The Top 3 Things I Learned At This Year’s AIA National Conference on Architecture

May 19th, 2017|Categories: Building Failures, Design Deficiencies, Green Buildings, Hidden Risks of Green Buildings, High Performance Buildings, Projects Completed by Liberty, Publications|Comments Off on The Top 3 Things I Learned At This Year’s AIA National Conference on Architecture

Building Codes: The Worst Buildings that Can Legally Be Built

December 13th, 2016|Categories: Building Design, Codification, Engineering, Green Buildings, Hidden Risks of Green Buildings|Comments Off on Building Codes: The Worst Buildings that Can Legally Be Built

Keeping the Moisture Out: the Single Greatest Technique for Reducing Moisture and Mold Lawsuits

September 23rd, 2016|Categories: Building Design, Courses, Green Buildings, High Performance Buildings, Hotels/Hospitality, Manuals, Mold and Moisture, Projects Completed by LBFG, Projects Completed by Liberty, Publications|Comments Off on Keeping the Moisture Out: the Single Greatest Technique for Reducing Moisture and Mold Lawsuits

Commissioning

The common practice for commissioning HVAC systems in new commercial buildings consists of verifying the following aspects of the system.

The thermodynamic performance characteristics of individual heating and cooling components
Airflows in the conditioned air distribution system and in the ventilation air system
The operating characteristics of the system management and control components.

Inherent in this process is the assumption that commissioning procedures will detect differences between the design intent and operating characteristics of the building HVAC system. A primary cause of air leakage is depressurization of the building by the HVAC system although most HVAC designs for hot humid climates at the opposite […]

Stucco Myth #3: Direct-applied stucco is easily packed out to meet a finished plane.

In our work as forensic architects and engineers, we are regularly involved in litigation over stucco failures, including hotels and high-rise condo complexes. (For this article, ‘stucco’ refers to traditional portland cement plaster direct-applied to a masonry substrate, rather than using lath.)

Myths abound around stucco cracking. In truth, it is not abnormal to have some cracking with stucco, much of which can be relatively harmless. The key is paying attention to the types of cracks, and minimizing any significant issues that might lead to actual failure, including debonding, water intrusion, and mold problems. It is not a good idea to […]

June 24th, 2016|Categories: Building Design, Building Envelope Failures, Design Deficiencies, Green Buildings, Hidden Risks of Green Buildings, Hotels/Hospitality, Projects Completed by LBFG, Stucco Myths|Comments Off on Stucco Myth #3: Direct-applied stucco is easily packed out to meet a finished plane.

How to Avoid Moisture Problems When the Requirements and Practical Applications of Green Collide

Three major changes will impact the success of construction in Florida over the next decade. These changes began as trends during the last decade and have now evolved into requirements for construction professionals. This requires one to consider the risks of potential moisture problems and determine how to mitigate against these risk on the project. These risks are due in large part to changes in building code and how the industry is viewing the products that are being used in “green construction.”

There is a drive to certify products as “green” and this has substantially increased the risk of […]

June 22nd, 2016|Categories: Building Design, Building Envelope Failures, Building Products, Green Buildings, Hidden Risks of Green Buildings, Hotels/Hospitality, Problem Avoidance, Seminars, Webinars|Comments Off on How to Avoid Moisture Problems When the Requirements and Practical Applications of Green Collide

Enhancing Green Designs

This is the nineteenth and final post in a series by J. David Odom (ASHRAE), Richard Scott (AIA/NCARB/LEED AP), and George H. DuBose (CGC). It was first published as a mini-monograph for NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards).

To summarize our recommendations, we believe that the following should occur in an effort to enhance green designs:

A technical peer review of the design should be implemented that attempts to predict the building performance with the new materials and products. At a minimum this review would focus on the HVAC and building envelope systems that are most exposed to moisture-related failures. This […]

Moisture Control Conclusions

This post was first published as a mini-monograph for NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards).

The green design movement is transforming the design and construction marketplace like no other innovation in the lifetime of most designers. Green design has brought to the forefront of the design and construction community a holistic view of how to design, build, and operate higher performing buildings.

As such, the noble goals espoused by sustainable development and green buildings are certainly worth aggressively pursuing – but it must be done with significant care, especially in the areas of high risk for moisture and mold problems. It […]

Increased Ventilation (EQ Credit 2)

This is the eleventh post in a series by J. David Odom (ASHRAE), Richard Scott (AIA/NCARB/LEED AP), and George H. DuBose (CGC). It was first published as a mini-monograph for NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards).

Intent: Provide additional outdoor air ventilation to improve air quality for improved occupant comfort, well-being, and productivity.

For decades there have been competing arguments within the mechanical design community on whether to increase or decrease the amount of outside air that is introduced into commercial and institutional buildings. Although there are sound arguments on both sides of the debate, today’s emphasis on increased building ventilation […]

Materials & Resources and Other Credits: Use of New Materials in High-Risk Locations

This is the eighth post in a series by J. David Odom (ASHRAE), Richard Scott (AIA/NCARB/LEED AP), and George H. DuBose (CGC). It was first published as a mini-monograph for NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards).

Intent of these 14 Materials & Resources Credits: Reuse of existing building components, the management of construction waste, materials reuse, amount of recycled content, the use of regional materials, the use of rapidly renewable materials, and the use of certified wood.

New green materials can often meet requirements in several LEED credits. For example, organic-based insulation materials can satisfy LEED Materials & Resource Credit 6 […]