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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Metal composite panels with continuous insulation

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There are many different metal composite panel (MCP) assemblies with varying strengths. Traditionally, these claddings are simply fastened without insulation to the structural wall, through membrane water-resistive barriers (WRBs) and gypsum sheathing. However, some proprietary MCPs are fastened through continuous insulation (ci) to the structural wall. What advantages can this provide, not only with respect to thermal performance, but also durability and life safety?

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Continuing Education on Continuous Insulation

insulation_application of Sto Therm ci XPS system on a high rise condominium building

Continuous insulation (ci) has been a component of exterior wall assemblies for almost a half-century in North America. By minimizing energy loss caused by thermal bridging and the risk of condensation caused by water vapor diffusion, exterior ci can improve building durability and benefit the environment. However, using rigid foam plastic comes with certain design considerations that must be reviewed early in the design process.

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Using Vapor Retarders to Manage Airflow and Reduce Moisture


Industry codes are tightening the building envelope and increasing the required R-value of walls. This is a good thing for energy savings and thermal comfort. Yet, one change to a building’s system sets forth a series of other changes. The tight-envelope construction techniques to which architects and builders are now required to adhere have led to a steep reduction in air movement through walls.

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Selecting Polystyrene Foam Where Moisture Exposure Occurs


The purpose of building insulation is to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption, contribute to durability, and provide comfort for occupants. However, there are numerous locations where significant exposure to moisture—which severely affects a material’s thermal performance—occurs, such as in protected membrane roofs, vegetative assemblies, below grade, and frost-protected shallow foundations (FPSFs).

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