A Quantitative Analysis Of Stone Buildings And Assessment Of The Masonry Labor Market In New York State
This thesis demonstrates how quantitative analysis can be applied to the existing building stock and construction industry to provide detailed information about building condition and maintenance needs as well as the ability of the industry to meet these needs. It shows how this information can be used to inform planning activities for the historic built environment. To demonstrate this methodology and evaluate a perceived shortage of masons skilled in repair and restoration work, an assessment of the maintenance and repair needs of the stone building stock in New York State and the ability of the masonry labor force to meet these needs was undertaken. Property tax assessment data were used to conduct an inventory and condition assessment of stone buildings in the state. Of the 2,668,649 buildings in New York State (excluding New York City), 13,639 are built using some form of stone construction. Of these, approximately 3,096 will require some degree of maintenance or repair intervention in the next twenty years. A survey of masonry contracting firms working in the state was conducted to gauge the current and perceived future workload of the firms, their ability to recruit new entrants to their trade, and the age and skill competencies of respondents, as key indicators of the "health" of this subsector of the construction industry. Key findings indicate that, while existing workforce skill levels can be considered high, there are insufficient qualified workers to meet demand, the subsector has difficulty recruiting new entrants, and that an aging workforce may exacerbate current shortages. Recommendations for recruiting and training new workers are provided. While limited in scope to stone masonry and confined geographically to New York, the methods presented in this thesis can provide a model for studies involving other building materials or localities. This information has relevance beyond the field of historic preservation, with direct applications for trades training programs, labor organizations, workforce planning and policy makers, and a variety of stakeholders concerned with the built environment.
historic preservation; stone masonry; labor market
Historic Preserv Planning
M.A. of Historic Preserv Planning
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis