Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Research exchanges to help preserve old water masonry structures

Aged masonry buildings are deteriorating, putting at risk millions of people who rely on their water supply and distribution. An EU initiative aimed to provide solutions to preserve such structures.
Research exchanges to help preserve old water masonry structures
Longevity and the elements have combined to adversely affect the condition of old and historic masonry structures in Europe and African countries, particularly Egypt. Preserving and maintaining these structures is vital because populations rely on them to regulate and distribute water for agricultural, industrial and drinking purposes. What is more, the majority are considered of great historical significance.

However, restoration and preventative maintenance is complex and problematic, and replacement requires considerable investment.

With this in mind, the EU-funded OLDMASONRYREPAIR (Exchange of experience on the preservation of historic and old water masonry structures) project set out to preserve valuable old masonry structures and prevent further deterioration.

To achieve its objectives, the project carried out an international research staff exchange scheme between Egypt and Europe. Egyptian researchers and field staff were trained in methods used in Europe, while their counterparts gained knowledge of local conditions and needed approaches in Egypt.

Seminars, workshops, lectures, field trips and scientific training involving building climatology terminology were held at leading universities and institutes in Egypt, France and Germany. Of note was the intensive training researchers received in a simulation programme for the combined heat, moisture and matter transport in porous building materials, and in material measurement methods. This led to a deeper understanding of the physical and mechanical effects on research and development for masonry buildings.

Project partners presented guidelines for the historic preservation of old water masonry structures and buildings. They also discussed whether such guidelines can be applied or adapted to Egypt.

To keep the momentum going for Egypt-EU research cooperation, a portal and database is under development, and follow-up projects under Horizon 2020 are in the planning stages.

Through staff exchange, training and networking activities, OLDMASONRYREPAIR has given fresh impetus to partnerships between leading European and North African research centres. Such actions will ultimately lead to novel repair methodologies and approaches to preserving masonry structures and escaping further damage.

Related information


Water masonry structures, restoration, preventative maintenance, OLDMASONRYREPAIR
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