Must Reads

Category Archives: Must Reads

Enhancing Energy Performance with Balcony Thermal Breaks

All images courtesy Schock USA

This article examines how a building’s energy performance can be enhanced with structural thermal breaks for balcony connection. New engineered solutions can assist mid- and high-rise building project teams in complying with continuous insulation (ci) code requirements. These structural connections are especially important to address in multi-family specifications because thermal bridging for every residential unit in the structure can add up to significant heating and cooling loads.

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Richardsville Elementary – NET ZERO

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September 2010 marked the grand opening for Richardsville Elementary, the First Net-Zero Insulated Concrete Form School in the U.S. Warren County School district, the school board responsible for Richardsville, has been building energy efficient schools that are being recognized for their innovation across the United States.

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Minimizing Risks with Solar Roofs

Photo courtesy GAF and Protech Roofing Service

Commercial low-slope rooftops are an attractive platform for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity-producing systems. Nevertheless, a roof’s function is, first and foremost, to protect the building’s contents and people from the elements. In this regard, design professionals need to anticipate the potential risks associated with the installation of roof-mounted PV arrays. This sort of due diligence is particularly important when installing PV systems on existing warranted roofs.

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To Test or Not to Test…? A guide to field quality control

Photo © BigStockPhoto/Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

When properly applied, tests can yield valuable insight into the installed performance of systems, aid investigators in determining the cause of a failure, or help to determine if a product is performing to its intended level. However, when improperly applied, many tests and standards can produce misleading results, improper conclusions, and lead to unnecessary repairs or remediation efforts. Within this context, the article takes an in-depth look at roofing assemblies, along with glazing, masonry, and air barrier assemblies.

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Wind Load and Air Barrier Performance Levels

Photo courtesy DuPont Building Knowledge Center

This article describes the air barrier performance requirements for the desired wind load design specifications. The performance level is not determined by the type of air barrier material, but by the installation details. Examples of how these details can impact the performance level for a given air barrier system are provided, with special emphasis on mechanically fastened air barriers.

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Understanding New Accessibility Requirements for Doors

All images courtesy Allegion

The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design has several requirements that continue to surprise architects and specifiers. This article examines changes to door hardware operable force, use of low-energy automatic operators, protrusions into egress, and the need for proper maneuvering clearance.

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