Improperly detailed masonry and concrete may spall or crack, steel may rust, and wood may deteriorate. In each case, this compromises the integrity of a building and reduces its life expectancy. Used properly, all of these materials are inherently durable and can endure for decades or even centuries.

Photo: Preservation Alliance of Minnesota

Designers can get maximum performance and service life out of every building material when taking the necessary steps. The most ancient wood buildings still in existence include eighth-century Japanese temples, 11th-century Norwegian stave churches, and the many medieval post-and-beam structures of England and Europe. These buildings endure partly because of their cultural significance, and partly because they were built and maintained to last.

Interested in learning more? Take our Designing for Durability CEU.