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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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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Avoiding a contractual fatal flaw

You may perhaps be thinking: “Isn’t the title of this article a bit over-dramatic?" However, this is an important topic that is rarely well-appreciated by owners and design professionals, and one few in the design community think much about.
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Floors by the book

When ceramic or stone tile is the flooring of choice for a project, specifiers have a tremendous resource in the Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation. It is published yearly by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).
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What’s warranted?

You are at the checkout of the big-box store, purchasing an item of consumer electronics worth about $200. As the sales clerk runs your credit card for the purchase, he asks in a bored tone, “Would you like to purchase an extended warranty for this?”
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