Pass the salt

Exterior steel elements—both structural (e.g. columns) and architectural (e.g. handrails)—need to be protected from corrosion, usually with high-performance coatings. However, even high-performance coatings degrade when exposed to severe environments.
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Visually obscured glass units

Insulating glass units (IGUs) are often used in window and curtain wall assemblies due to their improved thermal performance as compared to assemblies with monolithic glass infill. However, monolithic glass can function for the life of the building (barring breakage), while IGUs can fail over time.
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A confluence of conditions

Occupants of a recently completed building reported localized peeling of wallcoverings from partition walls (primarily coinciding with the brick cladding/exterior curtain wall interface), as well as condensation on many interior surfaces during the cooling season.
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Aging (not so) gracefully

At a three-story office building built in the 1980s, interior water leakage routinely occurred on the second floor. Typically observed during wind-driven rain, it resulted in wetting of interior finishes and subsequent mold growth.
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Has time run out for glazed brick?

Glazed brick has had a love/hate relationship with the real estate, design, and construction community for well over a century. In 2011, the New York Times ran an article in the real estate section stating that during the middle of the last century, “glazed brick was supposed to make...

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Tip of the iceberg

Evidence of water leakage was reported in a recently constructed three-story building located in a moderate climate, including staining observed at a few locations on interior finishes.
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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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