Lightning Protection and the Building Envelope

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Global warming could increase lightning strikes by 50 percent, according to recently published climatological research. The distribution of lightning activity may also change, raising the occurrence of lightning in regions that heretofore had little risk.1 At the same time, the need for lightning protection becomes more urgent as buildings are filled with increasingly sensitive electronic devices.

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Are We Thinking About Daylighting All Wrong?

The daylighting advantages for this Manassas Park classroom go far beyond reducing reliance on electrical utilities—there is much to be said about natural light’s benefits in health and productivity. Photo © Sam Kittner Photography

Daylighting is an integral part of architectural design. After all, building occupants want a physical and psychological connection to the outside world. We evolved under sunlight; our Circadian rhythms—governing daily living cycles, influencing our mood, and controlling our sleep patterns—developed in response to a connection to the outdoors. Unfortunately, how many design/construction professionals approach daylighting can be problematic.

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Idaho’s tallest building replaces the Boise Hole

Located in downtown Boise, Eighth and Main’s 18-story mixed-use building is the tallest building in Idaho and the first in the state to use unitized curtain wall. Photos © Marc Walters Photography. Photos courtesy Wausau Window and Wall Systems

Rising above Boise’s skyline to become the tallest in Idaho, the Eighth and Main building prominently features a unitized glazed curtain wall and sunshades. The $76-million, 18-story mixed-use building opened last February, and is pursuing Silver through the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

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The hazards of traditional wired glass

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For decades, traditional wired glass—with its crisscrossed wires creating diamonds or squares—was installed in buildings around the world. Thanks to its ability to remain intact even when broken, it was the first and, for years, only form of glazing available for fire door assemblies in schools, hospitals, and other buildings.

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