Columns Replacement in the Church of Saint Fatima

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Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
Bethlehem university journal, volume 28, page 12
Year of Publication: 
Samir H. helou
Civil Engineering Department, An- Najah National University, Nablus
Current Affiliation: 
Civil Engineering Department, Faculty Of Engineering, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Preferred Abstract (Original): 
The town of Beit Sahour is one important biblical site in Palestine. Saint Fatima’s Church built more than hundred years ago and reconstructed in the year 1949, is owned by the Latin Patriarchate and serves the small catholic community of the town. The church carries the name of Our Lady of Fatima which was the title given to the vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary when she appeared before three shepherd children in the town of Fatima in Portugal in 1917. In the summer of 2008 the parish priest of the Latin Congregation embarked upon a challenging and an aggressive project of changing the pillars within the church in order to widen the viewing angle to the altar area. The following is a detailed account of the design process together with the construction methodology that proved to be feasible in cost and effective in execution time. The sectional area of the new pillar is about a quarter of the original size. The success of the undertaking was measured by the extent of the induced cracks in the vicinity of each column. These cracks were either minimal or invisible. The section of the new pillars was made of composite material; structural steel profiles imbedded in concrete. The intermediate shoring system was an ad hoc steel structure. Replacing the columns was also an opportunity to develop a more contextually consistent and a complementary theme within the church.
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