Settlement (structural)

Settlement in a structure refers to the distortion or disruption of parts of a building due to either; unequal compression of its foundations, shrinkage such as that which occurs in timber framed buildings as the frame adjusts its moisture content, or by undue loads being applied to the building after its initial construction.cite book
last = Curl
first = James Stevens
title = A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
origdate = 2006
format = Paperback
edition = Second
publisher = Oxford University Press
language = English
id = ISBN 0-19-860678-8
pages = 880 pages
] Settlement should not be confused with subsidence which results from the load bearing ground upon which a building sits reducing in level, for instance in areas of mine workings where shafts collapse underground.

Some settlement is quite normal after construction has been completed, but unequal settlement may cause significant problems for buildings. Traditional green oak framed buildings are designed to settle with time as the oak seasons and warps, lime mortar rather than Portland cement is used for its elastic properties and glazing will often employ small leaded lights which can accept movement more readily than larger panes.

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