Matter of Spec

Category Archives: Matter of Spec

Updating values for polyiso

The January issue of The Construction Specifier included the article, “Impact of Advancements in Model Energy Codes,” by Jared O. Blum. We received the following letter to the editor from Tim Merchant of the EPS Industry Alliance, an organization representing those in the expanded polystyrene community.

The EPS Industry Alliance has always supported informative articles that advance the knowledge, proper use, and application of foam insulation. That said, the article makes some inaccurate claims …

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Sounding Off on Acoustic Sealants

SoundTransmission

In the February issue of The Construction Specifier, we published the article, “Using Gypsum Wallboard for Acoustical Control,” by Ashwin L. Himat. The piece dealt with new drywall products designed to reduce noise. However, one reader was concerned there was a bigger picture to keep in mind. Steven Zalben, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, wrote:

The use of acoustical sealant to reduce sound transmission was only cursorily mentioned. Using an appropriate sealant on both top …

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XPS, EPS, and Dock Flotation

After the feature, “Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind: Specifying Thermal Insulation Below-grade and Under-slab” ran in our December 2013 issue, we received a letter from retired architect, Joseph S. Bond. Mr. Bond wrote that the article in question “seems to reverse the findings” from both his personal and professional experience with expanded and extruded polystyrene (EPS and XPS):

I am a retired architect, and may not have the best current information on EPS …

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Re-examining Paver Performance

In the November 2013 issue of The Construction Specifier, we published the article, “Controlling Stormwater at the Source,” by Katie McKain, ASLA, MLA, MUD.  David R. Smith, CSI, of the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI), wrote in about what he felt were some inaccuracies; we then shared his comments with the author.

I read with interest Ms. McKain’s article. She made some inaccurate statements about permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) that require correction. This …

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Behind the Scenes: Another Look at a Terra Cotta Failure

Glass-clad buildings are often designed to be airtight for energy efficiency, but some design experts feel new thinking on ventilation could have important benefits for indoor air quality (IAQ).

Photo © BigStockPhoto/Oleksiy Mark

Whenever we do readership surveys, the Failures column consistently ranks as one of the most popular parts of The Construction Specifier. Over the years, Deborah Slaton and David S. Patterson (along with many guest authors) have used the magazine’s final page to delve into what went wrong with a building, and explore how it could have been prevented.

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