Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Historic Preservation (MHP)


Planning, Development, and Preservation

Committee Member

Amalia Liefeste

Committee Member

Ashley K Jennings

Committee Member

Melvyn Green


The existing building codes offer exemptions for historic structures that lessen the

prescriptive requirements and offer alternative means to achieve life safety goals. Three

examples selected for this study are unreinforced masonry towers subject to high wind loads

and seismic forces to explore the methods of Prescriptive, Work Area, and Performance

Compliance with an eye to the role of the building code official and where the decisions may

impact life safety in the course of repairing, altering, or changing the occupancy of the

towers. The thesis explores the complexity of the code while forming a roadmap of the

process. As the American Institute of Architects and Association for Preservation

Technology send out a call to professionals to better understand and increase their

involvement in the code development cycles at ICC, this thesis might offer a point of

discussion about the nature of hard-to-follow codes and the impact it has on life safety.



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