The providing for increased load capacities in existing buildings and structures or their individual parts. The need for structural reinforcement usually occurs in cases where the load-bearing structures no longer meet the requirements for normal use as a result of higher loads or the appearance of unacceptable defects. Structural reinforcement often proves to be more economical than erecting a new building or structure. Sometimes it is called for because of other considerations, such as the necessity of preserving buildings of historical or architectural worth.
Structural reinforcement is usually accomplished by increasing the cross section of structural members or by effecting design changes. The methods chosen depend on the type of construction and the material and on the required increase in load capacity. In some cases beddings and foundations are reinforced, usually when building additions are made or service loads are increased.