The true cost of transparency

Transparency provides the clarity manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers need to make informed decisions and help advance material health of products. In the building industry, it allows for a clearer understanding of the impacts building materials have on the environment and on human health.
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Considering IRA with brick masonry

Apart from aesthetics, when brick is selected for new construction, test data provided by the manufacturer is often reviewed for strength, saturation coefficients, and perhaps efflorescence. Unfortunately, another important characteristic—the initial rate of absorption (IRA)—sometimes receives little attention.
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Using the General Conditions as a foundation document

An astute specifier understands the importance of the construction contract and its associated General Conditions for writing the general requirements for a project. While many Divisions 02 through 49 Sections can be prepared independently of the contractual provisions, Division 01 cannot be adequately prepared until the specifier knows who...
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Mixed-up systems

The control and management of rainwater on and within a curtain wall assembly is critical for long-term performance and durability. Water-control strategies—most commonly drainage or barrier (exclusion)—can vary by system type and glazing technique.
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Tips for finding your mentor

Some view mentorship as a formal process where two people are set up to connect and learn from each other. This can feel contrived and awkward, or even sound scary. My personal definition of mentorship is simply ‘learning from anyone farther along the path than I am.’
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Moisture in inside-out building enclosures

In modern buildings, there tends to be moderate tolerance for design/construction errors affecting thermal performance, air leakage, and moisture migration. This is primarily due to the typically low interior moisture levels found in these types of projects and seasonal variation in exterior conditions.
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Get your hands dirty

Many specifiers grumble about the typical architect’s lack of knowledge of how things work and how building materials and assemblies go together—there is that perceived belief, “If I can draw it, someone can build it!”
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Keeping mortar compatible

Using a mortar harder than adjacent stone or brick can affect the adjacent masonry, from localized spalls along the edges of the mortar joints to severely deteriorated masonry units surrounded by intact pointing mortar.
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Public restrooms, personal space

Corporate conference and meeting rooms started to receive increased attention from designers a few years ago, and now the same thing is happening to commercial restroom spaces, particularly for Class A office and high-end hospitality buildings.
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