By Tom Savoy
The Chicago Park District will soon open a new 11-ha (28-acre) downtown park to complement its renowned Grant Park and Millennium Park. Visitors to Maggie Daley Park will enjoy a visually varied landscape with rolling hills, berms, and contours. What they might not realize is the park’s earthworks are not made of traditional soil fills, but of a geosynthetic material—expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam.
Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC zoning and geothermal systems are two of the most energy-efficient options for heating and cooling available—now, new hybrid assemblies combine the two. This article provides an overview of geothermal (or water-source) with VRF zoning technology and its advantages compared to traditional geothermal systems, air-source VRF zoning systems and conventional HVAC systems. In addition, the article will discuss considerations for specifying water-source VRF zoning systems and provide case studies of successful applications.
This article examines tile applications outside the building. It includes substrate preparation—such as addressing concerns like laitance, substrate variation, excessive porosity, and waterproofing—as well as product selection and installation tips to make sure exterior installations withstand the elements.
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently undertook a series of trials comparing the moisture and temperature management properties of several different exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS) configurations with those of other claddings. This article looks at how the research was conducted (along with related modeling software), and focuses on the findings for different types of climate locations, and other data.
This article explores some of the benefits realized through the speed of construction enabled by specifying insulating concrete forms (ICFs)—a technology that combines reinforced concrete with thermal insulation. The piece profiles diverse projects—a school, a multi-family midrise, a big box, and a hotel—in detailing the cost efficiencies. It also looks at ICF design possibilities, installation techniques, and accessory products.