Poultice Desalination of Porous Building Materials Workshop, New Orleans

May 24-28, 2010
New Orleans, Louisiana

salt cross section
Enlarge Salt cross section. Photo: Eric Doehne

From Angkor to Zanzibar and Venice to New Orleans, soluble salts are responsible for causing significant damage to porous building materials. But how does salt weathering take place, and what level of salts are harmful? Are certain salts more damaging than others? Should they be removed and if so, how?

The use of poultice treatments is well established in conservation, however the complexities of salt migration within historic structures have produced variable and unpredictable results. The Poultice Desalination of Porous Building Materials Workshop presents new applied research on the process of poultice desalination through practical applications for conservators and others whose job is to assess, treat, and evaluate the impact of salts on porous building materials.

Designed for field-based conservation professionals, this hands-on workshop will be conducted through a combination of pre-workshop reading assignments and workshop lectures, demonstrations, and field trials. It will provide participants with a solid foundation for the poultice treatment of salt-laden building materials.

Topics to be addressed include:

  • Guidelines for poultice desalination
  • Building pathology – understanding the building construction context for moisture and salt related damage
  • A review of the behavior of porous building materials
  • Salt and moisture transport through porous building materials
  • Introduction to salts and salt weathering
  • Working principles of poultice systems: optimizing salt removal
  • Criteria for poultice selection: modifying your poultice to match your substrate
  • Practical pre- and post- poultice treatment investigation and assessment methods
  • The limits of poultice desalination

Poultice Desalination of Porous Building Materials is organized by the GCI Education Department as part of its Science Workshop Series: Research into Practice, which aims to disseminate the results of important research to the conservation field. This workshop is a result of research conducted through the GCI Science project, Desalination of Porous Building Materials.

Eligibility and Selection
Applicants are expected to have the equivalent of five years field experience in the conservation of porous building materials. Admission is competitive and limited to a maximum of 20 participants.

Decision notices will be sent to candidates via e-mail on February 3, 2010.

The workshop will be conducted in English.

An international team of conservators, conservation scientists, and a conservation architect will teach the course.

USD $500

The fee for this workshop covers instruction and workshop materials only. It does not cover travel to New Orleans, meals, lodging, or other incidental expenses.

How to Apply:

Complete the online form available from the Getty website.

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