A Building of Cultural Significance

For Fall 2016 Ivy worked with the UDBS, an organization affiliated with the CMU School of Architecture that engages students to real-world projects in underserved communities in the Pittsburgh region. The UDBS worked in partnership with architecture firm Pfaffman + Associates on the restoration of the front facade of the childhood home of world-renowned playwright and Pittsburgh-native August Wilson on behalf of its new tenant: the Daisy Wilson Artist Community.

Ivy was responsible for the design of the upper cornice, box gutter, and roofing details. She worked in close coordination with those working on the upper brackets that directly meet the upper cornice and those working on the newly restored window hoods.

The building as of September, 2017

As the design of the August Wilson house is being brought all the way through to construction, all designs produced by undergraduate architecture students were cross-referenced with masters students of construction management continually throughout the process to assure compliance with the project's schedules and budget.


New Assembly Details

The design of the restored upper cornice and box gutter was the result of analysis of the existing building, historic precedent in Pittsburgh buildings of a similar era and type of construction as well as Victorian pattern book research, and consultation with Pfaffman + Associate's in-house preservation expert Jeff Slack.

As the design of the August Wilson house is being brought all the way through to construction, the designs were cross-referenced with student construction managers throughout the process to assure compliance with schedules and budget, and all details and assemblies were determined.


Wall Sections

Wall sections were used in order to determine the method of attachment of the box gutter and cornice to the existing brick facade, and the details of the new flashing and roofing systems.


Moulding Details

The UDBS sourced lumber from Allegheny Millworks for the duration of the project, and Ivy communicated with them throughout in order to determine the best methods for acquiring the most historically accurate mouldings possible for the upper cornice. Ultimately, a mix of custom fabricated mouldings and pre-fabricated standards were used.


New Technology - Old Building

The UDBS also worked in partnership with Autodesk who provided a 3D capture of the building using Autodesk ReCap. This photogrammetric capture was used throughout the project and was very useful for the upper cornice in estimating the existing spacing of the roofing members in order to determine the requisite lumber pieces to attach a new box gutter to the existing framing.


Historic Research

In combination with the ReCap technology used on the existing building, historic research was used in three arenas. The existing building (left) retains an original Victorian box gutter on one of its other facades, and the assembly and dimensions of this gutter were used to determine the likely assembly of the primary gutter. Victorian Pattern Books (center) were also studied to determine the typical details of the day to ensure accuracy in construction. And historic photos of Pittsburgh (right) were scoured to find photos of the structure and other Victorian row-houses of the same era of construction to look for clues on the proportions of the building's original details and details of other similar buildings.


Paint Research

In the course of researching the existing building, the remaining elements of the original facade were found to have painted and repainted a number of times during the relevant era, and as such the color palette of the building during the years August Wilson lived there was impossible to determine. As such, in order to determine a color palette that would be at once historically accurate and beautiful research was done on other restored Pittsburgh buildings of similar construction and research for their chosen color palettes, on the closest matching recommended colors from palettes sourced from Victorian Pattern Books.


Code Compliance

In order to size the actual copper gutter piece, it was necessary to perform a code analysis using the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) and 2015 International Plumbing Code (IPC). This analysis went as follows:


As stipulated in Section 1503.4 of the 2015 IBC, focused on Roof Drainage, the following criteria were used to determine code compliance in the design of the August Wilson House roof drainage system at the south facade.

As stipulated in criteria of IPC Code Sections 1106 and 1108, as applicable, must be utilized in the sizing of conductors, leaders, and storm drains; and secondary (emergency) roof drains.

As demonstrated in Figure 1006.1 for the Eastern United States of the 2015 IPC, the 100-Year, 1-Hour rainfall for Pittsburgh is 2.75".

To calculate the gpm (gallons per minute) capacity of the portion of of the roof within the scope of work, the following calculataions were used: 21.5' x 17.167' = 370 sq. ft*

Assuming a coefficient of runoff of 1.00 for the roofing surface , and where 96.23 is the constant used to convert units from from cubic feet per second to gallons per minute: (1.00 x 2.75 x 370) / 96.23 = 10.57 gpm

As demonstrated in Figure 1106.3 of the 2015 IPC, the minimum size leader usable is 2" which has a capacity of 30gpm.

As demonstrated in Figure 1106.6. of the 2015 IPC, the minimum gutter size we may use is 1 1/2" wide and 1 1/2" deep gutter system, which has a capacity of 26gpm.

*All roof distances are measure as horizontal projections of the surface