chapter  1
1 Pages

SYNOPSIS OF KEYNOTE ADDRESS: THE DURABILITY OF BUILDING MATERIALS

ByP.L.PRATT

The building materials of interest to this Fifth International Conference include the traditional bricks and mortar, timber and stone, together with concrete, metals, polymers and a range of fire-reinforced composite materials. Surprisingly in 1990, new examples of limited durability and of failure of some of these materials are reported, requiring remedial measures and repair sometimes even before the buildings have gone into service. Part of the problem lies in poor workmanship and inadequate quality control, part in a lack of scientific understanding of the effects upon the durability of the environment in which the building exists, and part in a lack of communication between the materials scientitists and engineers, who develop and produce the building materials, and the designers, engineers and contractors who are responsible for selecting and for using the materials properly.