WS3 Choosing Tests and Evaluating Results for Historic Masonry Materials

Friday Only

Full! Wait List Available Friday, October 11, 7:30 - 5:30

Using lectures, demonstrations and hands-on experience, the workshop gives each participant a basic understanding of material properties and compositions of historic masonry (clay brick, natural and cast stone, mortars) through the use of laboratory tests and investigation that may be used to determine these, and to then correlate the data effectively in real world practice. 

At the end of the workshop, participants will have begun to understand the capabilities and limitations of various tests, but also how to use the test data to understand how historical masonry has performed and to develop appropriate preservation strategies, treatments and interventions.

Learning Objectives:
1.  Understand the history of and recent developments in masonry material testing in North America 
2. Understand what mortar tests are available, the relative merits of each and how/when to specify them  
3. Refer to/specify European testing methods that may be more appropriate to specific project needs  
4. Understand what the ASTM materials testing standards are, how they are applicable in real world applications and how to decide which to specify for specific project needs 
5. Develop a basic understanding of laboratory testing methodologies and their strengths and limitations related to masonry materials testing 
6. Understand and apply the results of laboratory test data as conducted for their projects

Fee: $375
Skill Level
: Mid-career
Fee Includes: Breakfast, lunch, handouts, materials, transportation
Location: Highbridge Materials Consulting
Transportation: Charter bus
Dress Code: Casual (jeans) with good walking shoes, light jacket or sweater 
Recommended Equipment: Notebook and camera
Maximum Attendance: 30
Handicapped Accessibility: The lab is generally accessible; some assistance may be required in some areas.
Continuing Education Credits: 13


  • George Wheeler, Ph.D., FAIC, FIIC, FAAR Director of Conservation, Columbia University Mr. Wheeler joined the Columbia University GASPP program after 25 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a research scientist, in the Department of Scientific Research, a position he continues to hold part-time. He has published extensively in the field of conservation, including his recent book Alkoxysilanes and the Consolidation of Stone, issued by the Getty Conservation Institute. Wheeler is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation, the International Institute for Conservation, and winner of the 1997 Rome Prize in conservation. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from New York University, a Graduate Certificate in Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts and a Master’s Degree in Art History from Hunter College-CUNY.


  • Michael Lynch, P.E., AIA, FAPT, Kaese & Lynch Architecture and Engineering


  • John Walsh, President/Senior Petrographer, is the founder and president of Highbridge Materials Consulting. He holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a B.S. in Geology with Honors from Queens College, CUNY.  Mr. Walsh has extensive experience in the application of petrographic and chemical techniques to the examination of a wide variety of construction materials and practices. Additionally, he is a recognized expert in the application of these techniques to investigations related to historical concrete and masonry.

  • Norman R. Weiss, FAPT, is Senior Scientist at Integrated Conservation Resources, Inc  and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University,  He draws on decades of practical experience in architectural conservation to provide technical support to architects and engineers throughout the world. Trained as an analytical chemist at New York University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Weiss is a pioneering specialist in the analysis and preservation of traditional building materials. He is a life member of APT (and recipient of APT's Harley J. McKee Award). He has taught at Columbia University since 1977 and frequently lectures for preservation organizations worldwide. Weiss is a member of the PTT Board of the National Park Service; Visiting Professor, Lund University; and Visiting Lecturer, Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm.  


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