The air/vapor barrier must die

As manufacturers introduce materials with new properties and attempt to push the boundaries of building envelope construction, it is crucial the industry agrees on terminology for communicating the specific functions and purpose of these materials to avoid confusion and costly errors. In this regard, the term ‘air/vapor barrier’ is...
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Writing a spec from scratch

Most technical specification template sections are available through software programs, but what if a template does not exist for a particular product or assembly? The following article outlines some of the steps to take when creating a spec from scratch.
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What did we get, anyway?

Selection of fenestration assemblies (utilizing both window and storefront systems) can be challenging due to the number of ancillary components/accessories available—materials with different performance characteristics compared to the main fenestration element.
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Selecting professional liability coverage

Contractor’s professional liability (CPrL) policies are becoming popular for their ability to cover damages arising from the acts, errors, and omissions of professional services performed by or on behalf of any construction firm, be it a general contractor (GC), design-builder, construction manager (at risk or agency), or specialty subcontractor.
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‘Breathable’ coatings for masonry walls

Coatings used with brick masonry should be breathable, especially in colder climates—they must allow moisture entering the wall system to escape. Failure of brick that has been covered by a non-breathable coating underscores the importance of selecting appropriate repairs when needed. If a coating does need to be applied,...
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