Specifying concrete repair

Good concrete repair is not a bandage ‘fix’ for a structure in trouble—rather, it is a complex system that consists of numerous engineering tasks (Figure 1). Designing and specifying concrete repair has unique needs differing from new construction. Thus, the specifications must serve as action plans or roadmaps for the project’s engineer, contractor, and quality controller.

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Thermoformed Ceilings: Overview of an overhead option

Thermoformed plastic ceilings have been manufactured since the mid-20th century, and their utility has recently increased due to product innovations, rigorous testing, and certifications from leading building product evaluation services. The growing acceptance of these types of products is evidenced by the addition of a new MasterFormat number and title, 09 54 29–Suspended Plastic Ceilings that will be part of the next update in early 2016.

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Ingenuity Drives Innovative Design: What Canadian projects can learn from Dutch design

Last fall, members of the construction and design community from around the world were invited to participate in an architectural tour of the Netherlands to see how the country is designing and redeveloping recognizable buildings. Despite the distance separating the countries, it was interesting to note some of the parallels with Canada in terms of technologies and strategies, as well as what Canadians can learn from Dutch design approaches.

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Exterior Venetian Blinds: The most effective way of providing solar control?

When considering solar control, most think of reducing heat gain. There is no question this is a significant part of what an effective exterior shading system should achieve. However, energy from the sun also includes the visible spectrum so the control of natural daylight is also important. An effective solar control system appropriately deals with heat gain while allowing as much natural daylight into the building as possible without causing glare issues for occupants. By controlling heat gain, reductions in the size and running costs of the HVAC system can be achieved.

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Getting to the bottom of moisture management

Both gravity and temperature can create misunderstandings resulting in improper or inadequate moisture management design for the exterior building envelope. The lowest point of a building envelope is the wettest because of gravity’s influence (Figure 1). The low point of a building’s exterior wall system does not necessarily have to be the top of the footing (Figure 2) or the top of the stem wall (Figure 3).

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