Stabilizing an Historic Round Barn
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When a century year old barn looked as though it were leaning on it’s east side, serious concerns arose. The historic structure needed to be stabilized fast if the barn was to be preserved.
The George Fennell Round Barn was built in 1912 by Ed Nelson, and is located near Allerton in rural Wayne County, Iowa. The historical structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is the oldest original structure to occupy the 93 acre site. The 50-foot diameter barn, features a beautiful loft, free of any support columns due to the structure’s web-like construction.
As spectacular as this structure is, after 100 years of age and Iowa’s recent periods of drastic wet to dry weather climate… the soils under the barn’s foundation began to weaken significantly. These weak soils made for an unstable foundation, and the barn was tilting on the east side. Mr. Wampler, a representative with the International Center for Rural Culture & Art, the organization that now owns the historical barn, was looking for a quick, dependable solution for the foundation issues. The repair techniques he sought had to ensure that the historical significance of the building would remain intact and downtime would be reduced, as the barn’s tourism months were fast approaching.
The footing of The Round Barn was designed as a “continuous” footing. That means the limestone rock used as the footing are in continuous contact with the soils below. The settlement of the foundation was caused by loss of support of the soils under the continuous footing. Since the barn was constructed of limestone rock, it couldn’t be repaired with traditional piering methods since there is no place to attach the anchor brackets.
RETEK ICR was contacted to evaluate the barn’s needs. The URETEK Deep Injection Process™ (UDI) was selected to stabilize the foundation, as it is ideally suited to void fill, seal, lift, or stabilize the soils below various foundation types. UDI precisely places expanding geo-polymers in a uniform, sequential, top down pattern of injection that eliminates the differential degrees of non-uniform density within the soil matrix. As the polymer expands it creates an area of densification, which compacts and densifies the adjacent soils to increase restore the load bearing capacity of the soils.
URETEK restored the soil’s ability to support the structure’s continuous footing. In addition, the east side of the Round Barn which had suffered the most settling was raised approximately ½”. The repair was done quickly and with absolutely no damage to the historic significance of the structure both inside the barn and out.
URETEK specializes in improving the load-bearing capacity of subsurface soils through the injection of patented, lightweight, rigid, structural structural polymers where other foundation contractors are more limited in the types of foundations they can repair.
URETEK ICR’s patented geo-polymers are able to suit a large variety. The historical stone foundation of the Round Barn was properly restored with URETEK’s processes- saving time, money, and ultimately the structure’s lifespan.