The value of a product or application stems from not only its technical appropriateness, but also its ease of use and the confidence it instills in those who specify and those who do the actual application.
Sealant is used in the exterior joints of every modern building, but usually incorrectly. Owners have high expectations for performance and durability, but premature sealant failure is common, resulting in air and water infiltration, property damage, and expensive repair work. Design details and installation practices contribute to the service life, but there is a bigger problem in the industry—many sealant products cannot resist movement and weathering, which are their core functions.
Many new water-resistive barrier (WRB) products are being introduced, including liquid-applied membranes. These new products join traditional wraps, self-adhered membranes, felts, and building paper, making for a crowded marketplace. A WRB will be concealed behind cladding, where it cannot be inspected, maintained, or replaced, so it must last for the design life of the building. However, will the new products be durable?
Bearing pads are used widely in precast concrete parking garages. They function as buffers between the separate concrete members to prevent damage and facilitate movement (much like cartilage between bones at joints). Bearing pads should last for the design life of the structure, but need to be replaced when they are not sufficiently durable. The ‘surgery’ to replace the pads properly is a complex operation, with few published guidelines.
Clay roof tiles offer numerous benefits to commercial and residential projects. Inherently, the material is associated with minimal environmental impact in its sourcing, extraction, as well as manufacture. As environmental awareness in building design and construction has increased, the greatest focus has been on sustainable building materials, both in manufacture and performance.