Architecture/Query.

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Question
Good day
Recently read that some of the drains constructed in the british colonial era has lasted longer than present day drains constructed in the last few decades.
Can you provide me with some insights as to what made the colonial drains construction outpace the present day drains.
In general what construction processes and designs may have accounted for that and what factors are common among construction projects that have lasted for more than 100+ years outpacing present day designs that last only a few decades.

Answer
I have not had enough exposure to historic construction to be able to answer your question directly.

To my knowledge, during the British colonial era there were only street drains. There was no plumbing as we have today that I can think off.

George Washington's house had and indoor toilet and a conveyance to carry human waste out of the house - there was not "drain".

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello had outhouses with underground tunnels (covered street type drains) that could flush the waste a distance further from the house. Those tunnels had to be scrapped out regularly.

The small "garden" houses in rear yards were often outhouses.

I would like to know what you read and the answers you find.

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Thomas Buford

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Licensed Architect in Virginia since 1984.
New Homes, Additions, Alterations, Outbuildings,
Failure Forensics; Small Construction Projects;
Remediation and Repair

tbbuford.com/

Due to life safety concerns regarding some aspects of construction I may not be able to help with all questions. I do not answer structural specification questions without a site visit.

Experience

Design, planning and construction issues.

Licensed architectural design, planning and construction services.
Schematic Design
objectives statement
space planning
feasibility study
structural, mechanical, plumbing
and electrical system integration
Permit Drawings
Construction Drawings
Contract Documents
Construction Administration
construction management
pre-qualification of bidders
bidding
general and/or sub contracting
construction progress and
construction contract review and interpretation
pay request certification
Construction failure diagnostics
water intrusion
structural failures, ...

Publications
Arlington Journal

Education/Credentials
5 year Bachelor of Architecture from
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI-SU)

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