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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Best practices for architectural coatings

Architectural paints and coatings have a long history of application across a wide range of construction and surface types, yet they are among the most misunderstood and misused of building materials. Originating in European traditions, architectural painting in North America experienced a dramatic shift in the mid-19th century, when...
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A look at continuous insulation, past and present

Increasing emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency has had a huge impact on the construction industry. Materials manufacturers scrambled to develop products that would allow builders to meet and exceed the new codes. At the same time, they harnessed that momentum and used it to create innovative solutions. “Necessity...
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Healthy Concrete Systems: Defending design intent

Construction documents need to be clear, concise, correct, and complete—but is this enough to fend off the twists and turns of executing the contract for construction? One may begin with the very best in design intent, but it is the responsibility of the entire project team to understand and...
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Set Your SITES: What to know about the new rating system

SITES is a globally sustainable rating system used by landscape architects, designers, engineers, architects, developers, and policy-makers to align land development and management with innovative sustainable design. After several years of beta testing, version SITES v2 was released last year. Ever since then, projects throughout the United States, Canada,...
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Navigating energy code compliance for roofing

The roof assembly is an important aspect in achieving energy code compliance because it often accounts for a large portion of the building envelope. It becomes even more critical in single-story non-residential projects such as manufacturing plants, warehouses, distribution centers, retail stores, and offices.
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