Features

Category Archives: Features

Enhancing Energy Performance with Balcony Thermal Breaks

All images courtesy Schock USA

This article examines how a building’s energy performance can be enhanced with structural thermal breaks for balcony connection. New engineered solutions can assist mid- and high-rise building project teams in complying with continuous insulation (ci) code requirements. These structural connections are especially important to address in multi-family specifications because thermal bridging for every residential unit in the structure can add up to significant heating and cooling loads.

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Minimizing Risks with Solar Roofs

Photo courtesy GAF and Protech Roofing Service

Commercial low-slope rooftops are an attractive platform for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity-producing systems. Nevertheless, a roof’s function is, first and foremost, to protect the building’s contents and people from the elements. In this regard, design professionals need to anticipate the potential risks associated with the installation of roof-mounted PV arrays. This sort of due diligence is particularly important when installing PV systems on existing warranted roofs.

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To Test or Not to Test…? A guide to field quality control

Photo © BigStockPhoto/Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

When properly applied, tests can yield valuable insight into the installed performance of systems, aid investigators in determining the cause of a failure, or help to determine if a product is performing to its intended level. However, when improperly applied, many tests and standards can produce misleading results, improper conclusions, and lead to unnecessary repairs or remediation efforts. Within this context, the article takes an in-depth look at roofing assemblies, along with glazing, masonry, and air barrier assemblies.

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Wind Load and Air Barrier Performance Levels: ABAA-evaluated Air Barrier Assemblies

Even though some codes include air barrier assembly as a compliance option, the default compliance path for air leakage control tends to be through air barrier materials. For many years, practitioners relied on air barrier materials properties, while the performance of installed air barriers was largely untested. While testing air barrier assemblies can offer information on performance of installed air barriers, few manufacturers engaged in this because it was not required by code.

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Wind Load and Air Barrier Performance Levels

Photo courtesy DuPont Building Knowledge Center

This article describes the air barrier performance requirements for the desired wind load design specifications. The performance level is not determined by the type of air barrier material, but by the installation details. Examples of how these details can impact the performance level for a given air barrier system are provided, with special emphasis on mechanically fastened air barriers.

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Success in the Balance: Form and function with balanced doors

Photo © Heather Collins Roe Photography

When choosing a marquee entry door system, specifiers need to consider several criteria including traffic, the building’s wind and stack action pressure, accessibility, and obstructing pedestrian traffic. Balanced doors can address these criteria with fluid opening and closing, even when strong external wind pressures and internal stack pressures. Design, frame, and tempered glass options are also discussed.

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