Caring for glazed architectural terra cotta


One of the most prevalent materials found on historic buildings, glazed architectural terra cotta was popularized in the late 19th century as a versatile, lightweight, economical, and adaptable alternative to stone. Through the 1930s, the sculptural properties of terra cotta gave rise to diverse architectural styles, including the Chicago School, High Rise, and Beaux Arts.

Read More

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?

Read More

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.

Read More

Waterproofing for CMUs: What About Stucco?

In the July 2014 issue of The Construction Specifier, we published the article, “Durable Waterproofing for Concrete Masonry Walls: Redundancy Required,” by Robert M. Chamra, EIT and Beth Anne Feero. A month later, we received the following e-mail from G. Michael Starks, president of the Florida Lath & Plaster Bureau (FLAPB):

I thought this article offers sage advice should your plans call for struck and painted concrete masonry unit (CMU) walls. Unfortunately, …

Read More