Vision Reborn: Modern FRP composites restore ornamental masonry


Sometimes, the best way to restore an historic building is not the way it was originally built. The methods and materials of construction have changed, and newer options are available to re-create the original design. Labor-intensive approaches of a century ago are now prohibitively expensive. This
 is especially true in the case of decorative details, which were sometimes hand-made.

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Considerations for Green Wall and Green Facade System Selection


The first important step for evaluating green wall systems is to understand the differences in the types and definitions. There are basically two primary distinctions: green facades and living walls. The facade systems are trellis-like in nature and consist of component parts designed to remain stable as the living system of plants populate the structure over decades.

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Spontaneous Glass Breakage: Why it happens and what to do about it

Photo © Wes Thompson. Photo courtesy PPG

The past few years have seen several highly publicized incidents involving window and balcony glass breaking spontaneously and falling from high-rise buildings. It is important to have an overview on the potential causes of spontaneous glass breakage, including some common misconceptions about its actual spontaneity. As a means of protection, some fabricators and glazing contractors offer heat-soaking of tempered glass as a potential solution—but what are the risks involved?

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Ensuring Balcony Durability: Waterproofing details that stand the test of time

All images courtesy Building Diagnostics Inc.

The durability of wood-framed balconies varies widely, with too many suffering from leaks, visible damage on the finishes below, and concealed structural damage from continued water migration. Balconies are vulnerable to decay because they catch rainfall and direct it to a myriad of intersecting planes. There are subtle—but important—differences between the construction of balconies that function for the design life of the building and those failing prematurely. This article presents successful design and construction practices based on a visual survey of over a thousand balconies, excavations into over 200 balcony soffits to check for structural damage, destructive evaluation of selected balconies, and water testing.

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Structural Safety of Wood Decks and Deck Guards

Photo © BigStockPhoto/LeeBarnwell

Most deck-related accidents are caused by failure of the deck-ledger connection or the guardrail—this can lead to serious injuries or death. Decks are often designed as a collection of individual parts, rather than as a ‘system’ of interrelated components that must function correctly. Further, because decks are exterior structures, permanently exposed to weather, long-term decay and fastener or connector corrosion can contribute to these failures.

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