MasterFormat

Category Archives: MasterFormat

Solar Power: Focusing on Quality and Long-term Reliability

When specifying photovoltaic (PV) assemblies, it is important to know the modules and cells themselves offer long-term quality. The photo above shows ‘snail trail’ formation resistance of different cell/ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)/backsheet combinations. All images courtesy Motech Industries

by Sam Tsou

For construction specifiers making client recommendations when moving to a renewable energy system, photovoltaic (PV) solar power can be a daunting challenge. This is especially the case when one only considers the impressions of earlier years that do not reflect today’s economic picture. Current U.S. government statistics aggressively support the reality commercial and residential installations are proving to be a valuable approach—with a return on investment (ROI) that means the client payoff is becoming shorter and shorter.

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Stay in Control: Specifying building automation systems for cost savings

The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel uses a BACnet (data
communication protocol for building automation and control
networks) compatible building automation system (BAS) for
energy savings and occupant comfort. All images courtesy Alerton

Building automation systems (BAS) have evolved rapidly over the past several decades, expanding beyond HVAC alone to monitoring and controlling numerous other building systems. This article explores the opportunities from implementing BAS in new construction and in building retrofits, the latest features and benefits available, and factors to consider when specifying BAS controllers, software, and wall sensors for commercial and institutional buildings.

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What Do You Mean By ‘Polyurethane?’

All photos courtesy Quest Construction Products

Polyurethanes have the broadest range of any product group, but they tend to combine toughness and flexibility with adhesive properties. This article examines the chemistry behind these coatings, seeking to give specifiers the information needed to select the right material for a project.

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Using Temperature to Control Condensation in Cold Climates

Photo © BigStockPhoto/Pavel Losevsky

Initially, water vapor diffusion was seen as the likely culprit for condensation problems; designers and consultants spent hours running and analyzing wall assemblies using the dewpoint method. With such analyses came the concept the wall system should be tuned for maximum condensation resistance by altering or selecting the appropriate permeability of the wall components. However, to create a truly robust wall system with the greatest condensation resistance and drying potential, designers need to look at altering the temperature profile of the wall assembly by moving insulation as far as possible to the exterior of the wall.

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Metal Wall Panels on the Roof: How to achieve durability and reliability using sheet metal

All images courtesy Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Some modern architectural designs use newer materials and metal panel assemblies for roofing applications, many of which are not intended to be used as roofing and, therefore, may not be well-suited for it. One such trend is the use of architectural metal wall panels as roofing to create a visually seamless transition between building walls and roof surfaces such as low-slope setbacks in the façade. This can impose unique challenges for the designer and contractor.

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