Project - Guide to Statistical Calculations of Medieval Church Constructions

Toke Rask Frandsen

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Project - Guide to Statistical Calculations of Medieval Church Constructions

Project start end 2007. Expected completion mid 2012.

The project is completed.

In a number of projects discussed by the Royal Building Inspectors, the consultants have been confused by the structure of medieval churches, and other similar buildings, and the behaviour of these structures.

This lack of insight has led to proposals for refurbishment, which have severely and unnecessarily impacted the existing building. In some cases, the implementation of such proposals has damaged the building’s appearance, whilst in other cases the proposals have been rejected by the authorities. The consequence has been a waste of council resources. 

Medieval churches are significant historical and architectural buildings in our cultural heritage. It is therefore important to communicate to engineers and other relevant consultants, knowledge and experience concerning materials, construction methods and calculation of various forces on these and other buildings with arches and massive walls.

The communication should be formulated in such a way that the manual calculations used can be replaced by IT-based methods describing this type of buildings.

Project Objectives

  • Identification of the issues. For instance, Arch pressure, the influence of the roofing, the gravitation-stabilising action of the facades’ strength parameters.
  • Examination of appropriate calculation programs like Mathcad, Mistra, Masonry Design, TI and others, to test their ability to perform relevant calculations.
  • Selection of suitable cases, which on a qualitative examination and calculation of power progress reveal the issues and indicate methods for analysis.


  • Eduard Troelsgård, Consulting Engineers A/S
  • Danish Technological Institute, Masonry and Building Components
  • Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs  
  • The Royal Building Inspectors
  • Murerbranchens Oplysningsråd (MURO)
  • Danish Building Research Institute
  • Consulting Engineers, Rambøll
  • The Danish National Museum