Category Archives: MasterFormat

An Overview of Waterproofing Solutions


Waterproofing failures are more easily overlooked than roofing problems, so design professionals tend to hear less about them. When compared with a reroofing project, however, a below-grade or interior rehabilitation can be far more disruptive and expensive. Whereas a roof leak can generally be identified with simple test probes, waterproofing breaches can be challenging to diagnose.

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Specifiers cautioned in use of adhesive anchors

Contractors in Arizona participate in an American Concrete Institute-Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (ACI-CRSI) adhesive anchor installer certification program. Photo courtesy ACI Arizona Chapter

by Gary Higbee, CSI, AIA

Designing proper construction details is an important part of architecture and engineering practice that involves more than just a grasp of building technology. If designers are not also alert to market conditions, then their details—no matter how elegant—can be ineffective and hinder the pace of a project. Overlooking the complications surrounding the specification of adhesive anchors is a prime example, as recent code changes regarding their use threaten to stall building projects in some of the United States’ largest jurisdictions.

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More great walls of fire: Exterior separations


by Jeff Razwick
Fire-rated curtain walls can prevent a fire from traveling to or from neighboring buildings without restricting visibility. Unlike gypsum, masonry, and other opaque fire-rated materials, this multi-functionality can bring fire and life safety goals in line with the aesthetic design intent where building codes deem the threat of fire is significant from adjacent construction.

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Great walls of fire: Interior separations

Fire-rated curtain walls can satisfy life safety requirements without sacrificing transparency. All images courtesy TGP

by Jeff Razwick
Glazed curtain walls are best known for their ability to visually integrate two otherwise separate spaces. Less talked about—though, perhaps more important—are curtain walls with the capability to retain visibility and access to daylight while standing guard against fire.

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Geosynthetics for new Chicago downtown park

Lightweight expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam forms landscape contours over an underground parking garage at Chicago’s Maggie Daley Park. Photo courtesy Insulfoam

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.

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