Floyd Hall : a structural analysis

Material Information

Floyd Hall : a structural analysis
Department of Architecure, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Department of Architecure, University of Florida

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution.

Full Text



Prepared for
ARC 5810
Professor F. B. Reeves, FAIA
Professor H. Shephard, FAIA
Professor S. Tate, AIA


Gregory Alan Hall

Spring 1985



This structural report contains general information and an

objective evaluation of Floyd Hall, the Agriculture Building,

based upon recognized professional standards and "rules of thumb"

It is understood that the advise and services of professional

engineers, registered architects, and other qualified profession-

als, experienced in the analysis and assessment of historic

structures must be obtained prior to the commencement of work

at Floyd Hall. It should be known that several evaluations of

the stucture have been completed in the past and these reports

should be sought out and compared to any new analysis. This

comparison would serve as an indication of how rapidly the struc-

ture is deteriorating.


Floyd Hall was one of the four original brick masonry class-

room buildings built at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

This three story building had simple span wood floor joists

resting on exterior brick masonry walls and interior wood bear-

ing partitions.

The first floor of the building is at approximately +4 feet

above grade. An examination of the crawl space, to the south,

reveals perimeter foundation walls and structural brick piers

at the interior of the building. It appears that the pier loc-

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cations correspond with the locations of the interior wood col-

umns; however selective demolition would be required to verify

this assumption. The foundation walls and piers appear to be in

good repair, showing no evidence of cracking, loose material, or

other signs of failure. The crawl space, to the north, has been

filled with dirt and could not be inspected visually. The out-

side surface of the perimeter walls, however, were accessible

and appeared to be in good repair. Because of the infill, the

interior condition and location of bearing foundations and

piers can only be obtained through selective demolition.

The brick exterior walls of the building are also in good

repair. With the.exceptions of leaching lime, missing mortar,

and a few cosmetic cracks, the building does not show any signs

of structural or material failure. All doors and windows are

still operational, indicating the walls have not significantly

sagged or wracked. The exterior walls appear to be both plumb

and true.

Original drawings indicate that the openings in the exterior

walls were to be spanned by concealed brick arches. This is

believed to be the case, as one of the arched openings is exposed

to view at the southern end of the first floor. Furthermore,

investigations in the gable ends of the attic space reveals

brick arches over each window grouping in those areas. All

of the window openings in the exterior walls are spanned by

decorative terra cotta lintles. Selective demolition would

verify the method by which these windows were spanned structur-


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The exterior walls have been tied to the wood floor joists

by metal channels and tierods. Research did not reveal the

date of this modification, however, the ties were not original

to the structure. Since the exterior walls are ~s'good condi-

tion, it appears that the modifications have stabilized the struc-

ture. It will be necessary to consult with a professional eng-

ineer during the planning stages of any adaptive use project to

determine the limitations these structural modifications will

put upon the proposed design. At that time, a more architec-

turally pleasing exterior tie anchor plate will have to be sub-

stituted for the existing metal channels, which are not contrib-

utory to the architectural quality of the structure.

The first and second floor heigths are 13 feet to the under-

side of the floor decking above. The third floor, part of the

roof structure, is 10 feet in heigth. Investigations reveal

the floor framing appears to be structural grade, 2"X14" joists

at 12" on center. Selective demolition will have to be performed

in all areas to verify the uniformity of the underlying floor

structure. In particular the first floor framing_) in the north-

ern half, will have to be checked for possible damage due to

rising damp through the earthen infilled crawl space.

The floor systems appear to be sound, showing no evidence

of excessive deflection or warping. There is some water damage

to the floor covering and subflooring in isloated locations. At

these locations selective demolition would reveal any damage to

the floor joists.

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The roof of Floyd Hall is in an advanced state of deter-

ioration. The entire roof membrane and sheathing is ineffective'<

or missing, allowing for the dirprect penetration of storm

waters. It does not appear that the water has caused any sig-

nificant structural damage; however, the plaster ceilings, floor

coverings, subfloor materials, land other interior finishes have

either been destroyed by the water or are in a rapidly deter-

iorating state.

The major failure of the structure, as designed, is at the

juncture of the lower end of the hip roofwhere the roof rafters

meet the brick masonry walls. The wooden rafters do not properly

tie into the third floor framing, thus causing a lateral, or

outward, thrust on the masonry walls. This thrust, if left

unchecked, could have caused great damage. However, the struc-

ture had been shored up by connecting the rafters to the third

floor framing by metal collars and tierods. Further analysis

will have to be performed by a registered engineer to determine

if this condition will adequately support an adaptive use.

Investigations in the attic space of the building reveal the

location of five pairs of 6"X6" wood columns. These columns are

aligned on an east-to-west and a north-to-south axis. The col-

umns are located around the approximate center of the building

and are assumed to continue downward into the corridor partition

walls below. Selective demolition would verify the vertical

continuity to the columns and any possible change in size or

shape 'from the supporting foundations to the roof structure.


This report has tried-te provides a general overview-with-

respect-to the structural systems,-of Floyd Hall. The major

considerations-looked at were the foundations, exterior brick

bearing walls, interior wood bearing columns, wood floor spaning

joists, and wood roof framing members.

Site investigations have revealed that the building prxper,

Flyd-Itai, is in good repair structurally. However, the storm

water infiltrationk-through the missing roof membrane and sheath-

ing,4 poses an imminent threat to the building's overall struc-

tural stability.

Further investigations, through selective demolition by

qualified professionals, are needed to assure the suitability

of any proper adaptive use.

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