UniFormat

Category Archives: UniFormat

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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Success in the Balance: Form and function with balanced doors

Photo © Heather Collins Roe Photography

When choosing a marquee entry door system, specifiers need to consider several criteria including traffic, the building’s wind and stack action pressure, accessibility, and obstructing pedestrian traffic. Balanced doors can address these criteria with fluid opening and closing, even when strong external wind pressures and internal stack pressures. Design, frame, and tempered glass options are also discussed.

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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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Design of Fire-resistive Exposed Wood Members

Photo courtesy Structurlam

The article offers an in-depth look at design considerations for fire resistance when building with wood products. It also looks at wood engineering mechanics and design procedures that comply with the International Building Code (IBC), recognizing fire resistance demonstrated by structural wood beams and columns in actual fires.

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Durable Waterproofing for Concrete Masonry Walls: Redundancy Required

All images courtesy Building Diagnostics Inc.

A single-wythe concrete masonry wall may be a cost-effective structural element, but it can present challenges for waterproofing. The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) recommends redundancy to keep concrete masonry walls dry through techniques at the surface of the wall, within the wall, and through adequate drainage systems. Unfortunately, many concrete masonry wall designs rely solely on admixtures in the concrete masonry units (CMUs) and mortar and surface-applied water repellents. However, low absorption values do not guarantee water penetration resistance; this disconnect in the industry is a leading reason for leakage in single-wythe concrete masonry walls.

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