Using modern wood for historic restoration

When it comes to historic preservation projects, architects and installers can find themselves at a loss. Wood is the most traditional material, but also notoriously unstable. It has a tendency to warp and becomes vulnerable to rot, decay, and insects. Some replacement products are more durable, but far from...
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Specifying Broomed Exterior Concrete Surfaces

As a safety requirement, all exterior concrete surfaces must have a slip-resistant surface. The most common method for this is specifying a ‘broom finish.’ But, is that all there is to it? Specifications must also satisfy owner requirements for appearance, flatness, texture, as well as drainage.
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Cold-formed Steel Framing Gets Complicated

During the medieval period, complex Gothic structures were built from drawings that communicated a designer’s overall vision without detailing specific means of construction. Master craftsmen translated designs into buildable structures using simple tools available at the time. Now, in some respects, the construction industry has come full circle.
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Innovation with Insulating Concrete Forms

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...
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Enhancing Energy Performance with Balcony Thermal Breaks

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...
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Getting on Deck: High-performance options for composite decking

Since the late 1980s, manufacturers have introduced dozens of wood-plastic composite decking products, including composite boards with thin plastic caps (i.e. capped composites) in recent years. Composite decking manufacturing methods vary, resulting in deck boards with significantly different performance characteristics. Several composite brands have experienced field failures, but newly...
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