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Architecture and Engineering

NCPTT’s Architecture & Engineering program encourages research and partnerships with organizations and institutions working to advance preservation technology for buildings and other structures.

US/ICOMOS Cooperative Agreement: Internship and Preservation Technology Research
The U.S. division of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS) and NCPTT are developing an annual awards program that will serve as an incentive for graduate students to adopt thesis topics related to major needs in the field of preservation technology. NCPTT and US/ICOMOS have had initial discussions regarding the awards program, which will be implemented under the National Center’s new Cooperative Agreement with US/ICOMOS.

US/DOCOMOMO Cooperative Agreement
NCPTT has drafted a cooperative agreement with the United States committee of the International Working Party for the Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement (DOCOMOMO International). The cooperative agreement will provide a framework for cooperation in the development of research and training related to the preservation needs of modern era resources.

APT Cooperative Agreement: Preservation Technology Research Cooperative Agreement

NCPTT worked with APT on an agreement to offer a Nondestructive Evaluation Workshop, which took place in Charleston, S.C., on May 16-17. The workshop provided guidance in the evaluation and rehabilitation of historic structures. The two-day workshop was attended by engineers, architects and technically oriented professionals from other disciplines. The program was divided between classroom time and hands-on field sessions. Additional partners for the Charleston event included the APT Southeast Regional Chapter and Drayton Hall. A second offering is currently being planned that will take place in another region in 2009.

LSU Cooperative Agreement: Innovative Documentation Strategies
NCPTT is continuing to work with the Louisiana State University School of Architecture to develop and test a methodology to use geospatial digital video documentation technology to efficiently survey historic buildings and landscapes pre- and post- disaster. This technology will enable planners and others to better assess risks to historic resources, plan effective mitigation strategies and improve disaster response. Andy Ferrell, Barrett Kennedy of LSU and Deidre McCarthy of the NPS Heritage Documentation Program presented current progress at the National Trust Preservation Conference in St. Paul, Minn., in October.

Natchitoches Architectural Survey/Graduate Assistantship

NCPTT intern Belinda Diehl worked on the Center’s Natchitoches Architectural Survey. Diehl used ArcGIS software and Trimble GPS units to collect data. Diehl also revised the Natchitoches Architectural Survey Guide, which provides an overview of the survey and directions for surveying.

Comparative Study of Commercially available Paint Removers for use on Historic Brick
NCPTT’s Sarah Jackson began a literature review of articles and books available on paint removers for use on historic brick. A&E’s summer intern Edward Fitzgerald continued the literature review and worked with NCPTT on developing a testing matrix. After coring all the samples for use in the study he began the baseline testing for the study.

Preserving Coastal Forts: A NPS Workshop

Working with other NPS partners, NCPTT planned “Preserving Coastal Forts: A NPS Workshop” on April 8-10, 2008, in Mount Pleasant, S.C. The workshop provided a forum for learning and sharing information about the preservation problems and solutions common to masonry coastal fortifications. Partners included the Historic Preservation Training Center, the Southeast Regional Office and Fort Sumter National Monument. Kirk Cordell and Andy Ferrell from NCPTT participated.

International Preservation Trades Workshop and Traditional Buildings Exhibition and Conference
Sarah Jackson presented the results of the Center’s limewash research and offered hands-on demonstrations on traditional limewash at the International Preservation Trades Workshop in Frederick, Md., and at the Traditional Buildings Exhibition and Conference in New Orleans, La. This was based on the Center’s research that was completed in 2006. Colorado Preservation Inc.’s 2008 Saving Places Conference Andy Ferrell chaired a session titled “Sustainable Preservation” that focused on historic preservation and environmental conservation. Topics included historic building performance and energy conservation, efforts to integrate preservation values into the LEED rating system, and a case study of a rehabilitation project using the Sustainable Preservation Assessment developed by SLATERPAULL ARCHITECTS. Ferrell was joined by Barbara Campagna of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Gerhard Petri and Melanie Short of SLATERPAULL ARCHITECTS, Denver, Colo.

Trades Training
Kirk Cordell and Andy Ferrell met with Dr. Elwanda Murphy, superintendent of the Natchitoches Parish School Board, and members of the parish school board to discuss possible collaboration to develop a trades training program for area high schools. Building on the Brooklyn High School of the Arts model, the partners would develop a curriculum tailored to the needs of Natchitoches students and take advantage of the cultural resources available in and around the city of Natchitoches, La.

Christine Faith, NCPTT Heritage Education coordinator, and Andy Ferrell participated in a Preservation Trades High School Curriculum Summit to discuss, develop and implement a framework for facilitating traditional trades training in high schools. This meeting was funded by NCPTT through a cooperative agreement. Participants discussed the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of programs but focused on the models in place at the Brooklyn School of the Arts (BHSA) and the Randolph Career Technical Education Center in Detroit. The BHSA program was developed by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) with funding from NCPTT. The Randolph program features an “under the radar” approach to integrating traditional skills training into existing courses. As a result of the meeting, representatives from NJIT and the Randolph School are discussing working together to test the teacher preparation program developed by NJIT that was supported through an existing cooperative agreement between NCPTT and NJIT.

Environmental Adaptations in Louisiana Buildings Workshop
NCPTT has worked with Eddie Cazayoux of EnvironMental Design, Gene Cizek and Mark Thomas of Tulane University, and Barrett Kennedy of Louisiana State University to develop a workshop on environmental adaptations of traditional buildings. The workshop will include an introduction to southern Louisiana and Gulf Coast climate; survey of vernacular architecture from Native American to French colonial to present; basic principles of sustainable design (materials, orientation, heat transfer, etc.); and techniques and examples of sustainable restoration/renovation work. The workshop will be held in Lafayette, La., on Nov. 20-21, 2008.

Limewash Workshop and Video

Based on NCPTT’s in-house study on the durability of traditional and modified limewash, Sarah Jackson completed an instructional video on the Preparation and Application of Limewash. The video was filmed in New Orleans, La., during the 2008 TraditionalBuilding/Historic Preservation Field School in partnership with the University of Florida. The workshop presented the Center’s research on traditional and modified limewashes and provided hands on training in preparing and applying this finish. The video is available online at https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/application-and-preparation-of-limewash-video-2008-07/.


Sarah Jackson has responded to numerous inquires from homeowners in New Orleans with questions about applying limewash to their historic structures. Her contact information has been passed on by grant administrators for the Road Home Program she met while manning the booth in the exhibition hall at Traditional Building and Exhibition in New Orleans.

Front Street Bricks
NCPTT was contacted by contractors for Progressive Construction for suggestions on cleaning the bricks removed from Front Street in Natchitoches, LA. The bricks were removed to enable work beneath the street and are being laid down as the final step of the project. NCPTT passed on information for several companies that manufacture cleaners for use on historic bricks, contact information for conservators that specialize in cleaning historic bricks, and TPS Preservation Briefs that address this subject.

Melrose Plantation
Andy Ferrell and Sarah Jackson met with Eddie Cazayoux of EnvironMental Design and Patrick Sparks of Sparks Engineering, Inc. They discussed the continuing deterioration of the Yucca and Africa Houses towards developing an intervention to stabilize and preserve these structures. NCPTT has been involved in this discussion since NCPTT’s Engineering for Older and Historic Buildings training held during 2004-2006. They also passed on electronic copies of historical photos of Africa House.

National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Sustainable Preservation Research Retreat
Andy Ferrell participated in a retreat that sought to develop a joint research and advocacy strategy for integrating preservation into the green building movement. The organizations involved were American Institute of Architects, Association for Preservation Technology International, National Park Service, General Services Administration, and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.

Louisiana Flood Protection and Ecosystem Restoration Professional Development Program
Andy Ferrell participated in the final day of the three-day program exploring flood protection policy, flood protection administration and various aspects of the design, construction and maintenance of flood protection systems. More than 60 levee board officials, emergency management administrators, floodplain managers, engineers, biologists, geologists and representatives of state and federal agencies participated in the pilot program. Ferrell met with collaborators Dr. Barrett Kennedy of the LSU School of Architecture and the event’s organizer Dr. John C. Pine, director of the LSU Disaster Science & Management Program, to discuss how to enhance the training by developing a cultural resource component or tailoring the current workshop for cultural resource managers.

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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119