The rotted wooden beams on three sides, south, southeast and southwest have been extracted after part of the internal wooden flooring had been removed to allow access. The foundation structure of concrete beams and the supporting sides beam structures from the floor to the roof have been completed.
Because the new masonry structure interferes with the existing electrical channeling, the channeling will need to be displaced and anchored and eventually inspected in order to verify accessibility, for any future maintenance needs.
Before rebuilding the external guardrail it is necessary to guarantee the effectiveness of the drainage systems collecting the rainwater from the roof.
The previous downpipes (that were perforated) have been changed and the drain-wells have been substituted with the covers now at the level of the external walkway, to allow regular inspection and maintenance. The accumulation of leaves and other waste in the wells can lead to the drains being blocked and obstruct the flow of rain water in the case of downpours, leading to nearby internal areas suffering water damage.
Handrail on the external walkway
The joiner responsible for the works on the external handrail is appraising the possibility of re-using some of the original handrail on the three sides where work is already finished in order to enable the removal of the security scaffolding.
The joiner is also taking care of re-laying the parts of the wooden floor that were removed to facilitate the structural works under the Gompa. This will presumably happen after 7 November.
The re-laying of the pavement will allow the work to place the wooden border sills (which will be painted red) upon which the new windows will be mounted.
Fixing and reintegration of the defective sections of the external facing pillars
The work to treat and protect the wooden pillars and beams needs to be done before winter, so the Rubner workforce will proceed with the maintenance and will repair the larger cracks with glued strips of wood and smaller holes with epoxy filler (balsite) as per the instructions of our consultant expert in wood restoration.
The eventual final painting and protective sealing will be left to Merigar to complete
After the cupola lantern had been replaced, in the last week of June, the roofing has been completed.The front sealing trims of the guttering are in place with the copper covering under.
Four window structures have been dismantled to enable cleaning of the surrounding wooden structures to allow a full inspection as to their status. Any work needed to fill holes or general repairs will follow.
At the same time that the replacement external walkways are being laid, the work to strengthen the structural foundation beams that carry the columns are being assessed and carried out. This will involve using steel girders(4+5) that will be anchored to carry the internal paving beam structures. This will also enable the connecting load bearing support of the external walkway. The defective part of the columns has been removed to the depth of approx 50cm and a new replacement inserted.(you can see that that has a lighter colour with regards to the original).
The level of the external walkways is now the same as the internal paving and during the repair work all the disparities of height have been eliminatedo.
The structure has been closed to the elements by the mounting of the doors and windows.
There still remains, after the summer break to do the same work on the other half of the building and to replace the other two beams on the ground level.
All the temporary security structures put in place to protect visitors to the building, need to be monitored and maintained if they suffer any damage or degradation, in addition to people treating them with care and common sense.
The roofers still have to complete the roof covering on the upper part and mount the top spike with a reconstructed copper sphere at the base, then finalize the restoration with a lightning conductor mesh strip. The work of mounting the new copper guttering will proceed next.
Monday, June 24: The materials for the external walkway will arrive and the decking of most of the external walkway will be installed, including the section outside of the main entrance. As previously stated some of the beams and pillars will need to be replaced where necessary.
The work plan is as follows:
On the southern side of the Gönpa, which is entirely above ground, the framework of the structure rests on beams that are no longer able to carry loads due to their deterioration as a result of poor conservation of the wood.
This necessitates the removal of a strip of the internal flooring in order to access and evaluate the alternative temporary structures needed to facilitate the removal of the beams. These, in turn, will be replaced with either a load-bearing concrete wall or a reinforced concrete girder. All the corresponding support beams and pillars will be examined, repaired, and then reconstructed.
This long and complex work will be scheduled for completion in the latter part of the summer, which means that the refitting of the windows and doors will have to be carried out in the same period.
The wooden structure has been completed, and 60% of the copper sheeting has been laid.
The removal of the existing walkway surrounding the Gönpa has made it possible to verify the state of conservation of the load-bearing beams at the pillars and of the building’s subflooring.
Unfortunately, the situation in the vicinity of the pillars, noted also by the MOST company, is particularly compromised where the beams are concerned (three in particular). Currently, their load-bearing capacity is significantly reduced.
The process of consolidating the pillars and their supporting base is particularly complex but unfortunately absolutely essential.
Regarding the beams, it is been decided to introduce cement blocks at ground level that will serve as intermediate supporting bases and allow this section affected by rot to remain functional. In some instances, the beams of the internal flooring, which rest on these external beams, no longer have a stable base because water has destroyed the fiber of the wood on the upper part of the beams. Accordingly, it is being decided on a case-by-case basis how to intervene.
In this week, the metal roofing experts of the Rubner company completed the work of laying copper sheeting on the roof of the Cinerarium.
At the Gönpa, the process of reconfiguring the guttering system was begun, starting by dismantling the existing covering, consisting of both copper and sheet metal.
The bays in the south and west have been removed in their entirety and their principal structures have been rebuilt. Together with the metal roofing experts, various test simulations of the gutters were carried out. The existing channel between the edge of the roof and the gutter has represented a critical element for the building in that in some instances it allowed water to infiltrate the wooden structure supporting the Gönpa.
The objective of modifying the configuration of the gutter system is to ensure the correct functioning of the system for collecting and draining water. This will prevent further damage in the future such as the deterioration discovered at the base of some of the pillars.
The positioning of the channel for draining rainwater outward will also simplify future maintenance, for example with ladders to remove accumulated leaves.
Visually and aesthetically it was decided to maintain the existing form of the external side characterizing the appearance of the roof, so the metal roofing team will prepare a sample by next week for final approval of the element to be used.
The persistent and extensive infiltration of water has led to severe rotting at the base of the pillar, destroying the fiber of the wooden base on which it was anchored and causing a serious deterioration of the sections coming into contact with it.
Once the roofing has been completed and the windows dismantled, the workers will proceed with the substitution of all the deteriorated sections no longer capable of serving a supporting function.
Part of the wooden railing has been removed to make it possible to remove the existing flooring and examine the understructure. The external decking will be redesigned to eliminate the hazardous differences in height at the entrance thresholds and ensure the necessary safety in case of emergency.
While the metal roofing experts continue to lay the copper on the roof of the Cinerarium, Rubner's workers have started to dismantle the external decking and the external walls of the Gönpa.
May 7: At the Cinerarium, the prep work of installing a substructure required as a base for the copper sheeting was completed and the copper sheeting now covers almost the entire roof.
May 6: At 7 in the morning, an extraordinary phenomenon appeared in the valley near the Gönpa.
On May 2, the Rubner company delivered the material and equipment required to start the job.
On May 3, work began on the roof of the Cinerarium. When it was inaugurated in 2015, the work on the Cinerarium’s roof covering had not in fact been completed. The plan is to clad the roof in copper, similar to the Gönpa. Taking advantage of the fact that the workers, equipment, and construction site infrastructure are already in place, we have been able to secure significant cost savings since the companies involved are the same as those carrying out the extraordinary maintenance of the Gönpa.