Matter of Spec

Category Archives: Matter of Spec

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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CONSTRUCT 2013: Looking Back on Nashville

As the editor of The Construction Specifier, I attend CONSTRUCT & the CSI Annual Convention every year. It’s a busy few days, but it’s always nice catching up with writers, friends, and editorial advisors. There are also lots of opportunities to meet with building product experts on the show floor. Between the exhibit hall and the various seminar rooms, CONSTRUCT is a direct or indirect source for many of the features and articles finding their …

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From Seminars to Articles

Many features contributed to The Construction Specifier begin with a simple query e-mail or phone call—a specifier, architect, engineer, professor, or product rep has an idea for a story and wants to share it with our audience. In many other instances, however, we go searching for features. The editorial team goes out to established or emerging experts, proposing they write on technical topics that are either ‘hot’ or still under the radar.

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Inspect the Substrate!

Our March 2013 article, “Using Pre-cured Sealants in Construction Applications,” written by Jason Bakus, resulted in a letter to the editor from Gerald “Jerry” Zakim, CSI Emeritus.

Zakim, who has written for The Construction Specifier’s Failures column, e-mailed his comments:

With interest, I read Jason Bakus’ March article and its advocacy for the material’s use adhered to residual sealant. Since it is a given, in all …

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A deeper look at ‘breathable’ curtain walls

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

In the August 2013 issue of The Construction Specifier, we included a Horizons column—“Introducing ‘Breathability’ to Curtain Walls—by Raymond Ting, PhD, PE.

As a complement to our more straight-ahead technical features, Horizons examines still-emerging technologies and new ways of assembling buildings. In this particular case, Ting dealt with the issue of glazed assemblies and their impact on both energy efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ). He acknowledged …

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