore required. In order to cater for the
variability of material and any inaccuracy of the typical value, IStructE (2010)
recommends a conservative material factor of 1.25 to be adopted, instead of
the 1.0 currently adopted in the design of structural steel and 1.05-1.15
suggested by BD 21/01.

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If it is decided necessary for sample materials for strength tests, project officer
should note that adequate samples must be taken to get a 95% confidence limit
on the characteristic value of the yield stress. The 95% confidence limit is k
times the standard deviation below the sample mean. As the strength of the
samples usually follows a normal distribution, BS EN 1990:2002: Basis of
Structural Design offers guidance on the value of k to be adopted for different
number of samples. As only a small number of samples can be taken or
available for testing, the characteristic value with 95% confidence level will be
very low with respect to the sample mean. This characteristic value being low
is not because the sample mean is low; but because the sample size is small.
For example, if only three samples have been taken, it will be necessary to use
a characteristic value 3.37 standard deviations below the sample mean.
Bussell (1997) commented that testing for strength therefore is generally
worthwhile only when an initial assessment (using typical strength values)
shows that the structure is neither significantly overstressed, nor under-
stressed in its intended use.

BD 21/01 also gives a cautionary advice on sampling for testing that [i]t must
be appreciated that the yield stress of wrought iron determined from samples
varies over a wide range, typically from 180 to 340 N/mm2 and this range is
not necessarily much narrower when samples are taken from the same
structure. It is, therefore, unlikely that a few test results will provide any more
reliable information about the strength of the material in the structure as a
whole than the value given in clause 4.9 of BD 21 which is based on a large
number of tests. Therefore, this Guideline recommends to use the values
quoted in Table 9 for pre-WWII historical buildings and those summarized by
Beal (2011) (Table 10) for post-WWII historical buildings, rather than testing
unless in special circumstances.

Alternatively, a proof load test may be required to check the adequacy of a


structure. For details of load test, project officer may refer to Clause 16.2 of
Code of Practice for the Structural Use of Steel 2011 and Clause 13 of Code of
Practice for the Structural Use of Concrete 2004 issued by Buildings
Department for steel structures and rc structures respectively.

4.5 Reinforced Concrete

4.5.1 Although reinforced concrete (rc) is now the most common structural material
in building works especially in Hong Kong, rc was only used in Europe and the
US for building works after the mid-19th century and only used in Hong Kong in
the early 20th century. The breakthrough in technology occurred in 1824, when
an English inventor, Joseph Aspdin, invented and patented Portland Cement,
a fast-curing hydraulic cement formed by burning ground limestone and clay
together. The name Portland was used in order to liken it in peoples minds
to the stone from Isle of Portland in Dorset, which had been used as building
stones for famous buildings in the UK, e.g. St Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham
Palace, Tower of London, London Bridge. By 1870, unreinforced concrete
spanning between and enveloping iron beams had been used as the floors of
buildings, due to its good fire resistance.

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4.5.2 It was generally agreed that using rc as a structural material began in 1848,
when Joseph Louis Lambot of France found that adding thin steel bars or steel
fibres to concrete could greatly increase the strength of the concrete, making it
better for use in a variety of applications. He then built a rowboat by concrete
reinforced with a grid of thin iron rods. Such composite was then used making
reinforced garden tubs, road guardrails, and reinforced beams. The first rc
building works in the US was a house in New York completed in 1876 by
William E Ward with concrete floor slabs reinforced with a two-way grid of
iron rods and supported on concrete beams reinforced with wrought iron I-
beams. The first rc structure in the UK was Weavers Mill in Swansea
completed in 1897 by Franois Hennebique, a French concrete specialist. Using
rc as the construction materials then became increasingly common in the late
19th century and early 20th century in the US and Europe (Table 11), due to the
ability of concrete to resist fire, carry heavy loads, and dampen noise, which
make it a good choice for factory and apartment buildings. In 1903, the first rc
skyscraper - Ingalls Building - of 16 storeys together a single storey basement
built was completed in Cincinna, Ohio, the US by A O Elzner. The first rc
framed building in the UK was the 11-storey Royal Liver Building in Liverpool
completed in 1909.

4.5.3 However, the use of rc in buildings was later in Hong Kong than that in the US
and Europe. The majority of buildings in Hong Kong before the 20th century
were built with brick/masonry columns or walls with timber floors on timber
joists or steel joists. In the late 19th century, unreinforced concrete slabs on steel
joists appeared. Since the early 20th century, floor system using rc slabs resting
on steel joists had been used. The first Government building using rc slabs on
rc beams in Hong Kong was the Public Works Department Store completed in
1912. The first rc framed building in Hong Kong was the Gaol Extension
completed in 1914 (Report of the Director of Public Works for the year 1915).
Photo 6 shows the in-situ rc work in 1932 for Gardens Services Reservoir (a
civil engineering project) in Central as part of the Shing Mun Water Supply
Scheme.

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Photo 6. In-situ rc work in 1932 in Gardens Service Reservoir, Upper Albert
Road underneath Zoological and Botanical Garden
(Source: Ho 2001)

Table 11. Chronology of concrete construction

(Source: Beckmann and Bowles 2004)

4.5.4 Concrete strength

4.5.4.1 Pre- Second World War

In the UK, there is little information on the concrete strength before the WWI
(IStructE 2010). London County Council 1909 Act specified a permissible
direct compressive stress of 2.5MPa, and hence the typical concrete cube
strengths were in the range of 1115MPa. By the 1930s, typical cube
strengths had risen to 1520MPa. The first edition of Reinforced Concrete
Designers Handbook by Charles Reynolds published in 1932 stated the cube
strengths of Grade 1:2:4, Grade 1:1.5:3 and Grade 1:1:2 concrete to be
2100psi (14MPa), 2250psi (17MPa) and 2625psi (18MPa) respectively
(Clarke 2009). For concrete in pre-WWII historical buildings, BD 21/01

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therefore recommends that their cube strength may be taken conservatively as
not exceeding 15MPa in back analysis.

In Hong Kong, Exceptional Building Regulations 1931 was the first legislation
specifying the permissible concrete stress according to the mix proportions.
1:2:4 mix was specified to have a permissible direct compressive stress of
600psi (4MPa), and 1:1:2 mix was specified to have a permissible direct
compressive stress of 750psi (5MPa). As compared with later codes, the
adopted permissible stresses were lower, as there was a lack of confidence on
the quality of concrete. Besides using natural or crushed aggregate, crushed
brick might have been used as aggregate (IStructE 2010). In at least two such
pre-WWII buildings (the former Kom Tong Hall and the old Supreme Court
Building) it was found that brick fragments were used as aggregate in the
concrete of the roof slabs (Photo 7) and non-structural elements.

Photo 7. Concrete mix with brick fragments as aggregate


in the roof slabs of former Kom Tong Hall (built in 1914)

4.5.4.2 Post- Second World War

The three commonly used concrete mixes after the WWII were 1:1:2 (known
as Grade C), l:1.5:3 (known as Grade B), and 1:2:4 (known as Grade A),
with corresponding characteristic cube strength of 30MPa, 25MPa and 20MPa.
Another common practice at these days was that the horizontal elements (slabs
and beams) were cast with Grade 1:2:4 mix, and the vertical elements
(columns and walls) were cast with higher grade, e.g. Grade 1:1:2 mix.

4.5.5 Strength of steel reinforcement

4.5.5.1 Pre- Second World War

The earliest steel reinforcement was in the form of wire mesh supplied as a
patented pre-fabricated product, and there is little information on the strength
of such steel reinforcement. A catalogue of the early wire mesh (American
Steel & Wire Company 1908) showed that its ultimate tensile strength was in
the range of 586MPa (85000psi). 12 nos. of samples had been cut from the
wire mesh reinforcement in former Kom Tong Hall (built in 1914) which
showed that the ultimate tensile strength ranged from 722MPa to 784MPa.

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Despite the relatively high ultimate tensile strength of such wire mesh, project
officer should note that these wires were twisted together (Photo 7), and hence
in order to mobilise its full tensile strength, larger deformation might have
occurred. Moreover, project officer should note that manufacturers at that
time could also supply patented steel wire with higher ultimate tensile strength
to suit the span and loading of a particular project.

For steel reinforcement, a RIBA report of 1911 recommended a minimum


yield stress of 221MPa (32000psi) and a permissible tensile stress of 110MPa
(16000psi), and this was also stated in London County Council By-Laws 1915.
In 1934, the UK Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR)
published a code (Code of Practice for the Use of Reinforced Concrete in
Buildings), which increased the permissible tensile stress for mild steel to
125MPa (18000psi). London County Council By-Laws 1938 then adopted this
permissible stress. In Hong Kong, Exceptional Building Regulations 1931
was the first legislation specifying the permissible tensile stress for steel
reinforcement as 110MPa (16000psi), which was generally in line with the UK
practice.

4.5.5.1 Post- Second World War

After the WWII, high tensile steel became available for use in reinforced
concrete in the UK. However, in Hong Kong, high tensile steel reinforcement
was only employed in Government building works in the 1960s. CP114:1948
maintained the pre-WWII permissible reinforcement stresses of 125MPa for
mild steel, and for high yield steel reinforcement a permissible stress of 0.5fy
(185MPa) was suggested. In CP 114: 1965, the permissible tensile stress for
high tensile steel reinforcement was increased to 230MPa (for 9.5mm) and
205MPa (for >9.5mm). Similar to structural steel, no characteristic yield
stress was specified till 1969, when BS 4449: 1969 and BS 4461: 1969 specify
the characteristic yield stress for mild steel and high yield bars to be 250MPa
(which has then remained unchanged) and 410MPa respectively. BS 4449:
1978 then increased the characteristic yield stress for mild steel and high yield
bars to be 460MPa (for 16mm) and 425MPa (for >16mm). However, steel
reinforcement to BS 4449: 1978 was not used in the design of rc till the late
1980s.

Moreover, even though the Register of Registered Structural Engineers was


introduced in Hong Kong in 1974, Authorized Architects (changed to
Authorized Persons in 1974 simultaneously with the introduction of
Registered Structural Engineers) were allowed to carry out structural design
for private sector buildings up till 1987. During this period, enhanced
permissible stresses in the steel reinforcement were allowed when the design
was carried out under the supervision of Registered Structural Engineers. For
example, the permissible stress in high yield steel reinforcement could be
increased to 230MPa, whereas Authorized Architect could only use a
permissible stress of 185MPa. This Guideline, however, does not note that
such distinction was made in the structural design of Government buildings, as
structural design of all Government buildings should have been carried out by
professional structural engineers.

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4.5.6 Table 12 lists the characteristic strength of concrete cube and steel
reinforcement in chronological order in Hong Kong.

Table 12. Chronology of characteristic strengths of concrete and steel


reinforcement till the mid-1980s
Concrete Steel Reinforcement
Permissible
Year Cube direct Permissible
Yield Stress
Grade strength compressive working stress
(MPa)
(MPa) stress (MPa)
(MPa)
1:1:2 20 5 Mild steel bar
Pre- 110 1
1:1.5:3 18 4.5 only
WWII 124 2
1:2:4 16 4 221
1:1:2 30 7.6 Mild steel bar Mild steel bar
1:1.5:3 25 6.5 250 140
Post-
WWII
1:2:4 20 5.3 High yield bar High yield bar
410 230
1
Notes: Value given in RIBA Report and Exceptional Building Regulations 1931.
2
Value given in DSIR Code

4.5.7 Material Factors

4.5.7.1 IStructE (2010) notes that the material factor of 1.5 in BS 8110 for concrete
has been chosen largely because of uncertainties in the quality of materials and
workmanship, compaction, curing, etc, and hence is of the view that if
concrete strengths are ascertained by tests on cores from the actual structure
supplemented by ultrasonic pulse velocity or rebound hammer measurements
to assess the variability, it may be reasonable to reduce the overall value of the
material factor. However, should back-analysis of the structural integrity of a
historical building be required, this Guideline still recommends the use of a
material factor of 1.5 for concrete because:

a) there was a high variability in the materials in such building; and


b) full extensive tests (especially with adequate number of samples) are
usually not carried out.

4.5.7.2 For steel reinforcement, the material factor currently adopted in Hong Kong is
1.15, and IStructE (2010) is also of the view that if samples have been
obtained from a number of representative members and tested and the
consistency of the mechanical properties of the other bars has been checked
using non-destructive means, there may be a case for reducing the factor to
1.05. However, given that it is usually not practical to extract a large number
of bar samples for testing, this Guideline recommends that the current material
factor of 1.15 needs to be modified in order to cater for the greater variability
of material properties in early days, and a material factor of 1.25 for structural
steel as discussed in earlier paragraph may therefore be adopted.

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5. Structural Forms and Structural Systems

5.1 Horizontal Flooring System

5.1.1 Timber Floors

Timber flooring was the then practice before the invention of concrete. An
example of such flooring system that can still be found today include that in
Red Brick Building (formerly the Yau Ma Tei Pumping Station) (Photo 8) and
Mongkok Police Station (formerly temporary premises of Diocesan Boys
School) (Photo 9).

Photo 8. Timber floor in Red Brick Building (built in 1895)

Photo 9. Timber floor in Mongkok Police Station (built in 1925)

5.1.2 Unreinforced Concrete Floors

The concept of brick jack-arch was adapted using concrete as flooring system in
the 18th century in Europe. Figure 5 and Figure 6 show a typical flooring
system using brickwork with a concrete fill and topping, spanning between
parallel iron beams. This flooring system consists of wrought-iron tie-rods, to
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tie the cast iron or wrought iron beams during concreting to carry the arch
thrusts from the bricks. Photo 10 shows the brick jack arch floor in Albert
Dock in the UK. Later the bricks were replaced by concrete (Figure 7). In
Hong Kong, Block 10 of Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village (Photo 11)
and old Supreme Court Building (Photo 12) had used such flooring system.

Figure 5. Isometric view of brick jack arch floor


(Source: modified from Beckmann and Bowles 2004)

Figure 6. Cross section of brick jack arch floor


(Source: modified from Beckmann and Bowles 2004)

Figure 7. Concrete jack arch floor

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Photo 10. Jack arch floor on cast-iron columns in Albert Dock in the UK
(built between 1842-48)
(Source: Curtin and Parkinson 1989)

Photo 11. Jack arch floor in Lei Yue Mun Park


and Holiday Village Block 10 (built in the late 19th or early 20th century)

Photo 12. Jack arch floor in old Supreme Court Building


(completed in 1912)

Joist-concrete (or later known as filler-joist construction) (Figure 8) was


developed in the late 19th century, as an alternative to jack arch floor. In this
floor system, steel or wrought iron beams were placed at 0.6-1.2m c/c (or 2-4 ft)
and the gaps between were infilled with concrete to complete the floor. The

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unreinforced concrete slabs span between joists as a series of shallow arches.
This technique also provided a degree of fire-protection to the beams
themselves. At that time, safe-load tables had been published by steel
manufacturing firms so as to allow engineers to select suitable sizes of beams
and slabs to suit spans and loadings, similar to the roof cladding system
nowadays. CIRIA Report No. 111: Structural Renovation of Traditional
Buildings (CIRIA 1986) noted that beams deeper than 300mm were built up by
riveting plate sections together (Figure 9). Similar construction has also been
found in Block 10 of Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village (Photo 13) and in
old Supreme Court Building (Photo 14).

Figure 8. Filler-joist floor

Figure 9. Elevation of built-up wrought iron girder


(Source: Bussell 1997)

Photo 13. Filler joist floor in Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village Block 10
(built in the late 19th or early 20th century)

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Photo 14. Built-up filler joist floor with steel plates on flanges for 8m span in old
Supreme Court Building (completed in 1912)

5.1.3 Reinforced Concrete Floor

As stated above, rc started to be used in the early 20th century. There were a
number of different types of steel reinforcement at that time. Instead of using
square grid of reinforcing bars as today, steel reinforcement was in the form of
metal wire mesh (Figure 10(a)) supplied in roll form (Figure 10(b)), or I-
section ribs. Such form of steel reinforcement enabled their production off-site
(Figure 11), and could facilitate the transportation of the steel reinforcement.
The mesh spans between the beams by means of catenary action (Stuart 2010).
Hence, the concrete serves only as the wear surface and as the mechanism by
which the imposed loads are transmitted to the mesh. Because the concrete is
not structurally stressed in this type of system, the composition and quality of
the concrete is not as important as in a true flexural slab. Such form of steel
reinforcement was found in the former Kom Tong Hall (Photo 15) and old
Supreme Court Building.

(a) when laid (b) when supplied


Figure 10. Wire mesh steel reinforcement
(Source: American Steel & Wire Company 1908)

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Photo 15. Wire mesh steel reinforcement in the former Kom Tong Hall
(built in 1914)

Figure 11. Fixing of wire mesh steel reinforcement on site


(Source: American Steel & Wire Company 1908)

The filler joist construction of the late 19th century was later replaced by rc slabs
on steel beams. An example is the former Central Fire Station (Photo 16)
(commonly known as Shui Che Kwun) located at the corner of Queens Road
Central and Wellington Street (now the site for Hang Seng Bank Headquarters
Building), where in the rc details (Figure 12) required steel mesh reinforcement
was detailed to be bent up at support to take the hogging moment and to wrap
around the steel beam at support.

Photo 16. Former Central Fire Station


(completed in 1926 and demolished in 1982)
(Source: AMO)

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Figure 12. Wire mesh steel reinforcement in slabs
at former Central Fire Station (built in 1924)

5.1.4 Hollow Block Floor

Hollow-block floors were commonly used from the 1950s to 1970s in Hong
Kong. Such form of construction has been found in City Hall Annex at Central
(now Hong Kong Planning and Infrastructure Exhibition Gallery) and Central
Government Offices (Photo 17). They were constructed by placing clay or
precast hollow cement sand blocks (Figure 13) on formwork, and concrete was
then cast to form ribs spanning in one direction (Figure 14). Its advantages are
its lightweight, the excellent sound insulation and thermal insulation. The clay
or cement sand blocks were not usually included in the design, and hence the
topping can be very thin (may be of 50mm). Similarly, the width of the ribs can
be as small as 50mm. ArchSD general specification (1968 edition) specified
that the outer casing of the hollow block should be of 1in (25mm) thick and
there should be a 1in 83 in key along each side (though such keys are not noted
in the hollow blocks in these two buildings). It further specified the ends of
blocks to be filled solid to a depth of 3 inches with concrete.

Figure 13. Clay or precast hollow cement sand blocks

Figure 14. Section of hollow-block floor

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Photo 17. Hollow block floor in old Supreme Court Building
(additional works of the 1960s)

5.1.5 Roof Structure

For pitched roof, either timber or structural steel has been used to form trusses.
Figure 15 and Figure 16 show the typical structural forms of western-styled
timber roofs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Similar timber trusses have
been found in former Clubhouse of Royal Yacht Club at Oil Street, North Point
(Photo 18 and Figure 17), Mongkok Police Station (Photo 19) and Hong Kong
Museum of Medical Sciences Society (former Pathological Institute) ((Photo
20). In the early 20th century, structural steel was used in pitched roof
construction. Examples of such early 20th century structural steel roof trusses
are found in Blake Pier Pavilion (Figure 18), former Yau Ma Tei Cinema
(Photo 21) and old Supreme Court Building (Photo 22).

Figure 15. King-post timber truss


(Source: www.builderbill-diy-help.com/)

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Figure 16. Queen-post truss
(Source: www.builderbill-diy-help.com/)

Figure 17. Western-styled timber truss in former Clubhouse of Royal Yacht


Club at Oil Street, North Point (built in 1908)

Photo 18. Western-styled timber roof truss in former Clubhouse of Royal Yacht
Club at Oil Street, North Point (built in 1908)

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Photo 19. Western-styled timber roof truss
in Mongkok Police Station (built in 1925)

Photo 20. Western-styled timber roof truss in


Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences Society in Mid-Levels
(completed in 1906)

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Figure 18. Structural steel roof truss in former Blake Pier
(completed in 1909)

Photo 21. Structural steel roof truss in former Yau Ma Tei Cinema
(built in 1930)

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Photo 22. Joints at roof truss in old Supreme Court Building
(completed in 1912)

5.2 Vertical Elements

5.2.1 Masonry and/or Brick Walls

In the earlier paragraphs, it was noted rc framed buildings did not appear in
Hong Kong till 1914, and hence the majority of vertical load-bearing elements
were made up of masonry and bricks. In some cases, walls were made with
masonry facing backed with bricks (Figure 19(a) and Photo 23), or masonry
with rubble heart (Figure 19(b)).

(a) (b)
Figure 19. Masonry wall mixed with brick or rubble
(Source: CIRIA 1986)

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Photo 23. Masonry wall backed with bricks
in old Supreme Court Building (completed in 1912)

Moreover, even with the appearance of rc framed buildings, masonry and bricks
were still used as vertical elements in ArchSD projects till the early 1950s. A
rule of thumb had been specified in the UK Metropolitan Building Act 1844
(Figure 20 and Figure 21), which was incorporated into Buildings and
Nuisances Ordinance 1856. Brick or masonry walls were specified to be of
the thickness of not less than 230mm at the upper storey, 340mm immediately
below the upper storey, and 450mm at the storey (if any) immediately, the said
two stories. Similarly, Buildings Ordinance 1950 provided, inter alia, the
following rule of thumb for the thickness of such walls:

a) 230mm for height of wall not exceeding 3.66m;


b) 340mm for height of wall between 3.66m and 7.62m;
c) 450mm for the lowermost storey and 340mm for other storey(s) for height
of wall between 7.62m and 12.20m.

Building (Construction) Regulations 1976 still contained similar rules of thumb


for masonry or brick construction. Most pre-WWII buildings, though with rc
slabs and beams, were built with masonry and/or brick vertical walls and
columns. One of the possible reasons was that the buildings in ArchSD projects
at that time were relatively low-rise (most not exceeding three storeys), and rc
frame action was not required in resisting wind. Another reason was that steel
was relatively expensive and scarce resource at that time, and using masonry
and brick could yield a more cost-effective design.

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Figure 20. Thickness of walls for dwelling houses
under Metropolitan Building Act 1844

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Figure 21. Thickness of walls for warehouses
under Metropolitan Building Act 1844

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Figure 22 shows the typical buildings using brick walls as vertical elements in
Shaukeiwan Police Station (note that the framing plan of G/F shows the
structural layout above that floor). Typical structural materials used for load
bearing elements were Canton grey brick, red brick and granite bonded by lime-
mortar of lime and sand or by Portland cement (or its forerunner Roman cement
- a natural hydraulic cement). They were built in single length, with no
movement joints. Lintels may sometimes be non-existent and loads were
applied to door or window frames.

Figure 22. Structural layout of rc slabs on brick walls in Shaukeiwan Police


Station (built in 1949)

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5.2.2 Steel Framed Building

In the 19th century, besides masonry and brick, cast iron was used as vertical
elements, due to its good compressive strength. Wrought iron was not widely
used for columns, because cast iron was better in compression and was cheaper
than wrought iron. The first steel framed building in the UK was the Ritz Hotel
completed in 1904. However, steel framed buildings were only permitted in the
UK under London County Council Act 1909, 5 years after the completion of the
Ritz Hotel. Similar form of structures has been found in Hong Kong in former
Kom Tong Hall (Photo 24) (though not all columns are steel as some vertical
elements being masonry or brick walls), the former Central Fire Station, Queen
Mary Hospital Main Block (Photo 25 and Figure 23) and the third generation
Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Building (Photo 26).

Steel framed structure then became increasingly common for commercial


buildings, hotels, and residential flat in the UK between 1909 and 1939 (Gibbs
2000). For such structures, they were usually clad in brick or stone (Figure 24),
for architectural reasons and for fire protection. Initially, it was further assumed
that the cladding surrounding the steelwork would prevent moisture ingress and
avoid corrosion problems (Gibbs 2000). Yet such assumption was not correct,
and one of major problems of such structures was the corrosion of the
embedded steelwork (Photo 27). Project officer may refer to TAN 20:
Corrosion in Masonry Clad Early 20th Century Steel Framed Buildings (Gibbs
2000) on the causes of corrosion and the possible repair methods of such
structures. The corrosion problem was subsequently recognised in the 1930s in
the UK, when all steelwork was required before erection to be coated with one
coat of boiled oil, tar or paint, and after erection by an additional coat of boiled
oil, tar, paint or cement wash. Gibbs (2000) further noted that steelwork in
some of such steel framed structures may be painted with red lead or coated
with bituminous coating. In the record drawing of Queen Mary Hospital of
1934, it was noted that all structural steelwork had been specified to be painted
with one coat of red lead paint following the prevailing UK practice at that time,
though the design was done in Hong Kong by in-house staff (Fung 1997).
Photo 28 shows the steel frames under trial fabrication in Dorman Long yard in
Middlesbrough, the UK, which were then taken apart and shipped to Hong
Kong. Photo 29 and Photo 30 show the erection of the steel frames on the site
Queen Mary Hospital in 1935. Photo 31 shows the red paint on a steel beam in
such building.

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Figure 23. Framing plan of Queen Mary Hospital Main Block
(completed in 1937)

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Figure 24. Brick clad steel framed building
(Source: Gibbs 2000)

Photo24. Brick clad steel column in former Kom Tong Hall


(built in 1914)

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Photo 25. Queen Mary Hospital (built in 1937)
(Source: Hospital Authority)

Photo 26. Corrosion of brick clad steel column in the former Kom Tong Hall
(built in 1914)

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Photo 27. Steel frames of Queen Mary Hospital (completed in 1937)
under trial fabrication in Middlesbrough, the UK
(Source: Historical Photographs of China)
(available: http://hpc.vcea.net/Collection/Introduction; accessed: 29 May 2012))

Photo 28. Steel frames of Queen Mary Hospital (completed in 1937)


under erection on site at Pokfulam in 1935
(Source: Fung 1997)

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Photo 29. Steel frames of Queen Mary Hospital under erection on site
at Pokfulam in 1935 (viewed from Pokfulam Road)
(Source: Fung 1997)

Photo 30. Steel frames of old Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Building under
construction in 1934 (completed in 1935 and demolished in 1984)
(Source: Historical Photographs of China)
(available: http://hpc.vcea.net/Collection/Introduction; accessed: 29 May 2012))

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Photo 31. Red lead paint on steel beam in steel framed building
(Source: Gibbs 2000)

5.3 Foundations

5.3.1 There is a lack of historical review and publication of the foundation systems in
Hong Kong (and indeed in the world) (Przewcki et al 2005), though
foundation is vital to the structural stability of a building. Up till the 1950s,
shallow foundation (pad or strip footing) was the predominant type of
foundation, as most of the buildings were low-rise. The first building
legislation, Buildings and Nuisances Ordinance 1856 already contained a rule
of thumb for the width and depth of the founding level, which remained
unchanged till Buildings Ordinance 1950. Buildings Ordinance 1950 still
specified that the footings should be founded on sound stone, brick, concrete,
or other equally hard substance, carried down to a depth of not less than twice
the thickness of the wall in the lowest storey. The same section also specified
the footings to be stepped so that width of such foundation shall diminish
gradually towards the upper surface thereof in regular steps or offsets (Figure
25, Figure 26, Figure 27, and Photo 32). Buildings Ordinance 1950 also
provided depth of the founding level and width of the foundation might be
required to vary for soft ground. No special provision had yet been specified for
piled foundation. Layers of granitic stone (Figure 28, Photo 33 and Photo 34)
were usually laid underneath such footings, probably to form a rigid platform to
lay the masonry or brick walls and spread the loading over soft ground.
Reinforced concrete footings were not common, and an early example of the use
of rc pad footings were in 1908 (Figure 28(b)) (Bowen and Measor 1958).

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Figure 25. Unreinforced concrete footings for brick walls

Figure 26. Unreinforced concrete footings for masonry walls

Figure 27. Footings of former Married Quarters at Hollywood Road


(built in 1950)

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Figure 28(a). As-surveyed footing of former Clubhouse of Royal Yacht Club
(built in 1908)

Figure 28(b). Reinforced concrete pad footing in early 20th century


(Source: Bowen and Measor 1958)

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Photo 32. Stepped footing in former Kom Tong Hall
(built in 1914)

Photo 33. Layers of granitic stones underneath wall footing in the former
Central School at Hollywood Road
(completed in 1889 and destroyed during the WWII)
(Source: AMO)

Photo 34. Layers of granitic stones underneath wall footing in the former
Central School at Hollywood Road
(completed in 1889 and destroyed during the WWII)
(Source: AMO)
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5.3.2 Besides brick or masonry walls on concrete (reinforced or unreinforced)
footings, steel framed buildings usually founded on steel base plates resting on a
steel grillage inside concrete footing. Figure 29(a) and Figure 29(b) show the
steel stanchion footings in early 20th century and in the 1930s, and Photo 35
shows the steel grillage underneath the footings in the former Kom Tong Hall
(built in 1914). Reinforced concrete footings replaced such steel grillage
concrete footing in the UK in around the 1940s in order to conserve structural
steel during the WWII (Bowen and Measor 1958). As the pressure distribution
underneath a raft foundation had not yet been ascertained till the 1950s, the use
of raft foundation was not common till that time (Bowen and Measor 1958).
.

Figure 29(a). Footing of steel stanchion Ritz Hotel in London


(the first steel framed building in the UK built in 1904)
(Source: Chrimes 2001)

Figure 28(b). Footing of steel stanchion in the 1930s


(Source: Bowen and Measor 1958)

Photo 35. Steel grillage underneath footing in former Kom Tong Hall
(built in 1914)

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5.3.3 The early use of piles was believed to be for dockyards and piers, and timber
piles were used. When applied to building structures, Przewcki et al (2005)
noted that, the early scheme was to lay the foundation of the brick wall on a
stone layer or on the timber platform supported by timber piles (Figure 30).
Timber piles were always placed below the lowest expected groundwater level,
because builders from the oldest times had known that timber did not decay if
permanently immersed under the ground water table. An early use of timber
piles in building works in Hong Kong could be traced to 1846, when timber
piles were used in the Exchange Building on No. 7 Queens Road (which
housed the second generation Supreme Court) (Photo 36). The timber piles
there were Manila hardwood each of 225mm square in cross-section and of
length 12ft (3.7m). Timber piles can still be found for the foundation of the
third generation Supreme Court (1912-1985) (which was later converted into
the former Legislative Council), where 1,447 nos. of timber piles (Photo 37(a))
were installed. The piles were China fir with dimension of about 200mm either
in square or circular shape and length of 5m. These piles were cut off at about
200mm clear of the face of the footings. Similarly, timber piles were used to
found the old Alexandra House in Central (Photo 37(b)).

Figure 30. Early timber piled foundation


(Source: Przewcki et al 2005)

Photo 36. Exchange Building on No. 7 Queens Road


(Source: Hong Kong Museum of History)

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Photo 37(a). Timber pile in old Supreme Court Building
(completed in 1912)

Photo 37(b). Timber piles in old Alexandra House at Central


(completed in 1904 and demolished in the 1950s)
(Source: Cameron 1979)

5.3.4 In the late 19th century, driven precast concrete piles first appeared in Europe
(Photo 38(a)). In the early 20th century, steel H-piles and concrete (precast or
cast-in-situ) piles appeared in the market. It was said that timber piles were
faded out in the UK owing to the increasing scarcity of supplies of suitable long
straight lengths, and to the cost of transport (The Structural Engineer 1933).
Numerous pile driving formulae had been derived (e.g. Dutch formula,
Engineering News formula) (Sandover 1933). Hiley formula first appeared in a
paper entitled The Impact of Imperfectly-Elastic Bodies and the Effect of the
Hammer Blow in Pile-Driving published in the Transactions of the Society of
Engineers in 1923. Diesel hammers, originally invented in Germany, only
appeared in the market of the UK in the early 1960s (Bullen 1961).

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Photo 38(a). Earliest driven concrete piles in 1894
(Source: The Structural Engineer 1924)

5.3.5 In summary, types of piles in historical buildings in Hong Kong include:


a) timber piles;
b) driven pre-cast concrete piles;
c) driven cast-in-situ piles (e.g. Vibro and Frankie piles); and
d) driven steel H-piles (though uncommon in building works and more
common in civil engineering works (e.g. piers).

Hand-dug caissons appeared later in the market in the early 1960s. Cylinder
piles in the form of large diameter bored piles and auger piles (Photo 38(b)
appeared in the UK only in the 1950s, and only appeared in Hong Kong in the
late 1960s.

Photo 38(b). Early auger piles


(Source: Bowen and Measor 1958)

5.3.6 Driven precast concrete piles were shod with a cast iron shoe, and could be up
to 60 ft (18m) long). Driven cast-in-situ concrete piles (the Simplex system),
invented by Frank Shuman of Philadelphia in 1903, appeared in the market
around the WWI (Chrimes 2001). It was then followed by two other systems of
driven cast-in-stiu piles, namely, Frankie piles (invented by Belgian Edgard
Frankignoul in 1909) and Vibro piles (invented by A Hiley in 1920). Pressure
piles were invented in Germany in the early 1920s, and were first used in the
UK in 1928 by J F Barr (Bullen 1961). By then, there were two common

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methods of installing cast-in-situ concrete piles. The first method (commonly
called Vibro pile) was to drive a steel tube fitted with a conical shoe to the
required set, followed by pouring concrete into the hole. The tube was
withdrawn, and at the same time vibrated so as to consolidate the concrete and
force it into the surrounding ground. The shoe, of course, remained at the
bottom of the hole. Vibro (HK) Limited was established in Hong Kong in 1929,
specialised in pile driving works. The second method (commonly called
Frankie pile) was to pour a plug of dry concrete placed nearly dry in the
bottom end, followed by dropping an internal hammer onto the concrete plug
which dragged the tube into the ground by internal friction. When the required
depth was reached, additional energy (by greater drop height of the hammer)
forced the plug out of the tube to form a bulb of dry concrete. Then, concrete
was placed in the tube and consolidated by means of the hammer, the tube being
withdrawn meanwhile.

5.3.7 An early application of using driven steel H-piles in Hong Kong was in Blake
Pier (completed in 1900) at Central (Wong et al 2007). The Central Market was
founded on 390 nos. of Vibro cast-in-situ concrete piles. However, piles were
not common for Government buildings, as most of them were low rise. The
then Central Government Offices, 7-storey buildings, were founded on pad
footings with bearing pressure of 250kPa. The City Hall at Central, built in
1962, was one of Government buildings employing piled foundation, as the
buildings lie on the reclaimed land of the then new waterfront.

5.4 Summary of Structural Forms of Historical Buildings

5.4.1 Annex A gives examples of the structural forms and load-transfer mechanisms
of pre-WWII graded historical buildings maintained by ArchSD in
chronological order. For those pre-WWI buildings, timber floor and/or
unreinforced concrete slabs were common. Timber trusses were also common
as the pitched roof. Masonry or brick walls and columns were the norm. For
those post-WWI buildings, rc slabs on rc beams and columns might be used,
though brick walls were still widely used as vertical elements. The typical
buildings are generally 2 to 3 storeys in height. Table 13 summarises the
structural forms from mid-19th century to mid-20th century for Government
buildings, and project officer should note that this is a broad-bush classification
and actual construction may deviate from such classification.

Table 13. Summary of Structural Forms of Government Buildings

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Vertical Horizontal
Year Roof systems Foundation
elements floor systems
1840s masonry or timber floor / timber trusses footings or
1900s brick walls jack arch / wrought timber piles
floor / filler iron trusses
joists floor
1910s masonry or filler joists timber trusses footings, timber
1930s brick walls / floor / rc / steel trusses piles, driven
steel frames slabs precast concrete
cladded with piles, driven
brick or steel H-piles
masonry
1930s masonry walls rc slabs with steel trusses / footings, driven
1950s /rc columns steel rc slabs precast or cast-
reinforcemen in-situ piles,
t on rc beams driven H-piles

5.4.2 Chinese-Styled Historical Buildings

In Hong Kong, traditional Chinese houses existed long before it became a


British colony, and such buildings can still be seen in the New Territories.
There are a number of Chinese-styled declared monuments maintained by
ArchSD, including the Old House in Shatin Wong Uk, Sheung Yiu Folk
Museum, Sam Tung Uk Museum, etc. Figure 31, Photo 39 and Photo 40 show
the typical layout of such houses, with clay tiles on timber roof battens
supported by round timber purlins (Photo 41) which rested on brick (Photo 42)
or masonry walls (Photo 43). Typical Chinese-styled tile roof can be single
layer or double layer (Figure 32). Probably because of the lack of resources in
early days, sometimes the walls might be of masonry or brick facing with rubble,
pebble, mud or sand heart (Photo 44), or a combination of masonry and brick
(Photo 45) without mortar or with mud, clay or lime/cement mortar, or clay
brick (Photo 46).

For wealthy clan, the traditional Chinese house usually consisted of more than
one hall () and courtyard in plan with more than one bay () in width (Photo
47, Figure 33, Figure 34, and Figure 35). The entrance hall, the courtyards and
the halls were located along the central axis usually in south-north direction.
Side rooms were attached on each side of the entrance hall and the halls, while
the kitchen and the bathroom were located on the left and right sides of the front
courtyard respectively. Such house was mainly constructed of Canton grey
bricks and granite blocks with its walls supporting the pitched roofs of wooden
rafters, purlins and Chinese-style tiles (Figure 36 and Figure 37). For larger
span roof, rather than using timber trusses, the traditional Chinese construction
used a series of timber joists (e.g. tailiangshi goujia () in Figure
38).

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Photo 39. Typical Chinese-styled house (Chung Old House at Tsuen Wan)
(Source: AMO)

Photo 40. Typical Chinese-styled house


(Heung Yuen Wai at Sha Tau Kok) (built in 1928)
(Source: AMO)

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(a) G/F Plan

(b) Section

Figure 31. Typical Chinese-styled house

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Photo 41. Clay tiles on timber joists Chung Old House at Tsuen Wan

Figure 32. Typical Chinese-styled clay tile roof (single and double layer)

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Photo 42. Chung Old House at Tsuen Wan
(showing the brick walls)

Photo 43. Chung Old House at Tsuen Wan


(showing the masonry walls)

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Photo 44. Wall with masonry facing and rubble heart
(Source: www.world-housing.net)

Photo 45. Brick wall mixed with masonry with and without mortar
in former Yau Ma Tei Cinema (built in 1930)

Photo 46. Clay brick

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Photo 47. Wong Uk, Shatin (built in the 19th century)
(Source: AMO)

Figure 33. Front elevation of Wong-Uk at Shatin


(Source: CM Wong & Associates Ltd)

Figure 34. Side elevation of Wong-Uk at Shatin


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(Source: CM Wong & Associates Ltd)

Figure 35. Architectural layout of Wong Uk at Shatin


(showing two-hall-and-two-courtyard in plan with three bays in width)
(Source: AMO)

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Figure 36. Structural layout at cockloft of Wong Uk at Shatin
(Source: CM Wong & Associates Ltd)

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Figure 37. Structural layout at roof of Wong Uk at Shatin
(Source: CM Wong & Associates Ltd)

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(a) Isomeric view

(b) Section
Figure 38. Traditional tailiangshi goujia for large span
(Source: 2006 and 1991)

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Tenement buildings (or more commonly called tong lau ()) were then
built throughout the territory, which were mostly constructed with timber joists
(later rc slabs and beams) on masonry or brick walls. Photo 48, Figure 39,
Figure 40 and Figure 41 show typical layouts of such tenement buildings. The
width of these buildings was restricted to 15 ft (about 5m) as the timber joists
were supplied in such length.

Photo 48. Tong lau at Shanghai Street


(Source: AMO)

Figure 39. Elevation of tong lau


(Source: modified from Chadwick 1882)
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Figure 40. Plan of tong lau
(Source: modified from Chadwick 1882)

Figure 41. Typical layout of tong lau in Hong Kong


(Source: modified from Chadwick 1882)

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Foundations for such Chinese-styled historical buildings differed from that
adopted for Western-styled buildings, which were either founded on pad or strip
footings or piles. Probably due to the unavailability of concrete, the brick or
masonry walls were enlarged at base, which were then rested on a strip or pad
footing formed by granitic stone (Figure 42). However, it should be noted that
the brick or masonry walls, or internal posts might sometimes rest directly on
soil without any stepped bricks, nor stone beneath.

Figure 42. Typical foundation for Chinese-styled historical buildings


(Source: modified from 2006)

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6. Specification and Corrosion Protection

6.1 Specification

In the early days, there was no standardised general specification for building
works in the then Public Works Department. At that time, the specification on
materials and workmanship was stated in the tender drawings and particular
specifications issued with the tender documents. The earliest edition of general
specification appeared in 1962, when General Specification of Materials and
Workmanship in Connection with the Construction of Buildings for the Hong
Kong Government in the Colony of Hong Kong was issued by the then
Architectural Office. The general specification has then been revised and
updated in 1967, 1968, 1970 (metric edition), 1976, 1984, 1993 and 2003, until
its current version of General Specification for Buildings (2007 Edition).
Copies of 2003 and 2007 editions are available in ArchSD web site at URL:
www.archsd.gov.hk/. For editions of the general specification before 2003,
project officer may visit ArchSD library on 35/F or the libraries of local
universities (which keep all editions of the general specification). SEB also
hold soft copy of the section on concrete works of 1968 and 1970 editions, and
soft copy of 1976, 1984, 1993 and 2003 editions. Project officer can approach
CSE/1 for these soft copies.

6.2 Corrosion Protection

Both structural steel and steel reinforcement is susceptible to corrosion resulting


in the loss of cross-sectional area. The corrosion of steel reinforcement causes
concrete spalling. In the early days, red lead paint was used for corrosion
protection of structural steel. This was evident in the notes in the structural
drawings and the recent works. The record drawings of Queen Mary Hospital
Main Block (built in 1937) specified that the steelwork was to be applied with
red lead paint, and in the adaptive reuse of Blake Pier Pavilion in new Stanley
Pier the steelwork built in 1909 was found to be protected with red lead paint.

For rc, corrosion protection of steel reinforcement, same as current practice,


relied on the concrete cover. However, the concrete cover for each structural
element has been improved over the years with the advancement of codes.
Project officer should therefore refer to the prevailing code at the time of
construction for the adopted concrete covers.

7. List of References

Project officer should note that the above paragraphs can neither serve a
comprehensive review of all the construction materials, structural forms and
construction methods of historical buildings in Hong Kong, nor contain all
information required for structural survey and appraisal of historical buildings.
Hence, the following list of references is provided:

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History of Structural Materials, Design and Construction

Addis, B (1997), Concrete and Steel in Twentieth Century Construction: from


Experimentation to Mainstream usage, in Stratton, M (1997) (ed), Structure
and Style: Conserving Twentieth Century Building (London: E&FN Spon) pp.
122-42.

Addis, B and Bussell, M (2003), Key Developments in the History of Concrete


Construction and the Implications for Remediation and Repair, in
MacDonald, S (2003) (ed), Concrete Building Pathology (Oxford: Blackwell
Science) pp. 15-106.

American Steel & Wire Company (1908), Triangle Mesh Concrete


Reinforcement Engineers Handbook (American Steel & Wire Company).

Basil, S W (1929), Some Historical Notes on the Applications of Iron and Steel
to Building Construction, The Structural Engineer, 7(1), pp. 4-12 (available:
www.istructe.org/thestructuralengineer; accessed: 11 May 2012).

Bates, W (1991), Historical Structural Steelwork Handbook (London: British


Constructional Steelwork Association Ltd) (available:
www.steelconstruction.org/component/documents; accessed: 11 May 2012).

Beal, A N (2001), A History of the Safety Factors, The Structural Engineer


89(20), pp. 20-6 (available: www.istructe.org/thestructuralengineer; accessed:
11 May 2012).

Bussell, M (1997), Appraisal of Existing Iron and Steel Structures (Ascot: SCI).

Bussell, M (1999), Problems and Possibilities Cast Iron, Wrought Iron,


Steel, in Verhoef, L G W (ed) (1999), Proceedings of the International
Congress on Urban Heritage and Building Maintenance - Iron and Steel
(Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology)

Bussell, M (2007), Use of iron and steel in buildings, in Forsyth, M (ed)


(2007), Structures & Construction in Historic Building Conservation
(Oxford: Blackwell), pp. 173-91.

Bussell, M (2008), Concrete and Reinforced Concrete, in Forsyth, M (2008)


(ed), Materials & Skills for Historic Building Conservation (Oxford:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd).

Clarke, J L (2009), Technical Report No. 70: Historical Approaches to the


Design of Concrete Buildings and Structures (Surrey: The Concrete Society).

Cotta, R (2008), Stone: Granite, in Forsyth, M (2008) (ed), Materials & Skills
for Historic Building Conservation (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd).

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Department of Transport (2001), BD 21/01: The Assessment of Highway
Bridges and Structures (London: Department of Transport) (available:
www.dft.gov.uk/ha/standards/dmrb/vol3/section4/bd2101.pdf; accessed: 8
May 2012).

Gibbs, P (2000), TAN 20: Corrosion in Masonry Clad Early 20th Century Steel
Framed Buildings (Edinburgh: Historic Scotland).

Ma, K Y (2007), The Development of Hong Kong Structural Engineering


Standards after the Second World War and before 1997 (Hong Kong: The
University of Hong Kong) (Unpublished MA Dissertation) (available:
http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/ER/detail/hkul/3862073; accessed: 11 May 2012).

Ng, H K (2011), Evolution of the Hong Kong Wind Code, Hong Kong
Engineer, 130(4), pp. 17-8 (available: www.hkengineer.org.hk; accessed: 11
May 2012).

Tamworth, I P (1952), Timber Used in Hong Kong (Hong Kong: Ye Olde


Printerie).

Structural Appraisal and Surveys of Historical Buildings

Beckmann, P (1995), Structural Aspects of Building Conservation (London:


McGraw-Hill).

Beckmann, P and Bowles (2004), Structural Aspects of Building Conservation


(Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2nd).

Buildings Department (2012), Practice Guidebook on Compliance with


Building Safety and Health Requirements for Adaptive Re-use of and
Alteration and Addition Works to Heritage under the Buildings Ordinance
(Hong Kong: Buildings Department) (available: www.bd.gov.hk/; accessed:
23 July 2012).

CIRIA (1986), CIRIA Report No. 111: Structural Renovation of Traditional


Buildings (London: CIRIA).

Clancy, B and Stagg, B (2004), Are Structural Surveys Proper Engineering?


The Structural Engineer, 82(1), pp. 27-32 (available:
www.istructe.org/thestructuralengineer; accessed: 11 May 2012).

DAyala, D F and Forsyth, M (2007), What is Conservation Engineering, in


Forsyth, M (ed) (2007), Structures & Construction in Historic Building
Conservation (Oxford: Blackwell), pp. 1-11.

Hume, I (2007), The Philosophy of Conservation Engineering, in Forsyth, M


(ed) (2007), Structures & Construction in Historic Building Conservation
(Oxford: Blackwell), pp. 12-18.

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IStructE (2010), Appraisal of Existing Structures (London: IStructE, 3rd ed).

Rabun, J S (2000), Structural Analysis of Historic Buildings: Restoration,


Preservation, and Adaptive Reuse Applications for Architects and Engineers
(New York: John Wiley & Sons).

Ross, P (2002), Appraisal and Repair of Timber Structures, The Structural


Engineer, 80(17), pp. 26-9 (available: www.istructe.org/thestructuralengineer;
accessed: 11 May 2012).

Koon, C M (2010), Structural Appraisal of Reinforced Concrete Buildings


with Historic Values, Presented at Seminar on Concrete Damage
Assessment, Concrete Repair and Concrete Mix Technology, Hong Kong,
China, 2 February 2010.

Urquhart, D (ed) (2007), Guide for Practitioners 6 - Conversion of Traditional


Buildings: Application of the Building Standards Part I - Principles and
Practice (Edinburgh: Scottish Building Standards Agency) (available:
www.historic-scotland.gov.uk; accessed: 11 May 2012).

(2006),(: )

(2006),(:
)

(1991),(: )

Historical Review of Foundation

Bowen, F M and Measor, E O (1958), Foundations and Sub-structures, The


Structural Engineer, 36(13), pp. 57-65 (available:
www.istructe.org/thestructuralengineer; accessed: 14 August 2012).

Bullen, F R (1961), Presidential Address Notes on the History of Foundation


Engineering, The Structural Engineer, 39(12), pp. 385-404 (available:
www.istructe.org/thestructuralengineer; accessed: 14 August 2012).

Chrimes, M (2001), Concrete Foundations and Substructures: a Historical


Review, in Sutherland, J, Humm, D and Chrimes, M (2001) (eds), Concrete:
Background to Appraisal (London: Thomas Telford Publishing).

Przewocki, J, Dardzinska I and Swinianski, J (2005), Review of Historical


Buildings Foundations, Geotechnique, 55(5), pp. 36372.

Sandover, J A M (1933), Foundation, The Structural Engineer, 11(8), pp.


338-51 (available: www.istructe.org/thestructuralengineer; accessed: 11 May
2012).

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Sutherland, J (2001), Introduction, in Sutherland, J et al (eds) (2001), Historic
Concrete: Background to Appraisal (London: Thomas Telford).

Tomlinson, M J, Driscoll, R and Burland, J B (1982), Discussion: Foundations


for Low-rise Buildings, The Structural Engineer, 60A(8), pp. 242-53
(available: www.istructe.org/thestructuralengineer; accessed: 11 May 2012).

Other References

Allwinkle, S et al (1997), TAN 11: Fire Protection Measures in Scottish


Historic Buildings (Edinburgh: Historic Scotland).

Australian National Association of Forest Industries (2004), Timber Manual


Datafile P1: Timber Species and Properties (Deakin: NAFI, revised edition)
(available: www.nafi.com.au ; accessed: 3 August 2012).

Buildings Department (2011), Draft Code of Practice for Mandatory Building


Inspection Scheme and Mandatory Window Inspection Schemes (Hong Kong:
Buildings Department) (available: www.bd.gov.hk/; accessed: 13 October
2011).

Cameron, N (1979), The Hongkong Land Company Ltd: a Brief History (Hong
Kong: Offset Printing).

Chadwick, O (1882), Mr Chadwick's Reports on the Sanitary Condition of Hong


Kong (with Appendices and Plans) (London: Colonial Office).

Fung C M (1997), A History of Queen Mary Hospital 1937-1997 (Hong Kong:


Queen Mary Hospital).

Ho, P Y (2001), Water of a Barren Rock 150 Years of Water Supply in Hong
Kong (Hong Kong: The Commercial Press).

Lam, S L (2003), Conservation of Historic Buildings in Hong Kong (Hong


Kong: Architectural Services Department) (available:
www.archsd.gov.hk/english/reports/e3121.pdf; accessed: 17 May 2012).

Pang, P and Chan, W T (2010), Fire Engineering for a Sustainable Future,


Presented at Fire Division Symposium on Fire Engineering for a Sustainable
Future, Hong Kong, China, 15 March 2010.

Wong, W S and Liu, A (1999a) (eds), Measured Drawings Volume One: Hong
Kong Historical Chinese Buildings (Beijing: China Planning Press).

Wong, W S and Liu, A (1999b) (eds), Measured Drawings Volume Two: Hong
Kong Historical Western Buildings (Beijing: China Planning Press).

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Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore (2011), Conservation Guidelines
(Singapore: URA) (available: www.ura.gov.sg/conservation/; accessed: 17
May 2012).

Case Studies

Curtin, W and Parkinson, E (1989) Structural Appraisal and Restoration of


Victorian Buildings, in ICE (1989), Conservation and Engineering
Structures (London: Thomas Telford Publishing), pp. 95-108.

Ma, K Y, Chan, Y K and Wong, C Y (2011), Revitalization of Historic


Buildings: Conversion of Yau Ma Tei Theatre and Red Brick Building into a
Xiqu Activity Centre, Presented at 5th Cross-strait Conference on
Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, Hong Kong, China, 13-15 July
2011.

Wong C T, Leung M K, Liu K M and Ma, K Y (2007), The Blake Pier


Pavilion: Just a Memory? The Structural Engineers, 85(20), pp. 38-43
(available: www.istructe.org/thestructuralengineer; accessed: 24 November
2011).

Wong, C T and Chan, P W (2007), Refurbishment of Kom Tong Hall as Dr


Sun Yat-sen Museum, The Structural Engineers, 85(20), pp. 31-7 (available:
www.istructe.org/thestructuralengineer; accessed: 24 November 2011).

Ross, P (2002), Case Histories, in Ross, P (2002), Appraisal and Repair of


Timber Structures (London: Thomas Telford) pp.160-210.

(2011),: 1841-1953(:
)

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Annex A

Examples of Structural Forms of Graded Historical Buildings

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Former Montgomery Block of Victoria Barracks at Kennedy Road (now
Mothers Choice Home)
built between 1840 and 1874
concrete slab on filler joists supported on brick columns and walls

As-surveyed section in 2011

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Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village Block 10 (former Lei Yue Mun Barracks)
built in late 19th Century or early 20th Century
original block with jack arch concrete slab on filler joists supported on brick
columns and walls
extension block with concrete slab on filler joists supported on brick columns
and walls

As-surveyed section in 2011

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As-surveyed plan in 2011

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Former British Military Hospital at Bowen Road
built between 1903 and 1906, and opened in 1907
concrete slab on steel beams supported on brick columns and walls
structural steel roof truss covered with Chinese style double layer tiles

As-surveyed section in 2011

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Hong Kong Museum of Medical Science in Mid-Levels (former Pathological
Institute)
built in 1906
concrete slab on brick walls with some later strengthened by steel beams
timber roof truss with timber purlins covered with Chinese style double layer
tiles

As-surveyed structural layout in 2011

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Former Clubhouse of Royal Yacht Club at Oil Street, North Point
built in 1908
timber floors on steel beams supported on brick walls
clay roof tiles on timber roof truss

As-surveyed framing plan in 2010

Section

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Elevation facing internal courtyard
(Source: AMO)

Elevation facing Electric Road


(Source: AMO)

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Old Supreme Court Building
built in 1912
filler steel joists floor
structural steel roof trusses on north wing, south wing and west pediment with
timber purlins, and structural steel roof dome over the central portion
masonry backed with brick walls and masonry columns as vertical elements
founded on timber piles

Birds Eye View

Front Elevation

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Side Elevation

Section

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As-surveyed 1/F framing plan in 2012

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As-surveyed 2/F framing plan in 2012

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As-surveyed roof framing plan in 2012

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Former Kom Tong Hall
built in 1914
rc slab with wire mesh as steel reinforcement on steel beams encased in
concrete supported on steel columns (occasionally on brick walls)

As-surveyed typical floor framing plan in 2005

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Section

North Elevation

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Mongkok Police Station
built in 1925
timber floor on timber joists on brick walls, with the corridor slabs recast with
rc
timber roof truss with steel channel purlins covered with steel profile sheet

As-surveyed section in 2012

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Former Central Fire Station
completed in 1926 and demolished in 1982
rc slab with wire mesh reinforcement on steel beams supported by steel
columns clad with brick
founded on pad footings

Typical part framing plan

Wire mesh slab details

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Section

(Source: AMO)

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Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village Block 30 (former Lei Yue Mun Barracks)
built in 1936
rc slab on rc beams supported by brick walls and rc columns

As-surveyed section in 2011

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Queen Mary Hospital Main Block
completed in 1937
rc slab with wire mesh reinforcement on steel beams supported by steel
columns clad with brick
founded on pad footings

Photo 24. Queen Mary Hospital (built in 1937)


(Source: Hospital Authority)

Typical part framing plan

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Section

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