Different materials are used in the construction process to ensure the building envelope is air tight and water resistant. Components include water barriers, air barriers, and thermal control layers. While technologies for testing air and water barriers, along with thermal control have evolved over the years, there are still inconsistencies among the different practices used for testing.
Commercial roofs are often subject to high levels of wear and tear due to sun exposure (UV rays), frigid winter temperatures, and unpredictable weather patterns. This wear and tear, many times, leads to roof damage and issues such as leaks. Unfortunately roofs usually do not receive attention until an issue like a leak occurs. As Doug Kramer, author of the article Add decades to your commercial roof life states, “Roofs are the black sheep when it comes to commercial building maintenance.”
Last year was the United States’ most costly on record for weather-related disasters. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather-related damages in 2017 totaled a staggering $306 billion.
Owners and managers of facilities with parking garages often do not give the garages their fair share of attention. Managing the value-added parts of the facilities such as hospital rooms, apartments, condominium units, etcetera, is much more important. When it comes to maintaining parking garages and treating deterioration, they are often placed on the back burner by building management companies and owners. Owners and managers naturally tend to place their focus, energy, and budget into maintaining more high-profile façade issues, roof leaks, or patching concrete as it relates to the occupied buildings themselves.
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.
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.
Did you know that stucco, also known as exterior plaster, has been used for many centuries? Historians suggest that the material has been used by multiple civilizations including the Babylonians, Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans, spanning over thousands of years.
Although evolved and changing, the use of stucco today is still growing in popularity despite various problems. The following is a short comparison of historic and new practices.
Historic structures still standing today indicate that “old” stucco material was used and its construction was “done right”. Its original composition and performance appears superior compared to its modern-day counterpart.
Energy conscious building systems and "green" buildings are terms that have been around for quite some time. In fact, there are numerous interesting articles one can explore relative to the implementation of energy conscious building systems. Building professionals continually seek new ways to harness energy and develop innovative approaches to improve our environment and offset energy costs. Recently, we have seen the tremendous interest and growth in solar power from residential to large scale applications. Other renewable energy sources are also constantly being explored, such as converting energy expended by humans into energy used to help power buildings.
After 15 years of delays, set-backs, and challenges, construction has finally begun on Boston’s much anticipated Fenway Center.
Most roofs are not watertight all the time. Roofing systems, both low-sloped (flat) and pitched, will most likely eventually spring a leak, even with the proper recommended maintenance and inspections. But what about newly installed low-sloped roofs, can one expect those to be watertight? Typically, on a newly constructed building, any minor leaks that turn up during construction can be dealt with immediately by the installer. Also, newly installed roofs on new and old buildings will undergo inspections and sometimes specified testing of seams and components for issuance of the manufacturer’s and installer’s warranty of water tightness for a specified period of time. However, ensuring that your newly installed roof is absolutely watertight becomes more critical if it is being covered by rock ballast or a landscaped greenspace or if the roof protects valuable artwork or irreplaceable property. Determining the location, origin, and extent of wet substrates is also critical for existing buildings when trying to determine if repair or complete replacement is more appropriate.