Acoustical windows make hotels more hospitable

Hotel owners are prisoners of a paradox—they must build near major thoroughfares, highways, and rail services so they are accessible and convenient, but this ideal location is also often the source of the noise problem. As noise awareness grows, some proprietors mistakenly believe the only solution is replacing every...
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Sustainable, high-performance design with natural stone

Sustainable, high-performance building continues to be the desired model for design, construction, and operations in both the public and private sector. Initially, the movement was a response to the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which set the standards to mean “a building that integrates and optimizes all major high-performance building...
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Understanding today’s coatings for claddings

Even those best-designed, well-constructed buildings degrade if the appropriate exterior coating and finishes are not applied and maintained in a timely manner—this is especially true for demanding environments. Fortunately, there is a wide-ranging array of high-performance architectural coatings available today that can not only safeguard a building’s value, but...
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Best practices for architectural coatings

Architectural paints and coatings have a long history of application across a wide range of construction and surface types, yet they are among the most misunderstood and misused of building materials. Originating in European traditions, architectural painting in North America experienced a dramatic shift in the mid-19th century, when...
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Integrated contract administration and acoustics

Buildings are a combination of design and construction. On paper, it may all seem to flow and make sense, but a small change in the former can have major impacts on the latter. Similarly, alterations that happen during the construction phase can end up causing significant design problems, affecting...
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The new slip resistance requirements in IBC

Specifying flooring that will not be slippery even when it can get wet or otherwise lubricated in use is critical for safety purposes. The 2012 International Building Code (IBC) lays out slip resistance, but there are weaknesses with the requirements—not least of all in that it places a burden...
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Acoustic ceilings in sustainable buildings

When some people consider sustainable buildings, they think of wood from a certified forest, whether carpeting was used, or if harvested rainwater was employed for landscaping. Others may think of energy efficiency, solar panels, and daylighting to reduce electric light usage.
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Designing and retrofitting restrooms

Upgrading older facilities with modern restroom fixtures and amenities can update much-needed aesthetics, maintenance, and safety reliefs. Designing with accessibility in mind can do more than provide easier-to-use spaces for the elderly and disabled—it provides comfort for everyone. Both required and non-required barrier-free details such as raised-height toilets, grab...
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