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Masonry Solutions

News and Insights on the Masonry Repair and Maintenance of Institutional, Commercial, and Condominium Buildings in  
Eastern Massachusetts  

Volume 10 No. 2
June 2018
In this issue of Masonry Solutions, our Case Study article describes our rebuilding of a double wythe brick wall at a 4-story commercial building in Boston's historic South End District. In our Masonry 101 article, we describe "scaffolding" and what makes up its components.

We also invite you to visit our newly updated web site at www.abbotbuilding.com featuring descriptions of our projects on commercial, institutional, and condominium/apartment buildings as well as our Small Projects Division.  
We trust that you will benefit from the information provided in this publication. If you have any comments or questions, or would like an estimate on a masonry repair project, we can be reached at 617-445-0274 or at our web site listed above.

Michael Norman, President
Abbot Building Restoration Company, Inc.

Case Study

Abbot Rebuilds Interior and Exterior Brick Walls at    Historic South End Commercial Building 

Abbot recently rebuilt a large portion of a double wythe brick wall at the rear of a 4-story commercial building at 35 Wareham Street in Boston's historic South End District.
35 Wareham Street (rear), Boston, MA
Abbot secured the project based on a significant repair and maintenance project Abbot performed for the same owner back in 2014-2015 at 389 Congress Street in Boston's Seaport District.
Recently, the building owner observed that the building's exterior brick wall was pulling way from the interior brick wall. Abbot investigated the problem and determined that the connection points between the walls had deteriorated to the extent that a void was created between the walls.
Interior Work
Abbot recommended that the owner employ a consultant (CBI Consulting, Inc., Boston, MA) to formulate plans for demolition of both the interior and exterior walls, and subsequent repair. A major concern was that the building's floor joists were connected to brick walls. This required Abbot to install temporary interior wood beam shoring on each floor from the basement to the roofline. Before initiating the shoring process, Abbot needed to install a concrete footing along the entire length of the wall in the basement. To install the footing, Abbot performed the following procedure:
  • Excavated a portion of the basement floor adjacent to the foundation below the first floor
  • Formed the concrete footing
  • Installed steel reinforcement
  • Poured the concrete along the entire length of the basement wall
From there, Abbot created a solid wood framed wall resulting in a continuous support for the existing joists on each floor.
Exterior Work  
To conduct the exterior work, Abbot erected scaffolding on the side of building. However, because the scaffolding could not be anchored to the wall, Abbot installed a series of Jersey barricades to brace the scaffolding support. The scaffolding was then completely enclosed to assure that it would be water tight to protect it from the elements.
Next, per the consultant's engineering specifications, Abbot constructed a structural interior wall using 4-inch solid CMU blocks filled with cement and steel reinforcement. Abbot then mechanically anchored the new exterior brick wall to the CMU wall using bricks resourced to match the original bricks. Four window openings were created during the masonry project with wood framing and installation of new bronze double hung replacement windows in the same locations as the original windows. To complete the construction, Abbot removed the temporary wood beam shoring on all floors.
Notably, all of the work was performed under the strict guidelines established by Boston's South End Historic District.
Masonry 101


Scaffolding , also called staging, is a temporary structure used to support a work crew and materials to aid in the construction, maintenance, and repair of buildings and other man made structures. Scaffolds are widely used at the job site to reach heights and areas that would be otherwise difficult to access.
I n the Case Study project described above,
the scaffolding is braced by Jersey barricades enclosed with netting exposing completed demolition of brick walls and interior  
wood shoring walls.
Typical components of the scaffolding include:
  • Standards
    -- vertical tubes that transfer the entire mass of the structure to the ground (also called "uprights")
  • Base plate - square plate with a shank on its center to hold the standards in place
  • Ledgers -- horizontal tubes that connect between the standards
  • Transoms -- rest at right angles upon the ledgers
  • Cross braces -- placed diagonally from ledger to ledger next to the standards to which they are fitted to increase rigidity
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Abbot Building Restoration Co., Inc. 
28 Allerton Street, Boston, MA 02119 
Tel: 617-445-0274  ยท Fax: 617-445-0277