Must Reads

Category Archives: Must Reads

 

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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Innovation with Insulating Concrete Forms

Photo courtesy Nudura Insulated Concrete Forms Ltd.

This article explores some of the benefits realized through the speed of construction enabled by specifying insulating concrete forms (ICFs)—a technology that combines reinforced concrete with thermal insulation. The piece profiles diverse projects—a school, a multi-family midrise, a big box, and a hotel—in detailing the cost efficiencies. It also looks at ICF design possibilities, installation techniques, and accessory products.

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Energy-efficient Design with Masonry Construction

Photo courtesy Richard Filloramo

Masonry materials and wall systems, with their inherent thermal mass characteristics, provide designers with many options to achieve energy-efficient designs. This article illustrates examples of wall configurations that exceed national building code requirements and high-performance standards, taking into account factors like increased R-values for non-mass opaque walls (prescriptive design), continuous insulation, requirements for R-value reductions caused by thermal bridging, mandatory continuous air barriers, and options for building energy design.

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Seeing the Urban Forests for the Trees: Secondary benefits of our cities’ wood

Photo courtesy M Magazine

In the wake of the devastation caused by the emerald ash borer, urban lumber harvesting has emerged as a response in the United States and Canada. Instead of grinding the wood into mulch, the urban wood movement promotes using urban forests to provide distinctive finishes for built spaces while also connecting those spaces to a piece of history. Designers, contractors, specifiers, and related professionals wishing to use urban wood must be aware of special considerations if they wish to take advantage of this unique resource.

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10 Key Questions about Exterior Shading

Photo © Richard Wilson. Photo courtesy Draper Inc.

Over the last decade, exterior shading has become more popular in the United States. However, many architects and building owners still have limited knowledge about these systems and why they should be considered part of the building design. This article explores 10 frequently asked questions about exterior shading, while providing insight into available systems and how they can be an important part of the building’s environmental control.

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