Integrated wall retrofits: Solutions for existing masonry construction for commercial buildings

Photo © Bigstock.com

Sixty percent of U.S. commercial buildings were constructed before 1980. Retrofitting them for energy efficiency is essential to achieve the Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office’s (BTO) goal of halving building energy use by 2030. Most existing buildings have masonry construction with uninsulated wall assemblies, which offer good potential for wall improvement strategies.

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Choosing fiberglass or stone wool for fire and acoustics

This blown-in-blanket fiberglass system was specifically designed for closed cavity applications. It fills all voids and gaps, significantly reducing unwanted noise.
Photos courtesy CertainTeed

Both fiberglass and stone wool insulation have merit, promote fire protection and sustainability, and offer value to architects, contractors, and property owners alike. This article’s intent is to present a scientific examination of the benefits of using each, in particular with respect to meeting fire and acoustic requirements and codes.

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Steel curtain walls that get the curtain call

curtainwalls_Fountaindale-Public-Library---Courtesy-TGP

Modern curtain wall systems require structural supports as strong as they are versatile to keep pace with today’s increasingly large free spans, challenging angles, and sophisticated glass-clad aesthetics. While steel curtain wall frames have long met strength criteria, they have only recently provided the necessary design flexibility.

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Are all zinc coatings created equal?

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Zinc is naturally found in elements such as air, water, and soil as well as in plants, animals, and humans. It is the 27th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and is infinitely recyclable without the loss of its properties, making it a true renewable resource.

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