Features

Category Archives: Features

Innovation with Insulating Concrete Forms

Photo courtesy Nudura Insulated Concrete Forms Ltd.

This article explores some of the benefits realized through the speed of construction enabled by specifying insulating concrete forms (ICFs)—a technology that combines reinforced concrete with thermal insulation. The piece profiles diverse projects—a school, a multi-family midrise, a big box, and a hotel—in detailing the cost efficiencies. It also looks at ICF design possibilities, installation techniques, and accessory products.

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Energy-efficient Design with Masonry Construction

Photo courtesy Richard Filloramo

Masonry materials and wall systems, with their inherent thermal mass characteristics, provide designers with many options to achieve energy-efficient designs. This article illustrates examples of wall configurations that exceed national building code requirements and high-performance standards, taking into account factors like increased R-values for non-mass opaque walls (prescriptive design), continuous insulation, requirements for R-value reductions caused by thermal bridging, mandatory continuous air barriers, and options for building energy design.

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Sound Thoughts on Door and Frame Assemblies: Exploring differences between STC and STL ratings

All images courtesy MegaMet Industries

When sound control acoustic door assemblies are selected, the usual way is to specify a sound transmission coefficient (STC) rating in accordance with established standards. However, this is not as catch-all as it sounds, especially when the sounds that must be blocked come in different frequencies. This article works to clarify some misconceptions about STC, and explores sound transmission loss (STL), which is derived from actual lab testing at specific frequencies.

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Car Dealerships and LEDs: Implement Sustainability and Reduce Costs

All photos courtesy Optec LED Lighting

When car dealerships try to outshine each other through the use of bright light on their lots, much of the light spills off the lots’ parameters, and is also wasted upward. While these lights serve a dual purpose of attracting potential customers and as a 24/7 security system, they devour energy. Light-emitting diodes can help.

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A Look at Cool Roof Options

All photos courtesy Viridian Systems

Providing roofs with a reflective surface is not a new concept. For example, asphalt coatings with leafing aluminum pigment have always promoted the benefit of reducing interior temperatures while slowing the oxidation of the waterproofing membrane. However, the term ‘cool roofing’ was more recently coined with the increased focus on the reduction of energy consumption. This article examines options from built-up roofs (BURs) to modified-bitumen (mod-bit) systems to single-ply membranes.

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Saving on Natatorium Energy Costs with Green Options

Photos courtesy Jarmel Kizel Architects and Engineers

New technologies can provide optimal natatorium environmental control and energy savings. Today’s indoor pool dehumidifiers and outside air ventilation systems technology has changed so much over the last decade, a new or retrofitted natatorium stands to save millions of dollars in energy costs over the 15 to 25-year lifecycle of the equipment. Equipment comes with reduced refrigerant charges of up to 85-percent, compressor heat recovery for free pool water heating, exhaust heat recovery for preheating outdoor air, modulating controls for pinpoint temperature and humidity control, glycol heat rejection to dry coolers, and web-based microprocessor monitor, alarms, and control for factory technician review.

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