Filling The Gap: Considerations for specifying privacy partitions

Changing social attitudes have prompted a nationwide trend toward gender-neutral and high-privacy restrooms in the United States, particularly for use in universities and commercial office facilities. This approach to public and institutional restroom design has been further reinforced by legislation, with more than 20 states—most recently, Massachusetts—passing laws aimed...
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Smoke control getting it right

Most fire deaths are not caused by burns, but by smoke inhalation. Often, smoke incapacitates so quickly people are overcome and cannot make it to an otherwise accessible exit. (See National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s), “A Reporter’s Guide to Fire and the NFPA” by visiting www.nfpa.org.) Given the nature...
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Cleaning and maintaining stainless steel

With appropriate specification, stainless steel can last the life of a building. However, as with any other material, unsightly surface deposits can accumulate after many years of service. Accidents, vandalism, use of inappropriate cleaning procedures, and installation issues can make surfaces unsightly, cause damage, or even lead to rapid...
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Acoustical windows make hotels more hospitable

Hotel owners are prisoners of a paradox—they must build near major thoroughfares, highways, and rail services so they are accessible and convenient, but this ideal location is also often the source of the noise problem. As noise awareness grows, some proprietors mistakenly believe the only solution is replacing every...
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Sustainable, high-performance design with natural stone

Sustainable, high-performance building continues to be the desired model for design, construction, and operations in both the public and private sector. Initially, the movement was a response to the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which set the standards to mean “a building that integrates and optimizes all major high-performance building...
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Daylighting with dynamic glass

As long as humans have built shelters, windows have been an important design element to bring in daylight. In the second half of the 20th century—facilitated by advances in structural engineering and the advent of electric lighting—buildings became larger, deeper, and increasingly isolated occupants from the outside world, especially...
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Understanding today’s coatings for claddings

Even those best-designed, well-constructed buildings degrade if the appropriate exterior coating and finishes are not applied and maintained in a timely manner—this is especially true for demanding environments. Fortunately, there is a wide-ranging array of high-performance architectural coatings available today that can not only safeguard a building’s value, but...
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