Sustainable, high-performance design with natural stone

Sustainable, high-performance building continues to be the desired model for design, construction, and operations in both the public and private sector. Initially, the movement was a response to the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which set the standards to mean “a building that integrates and optimizes all major high-performance building...
+ Read More

Healthy Concrete Systems: Defending design intent

Construction documents need to be clear, concise, correct, and complete—but is this enough to fend off the twists and turns of executing the contract for construction? One may begin with the very best in design intent, but it is the responsibility of the entire project team to understand and...
+ Read More

Integrated contract administration and acoustics

Buildings are a combination of design and construction. On paper, it may all seem to flow and make sense, but a small change in the former can have major impacts on the latter. Similarly, alterations that happen during the construction phase can end up causing significant design problems, affecting...
+ Read More


Specifying the concrete slab to be polished

One of the biggest mistakes a designer can make when specifying polished concrete slabs is to state, “Concrete for polished concrete, including formwork, reinforcement, concrete materials, mixture design, placement procedures, initial finishing, and curing is specified in Section 03 30 00 Cast-in-Place Concrete.”
+ Read More

The new slip resistance requirements in IBC

Specifying flooring that will not be slippery even when it can get wet or otherwise lubricated in use is critical for safety purposes. The 2012 International Building Code (IBC) lays out slip resistance, but there are weaknesses with the requirements—not least of all in that it places a burden...
+ Read More

Acoustic ceilings in sustainable buildings

When some people consider sustainable buildings, they think of wood from a certified forest, whether carpeting was used, or if harvested rainwater was employed for landscaping. Others may think of energy efficiency, solar panels, and daylighting to reduce electric light usage.
+ Read More

Designing and retrofitting restrooms

Upgrading older facilities with modern restroom fixtures and amenities can update much-needed aesthetics, maintenance, and safety reliefs. Designing with accessibility in mind can do more than provide easier-to-use spaces for the elderly and disabled—it provides comfort for everyone. Both required and non-required barrier-free details such as raised-height toilets, grab...
+ Read More