New Materials Provide New Solutions

5/1/2006

Until recently code compliancy, materials, longevity and building restoration were not always compatible. 

But the 2005 restoration of the exterior of Rockingham House, one of Portsmouth's most impressive historic buildings, built in 1785, has proven otherwise. DeStefano Architects researched uniquely appropriate building materials to restore the beauty of the Rockingham façade at the same time that it brought the building up to code.

This major task was accomplished with the help of new low maintenance and long lasting building materials that have revolutionized restoration. With the approval of the Portsmouth Historic District Commission, DeStefano employed innovative products such as composite slate and brownstone, both of which resist the deterioration characteristics of original materials, especially when subjected to the temperature extremes of New England weather.

DeStefano consistently studies the engineering of new products for effective solutions to restoration challenges. Products such as aluminum and vinyl clad windows (www.Andersen.com, www.Marvin.com, www.pella.com), for which no painting is required, are pretty much accepted throughout the trade. But less commonly used manufactured, wood trim boards (www.Azek.com); pre-cast concrete panels that mimic the look of granite (www.pci.org); and insect and fire resistant cement fiber "clapboards" (www.jameshardie.com), which are an important segment of the siding market, are increasingly being utilized.



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