Anchoring and Attaching Terra Cotta: A Modern Solution

Terra cotta renovation

TerraGlas helped with the renovation of Saint Peter’s Church in Canton, OH

Terra Cotta Anchorage and Attachment 

Historic structures that used terra cotta had specific ways that it was anchored or attached to a building. However, over time, this anchoring can deteriorate and create safety issues for these buildings. In providing a solution for restoration, TerraGlas offers an alternative way to anchor and attach its products to historic and new buildings.

Original Terra Cotta Anchoring Systems

Original terra cotta typically is used with two types of buildings, including being attached to a load-bearing masonry wall or as cladding material on a high-rise building. While anchoring is fairly limited when attaching the terra cotta to a load-bearing wall, there is an extensive metal anchoring system for terra cotta cladding that is used for attaching it or hanging it on a wall framing system.

This metal system adds weight and also becomes vulnerable to weather elements and water, leading to a complex deterioration that can rust and corrode the metal anchoring system. Once that deterioration occurs with the anchoring system, this can lead to any number of structural failures that can cause the terra cotta elements to break off from the building and lead to safety issues. Since the anchoring system is often covered up by the terra cotta, locating or diagnosing any corrosion or deterioration with them can be difficult until the terra cotta actually pulls away or falls off.

Replacing Anchoring Systems with TerraGlas

TerraGlas offers a number of benefits over traditional terra cotta, including how it is anchored or attached to a building. Because the material is much lighter than the historic terra cotta, the anchoring system does not have to be as complex as it once was on the original structure. The TerraGlas elements can be attached to a framing system with stainless steel or corrosion-resistant hangers or screws or an adhesive.

Larger TerraGlas units require a bit more work with installation but nothing like the original terra cotta used. These large TerraGlas elements are connected to a structure by using cast in metal frames that are made from metal tubing or galvanized metal studs.  These frames are then connected, using flex anchors that are attached to the TerraGlas element. Smaller TerraGlas pieces can have cast-in wires, straps, or inserts to attach them to a structure.

The benefit of the TerraGlas attachment systems is that they will not be vulnerable to water or the elements like the historic anchoring system, providing greater safety and security over a longer period of time to reduce the likelihood of deterioration and crumbling buildings. Over time, this provides a superior return on investment because fewer restoration costs will be incurred and the building will retain its beauty.

Bolstering a Building’s Safety and Security with TerraGlas

Stromberg Architectural Products and TerraGlas can help you restore your historic terra cotta as well as provide you with solutions for new construction.  Check out what is possible with TerraGlas by contacting us for a free estimate or more information. Our team of building and architectural experts is available at 903.454.0904 or [email protected].

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