Features

Category Archives: Features

Durable Waterproofing for Concrete Masonry Walls: Redundancy Required

All images courtesy Building Diagnostics Inc.

A single-wythe concrete masonry wall may be a cost-effective structural element, but it can present challenges for waterproofing. The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) recommends redundancy to keep concrete masonry walls dry through techniques at the surface of the wall, within the wall, and through adequate drainage systems. Unfortunately, many concrete masonry wall designs rely solely on admixtures in the concrete masonry units (CMUs) and mortar and surface-applied water repellents. However, low absorption values do not guarantee water penetration resistance; this disconnect in the industry is a leading reason for leakage in single-wythe concrete masonry walls.

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Improving Floor/Ceiling Sound Control in Multifamily Projects: Sound Testing Practices

The sound transmission class (STC) and impact insulation class (IIC) are ASTM-derived single number ratings that try to quantify how much sound a stopped by partition being tested. Laboratory testing involves an ideal setting for the floor/ceiling assembly—it is isolated from the walls, and there are no penetrations for HVAC, plumbing lines, sprinklers, can lights, or electrical boxes. In the field (i.e. F-STC and F-IIC), the floor/ceiling assembly often sits on load-bearing walls, is connected to the structure, and contains many ceiling and floor penetrations for the items just mentioned. Consequently, the code allows for a lower rating for field scores over those in the lab.

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Improving Floor/Ceiling Sound Control in Multifamily Projects

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Demand for better floor/ceiling acoustics in multifamily construction has been spurred by consumer desires, new guidelines from code bodies, and stricter enforcement of existing codes. This article reviews important new guidelines, delving into how construction manufacturers have created new products or enhanced existing ones in the pursuit of achieving higher acoustical performance.

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Shapes and Sounds: Designing concert halls with curves

Images courtesy Radius Track Corporation

Using curved surfaces in performing arts facilities can diffuse sound and create distinctive appearances; the wide variety of options—may made available through use of modeling technologies and cold-formed steel (CFS)—means a wide palette of dramatically different visual results.

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A Paradigm Shift in Specifying Temporary Structures

All images courtesy Mahaffey Fabric Structures

This article for construction specifiers assesses why and when to consider temporary buildings as an alternative to permanent construction, renovation, or leased existing space. Decision-making criteria, including category options, financial and site considerations, as well as technical information on energy-efficiency, usable space, roof loads, and wind ratings are examined.

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