Forensic Engineering Contributes to Heritage Conservation

Restoration of Golden Boy
The Golden Boy during repairs in 2001.
Ceiling details in a heritage building undergoing renovation
Architectural elements of the old Royal Bank building during Red River College renovations.
Supporting Base of Golden Boy
Corrosion of the copper alloy roof sheeting and base of the Golden Boy during 2001 repairs.

Conservation metallurgy applies forensic engineering and metallurgical principals to the conservation, preservation, and rehabilitation of historic buildings, machines, and artifacts. Testlabs International’s analytical resources can be used in private or public collections where limited, or no information is available. Our services include:

  • Metallurgical analysis to identify the composition and mechanical properties of old components
  • Coatings (Paint) analysis to determine colour, thickness and composition, including the presence of lead. We can also identify all previous layers of coating
  • Composition analysis and thickness measurements of metallic coatings

Our materials experience and engineering expertise has benefitted many conservation projects, including:

The Golden Boy

We performed physical testing and analysis to identify the composition of the bronze alloy used to cast the Golden Boy statue that stands atop the Manitoba Legislative Building. We also provided a condition assessment and repair procedures for the project.

Grain Exchange Building

Materials testing and analysis identified the presence of a protective zinc sheeting around the top of the building. Recommendations were provided to preserve this layer when removing layers of paint.

Dr. Wayne Tennesey, P. Eng, President of Testlabs International, has a deep interest in architecture, art and design, and woodworking. His expertise is readily adaptable to conservation testing and analysis.

To find out how Testlabs can help your conservation project, contact Dr. Tennesey today.