Comparing Polystyrenes: Looking at the differences between EPS and XPS


Insulation is a critical component to specify when designing a functional, cost-effective, and energy-efficient building. One method to insulate a building is by installing 50 to 152 mm (2 to 6 in.) of rigid foam insulation on the exterior side of the wall framing. Two of the most frequently installed types of rigid foam insulation are expanded and extruded polystyrene (EPS and XPS).

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A faster, simpler way to a Level 5 finish

CBP_CS_branded feature_photo 1

Drywall is often misperceived as a building material that does not demand the skillful manipulation of a traditional construction material. However, anyone who has worked with drywall knows the product is not so cooperative.

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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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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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