The ability to understand and to measure a building’s environmental impact is pivotal in order to make buildings more sustainable. By exploring the principal methods and tools assessing carbon footprint in the context of building materials, architects and specifiers can compare alternate designs and make informed choices.
With the variety of cladding materials available today, and designers’ penchants to combine styles and textures, it is essential to specify building envelope controls that are compatible with multiple cladding types. This balancing act between aesthetic preferences and air and moisture management is where gypsum-integrated water-resistive barrier-air barrier (WRB-AB) sheathings shine.
A winner of the 2019 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Award for Regional and Urban Design, the $74-million Pike Place MarketFront addition to the landmark market in Seattle, Washington, represents a critical link between the historical district and several future developments along the waterfront.
Mass timber buildings are capable of providing a level of fire-resistance comparable to steel and concrete. Building code changes are allowing more projects to capitalize on the cost, schedule, and environmental advantages of wood construction. As the popularity of wood grows, construction safety practices are also receiving greater emphasis to mitigate fire hazards during one of the most vulnerable periods of a building’s lifetime.
Advocates for mass timber construction boast of faster construction times, lower labor costs, and environmental benefits. However, some building professionals are skeptical. The design firm Hickok Cole has designed Timber Towers, a conceptual 60-story mass timber skyscraper, to showcase what is possible with wood.