General Contractors and the entire construction team including project managers and owners used to have to wait at least 72 hours when conducting the Relative Humidity test to take a reading which would detect excess moisture in a concrete foundation. Today, based on updated standards the Relative Humidity test only requires a 24 hour wait, which can greatly improve project timelines.Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]
Forensic architects can serve multiple purposes throughout and after a construction job is complete. Most commonly, forensic architects are brought in to investigate the root cause of construction defects or building issues after a project is complete. However, forensic architects are also often hired onto a job during the design and construction phase to help identify any unforeseen issues that could be avoided. In these cases forensic architects are often hired as an unbiased 3rd party and act as an additional set of eyes based on the specialized experience they can bring to a job.Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]
Buildings were once thought of as a means of shelter and protection. While this still holds true, buildings today have evolved to do so much more based on how the building is intended to be used, who is occupying the building, where it is built, and so on.Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]
During Hurricane Wilma a tower crane at a high-rise condominium construction site in Hallendale, Florida suffered a collapse. The building, a 28 story concrete structure, is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Route A1A, and was under construction at the time of the collapse. The crane was situated on the west side of the building and was connected to the building at the tenth and twentieth floors. The crane was over 300 feet tall. The crane broke at the twentieth floor; the top of the crane fell to the ground while the lower portion was damaged but remained attached to the building. CCA was requested to review the circumstances of the collapse of the crane and provide opinions as to the cause.
With the 2017 hurricane season coming to an end Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria affected large parts of the USA and Caribbean. Examples of roof uplift can be found in numerous structures. If a roof is not properly tied down the entire roof structure can be blown away as in this photograph from St. Thomas.
When hurricanes or high winds strike buildings the roofs can be sucked upward in the same manner as an airplane wing. In extreme cases the entire roof structure can get sucked off the building. Newer, hurricane-resistant structures incorporate hurricane ties - metal straps which attach the roof securely to the main part of the house below. Parts of the house are also tied together all of the way down to the foundation providing a path for the roof uplift forces all the way to the foundation. Without these ties, strong winds will make quick work of a roof.
In areas of the U.S. prone to being hit by hurricanes, like Florida, it is critical that buildings are constructed to stand up to the strength of storms.
Weather-resistant Metal Paneling is one application that is currently being used to withstand the potential damage caused by hurricanes.
According to a recent article in The Construction Specifier, Orlando Veteran Affairs Medical Center, located in a region with a 40% risk of encountering a hurricane, has installed more than 245,000 sf of weather-resistant metal walls, tested to withstand winds from a Category 3 hurricane
As stated in the article, the building features thermal efficiency, moisture control, and weather resistance suitable for the hurricane risk in Orlando, the panels are pressure-equalized along horizontal joints. Insulated metal vertical (IMV) joints are also employed, improving visual appeal by creating the illusion of an uninterrupted façade and minimizing both streaking and staining. All panels used are 22-gage and feature foamed-in-place cores to minimize gaps in insulation.Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]
Flooding has dominated much of the news in recent years and this hurricane season it seems to be even more prevalent. The impact of this flooding is greater due to growing infrastructure and the rapid rate that new construction is going up.
Concrete is the modern world’s most commonly used building material however century-old concrete structures are outlasting modern concrete structures erected in the last 50-years. Why? One factor is the way in which the buildings are reinforced. According to a recent article in The Construction Specifier, instead of using solid stone, most U.S. infrastructure is constructed of reinforcing steel embedded within poured concrete. As the priorities of construction methods shift to increase productivity and streamline scheduling, long-term durability often takes a backseat.
The following article provides case studies about different reinforcement methods being employed to protect against major flooding. Read more.Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]
Since Hurricane Katrina first hit New Orleans in 2005, work has been ongoing to protect the city from future flooding.
The Engineering News Record reported that the final step in building the permanent system will be completed in April 2017. As quoted from the article:
The $654-million Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps (PCCP) project now is the last major piece of the $14.6-billion storm risk-reduction system in low-lying New Orleans. The federally funded effort will give the city, which is from 2 ft to 20 ft below sea level, protection from a major storm that has a 1% annual chance of occurring, a so-called 100-year storm.
“The pre-Katrina system was a system in name only,” says Dan Bradley, Corps senior project manager for the PCCP project. “We’ve reduced [risk] by 35% with a true system approach to risk reduction.” Ricky Boyett, district Corps spokesman, adds. “Before, the canals were the first line of defense. Now, they are secondary."Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]
Working since January on their fourth attempt at passing construction defect reform legislation, Colorado state lawmakers are still having difficulty passing any meaningful reform. First reported in January by The Denver Post, builders are hesitant to start new projects in the state - leading to a lack of condo units available for purchase, and no new condo project applications.
"Reform proponents blame Colorado's construction-defects law for the condo shortage, saying the law makes it too easy for homeowners to sue over cracked foundations, leaky windows and other structural problems.Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]
It's an exciting time in the field of engineering. Climate change, resilient design, hardened buildings, shelter from storms and shelter from terrorists all present challenges in the design of buildings and other structures. As reported by Civil and Structural Engineer, the stage is set for a range of opportunities in the industry:Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]