The emergence of disclosure in green design


With the release of the latest version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating program, the concept of ‘disclosure’ has taken center stage as the next big topic in the ongoing discussion of how sustainable buildings are defined and evaluated. Sharing the stage are new tools that have emerged to help measure the ‘greenness’ of building products.

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Defining and Refining Polished Concrete

Hiperfloor premium reflectiveHC550-0142

French-American architect Paul Philippe Cret once said, “Of the many doorways we pass in a short walk, most are fulfilling their purpose, most of them are well-enough built. [But] how many are worth a second look?” Cannot the same be said about architectural polished concrete? Are your floors meeting your design intent or did you settle? Do you know how to distinguish between the floor you asked for, and the floor being presented to you during the punch list?

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Introducing the Passive House system: A new standard for building green


The architectural community is at a tipping point. Specifiers and their design teams are moving closer to super-energy-efficient performance across a spectrum of building types and portfolios, including the ‘deep energy retrofits’ of recent years. This is good news—U.S. commercial buildings account for 72 percent of domestic electricity use and 36 percent of natural gas consumption, according to a 2008 report by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and they contribute an eye-popping nine percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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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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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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