Steel and Glass



While up-to-date standards and directives provisions are in effect for new buildings, the iron/glass and steel/glass structures of historic buildings are – in many ways – not congruent with the characteristics of structures fabricated today. The frequently non-existing weldability of steel and the constructive designs of the buildings, which are not coating adequate, are some of the key aspects. Examples of such steel structures are bridges, in Germany for instance the “Blaues Wunder” (Blue Miracle) in Dresden, Munich’s Hacker Bridge and the bridge in Berlin’s Charlottenburg Castle gardens or the historic water towers in Groitzsch near Leipzig and in Zwickau.

Existing standards, such as respective parts of the corrosion protection technical base standard DIN EN ISO 12944, usually focus on new construction requirements and contain – just like the entire corrosion protection rules and standards – only rather general provisions for existing building repairs. Other aspects, such as the special needs of monument preservation, are not covered. 

Supplementary provisions including information and recommendations for all parties involved in the construction process (owners, planners, material manufacturers, contractors, etc.) with regard to the repair of historic buildings are missing. To develop solutions and make them available to interested experts in the future, the Wissenschaftlich-Technische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Bauwerkserhaltung und Denkmalpflege e. V. (WTA) established a dedicated technical commission – "Steel and Glass." 

In a first step, four initial fields of activities were defined in the constituent meeting of the technical commission on November 6, 2017 in Erfurt:

  • Preservation of historic steel building load-bearing structures (material, statics and construction, joining supplies, etc.)
  • Corrosion and corrosion prevention
  • Recording and diagnostics of existing buildings
  • Glass preservation

The confirmed interim heads of the commission until the commission heads are elected are: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf W. Arndt (University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, Professor for Material Studies and Building Diagnostics, Erfurt, Germany), Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Gelhaar (Institut für Stahlbau Leipzig GmbH, Leipzig, Germany) and Dipl.-Ing. David Franklyn (Ingenieurbüro für Bauwesen, Binz, Switzerland).

The next technical commission meeting will be hosted at MPA Stuttgart on April 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf W. Arndt
Fachhochschule Erfurt

Dipl.-Ing. David Franklyn
Ingenieurbüro für Bauwesen

4th meeting of the Technical Commission in November 2019 in Munich.