Alexander Newman’s book “Structural Renovation of Buildings” presents a comprehensive overview of the challenges, methods, and details in building renovation projects. The book’s chapters include focused discussions on steel, concrete, wood, and masonry repair. Upgrading of lateral-load resistance systems, seismic restraint, and facades is also treated.
Newman‘s discussions attempt to step outside of the technical realm and approach the challenges from a practical point-of-view. Each topic is addressed first in the historical sense to address the question how has the design process evolved? Then the common challenges and solution methods are introduced. Case studies often lack depth, but the sample detail drawings are a nice touch in illustrating solutions.
The text provides adequate substance particularly on concrete repair and system strengthening. The presentation of such topics as post-tensioned concrete is too general to gain detailed insight. Then again, the book is not designed to present prescriptive solutions. In the context of renovation projects, makes sense: every challenge will be a little different and every solution will need some engineering judgement.