Evolution of Historic Building Systems

Date: June 11, 2021 12:00pm
Location: Online Zoom Webinar
Evolution of Historic Building Systems

Friday, June 11, 2021

Eastern: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Central: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Mountain: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Pacific: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Online Zoom Webinar

aiaParticipants will earn 1.0 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for attending the live webinar. Registration is free. Please note that space is limited – email events@sgh.com to join our waitlist if the session is closed when you register. 


Building wall and structural systems have evolved over time due to changes in available materials, production technology, costs, regulations, and the performance standard of care. Each system has unique characteristics that identify its place in time and impact its overall performance. In this webinar, we will introduce common building systems in three time periods – early (pre-1830s), industrial (1830s to 1920s), and modern (1920s to 1970s) – focusing on wood framing; load-bearing masonry; transitional masonry; metal-framed, concrete-framed, and concrete buildings; and early curtain walls. We will also describe common features of these systems, explore how the systems evolved, and discuss advantages and limitations for each.

After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the timeline of construction techniques and the evolution of practice.
  • Identify typical structural systems throughout different construction periods.
  • List advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of typical structural systems.
  • Identify characteristics of typical structural systems in the field.




Susan Knack-BrownSusan Knack-Brown, P.E. | Senior Principal
Susan Knack-Brown’s work includes a range of building enclosure investigations and designs involving both contemporary structures, such as the Fisher Center for Performing Arts, and landmarks, such as Boston’s Quincy Market. She specializes in large-scale preservation and adaptive reuse projects, where she applies technology to the restoration of landmark buildings and works with owners to extend the function and performance of existing buildings. Some of Susan’s signature projects include the multiphase, multiyear roof rehabilitation and skylight restoration on the New York State Capitol, the roof replacement on the Massachusetts State House, and ongoing work at The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston.


Casey WilliamsCasey Williams, P.E. | Senior Project Manager
Casey Williams has been involved with the investigation and remedial design of building enclosures, as well as the subsequent construction administration of repairs, including the New York State Capitol, the Massachusetts State House, and the First Church of Christ, Scientist. Her focus is on historic building investigation and repair projects. Casey has experience investigating and designing repairs for slate, copper, and various membrane roofing systems, brick and stone masonry, and architectural terra cotta.