Posts in Design
Those Darn Ice Dams

You’re dreaming by the fire, as the ice dams conspire. Water drips on your head, and looking up with dread, you are faced I’m afraid, with a roof poorly made - so much for that winter wonderland.

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Air Barriers: Expectations vs. Reality
 -- Thawing a Frosty Relationship

When it comes to building performance, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. Humidification to provide medical patient comfort is a good thing. Frost and ice damage due to that same humidification is not so good.

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The Single Most Important Factor in Reducing the Risk of a Mold and Moisture Lawsuit in Your Next Building Project

Not all buildings are created equal. In fact, some fail at alarming rates, often soon after being commissioned. Some building failures occur at a high rate of frequency but result in minor consequences, while others are infrequent but lead to catastrophic results, such as significant mold and moisture problems.

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Campus Community Management Firms, Beware!

Before too long, they were faced with a property management company’s worst nightmare: the entire complex had to undergo a $50M+ reconstruction after significant water intrusion was found to have deteriorated the building structure and after moisture and humidity from the HVAC/plumbing systems had resulted in large-scale hidden damage that included mold.

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Deja Vu All Over Again: Risks for Moisture and Mold Problems in Modular Construction

The emergence of #modular construction as an option for new construction is becoming mainstream. The reasons have been reported on well. However, what has not been reported is that the modular construction industry has had mold and moisture problems, especially, when used in a warm and humid climate like the Southeast US.

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Has Coastal Zone Hotel Construction Become the Twilight Zone for Mold & Moisture Control?

Resorts, hotels, and vacation ownership properties that have operated for years without significant mold and moisture problems are suddenly becoming plagued with catastrophic and costly moisture-related issues after building renovations are complete.

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The Hidden Risks Of Green Buildings: Avoiding Moisture & Mold Problems

Some experts have described the green building movement as “the #1 mega-trend that will change the rules of global business.”

The great irony of building green in the Southeast is that the very concepts that are intended to enhance a building’s performance over its entire lifetime are many of the same practices that make a building highly susceptible to catastrophic moisture and mold problems during its first few summers of operation.

While LEED-certified buildings have many positive benefits, there is strong evidence to suggest a direct correlation between new products/innovative design and building failures — especially in Florida’s humid climate. Simply put, departing from the “tried and true” often means increasing the risk of building failure.

This article presents “must-know information” if you’re considering green buildings!

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New Online Course Demonstrates How to Design and Construct High-Performance, Low-Risk Buildings While Avoiding Catastrophic Mold and Moisture Problems

The mission of designing high-performance buildings that promote sustainable objectives has led to new success stories but has also revealed vulnerabilities for potential mold and moisture failures.

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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.)

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Stucco Myths: Myth #2 – Control joints are required every 13.5 m2 (144 sf)

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.)

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Stucco Myths: Myth #1 – Stucco on lath over CMU/concrete is superior to direct-applied

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.

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Mold and Moisture Prevention

Published by NCARB

“An alarming number of buildings suffer from moisture and mold problems. No single document can address all the issues related to moisture intrusion and mold growth. However, we believe this monograph addresses a significant proportion of the problems that architects will encounter in the design and construction of a typical commercial building.”

— J. David Odom, as quoted on NCARB.org

Features:

  • This manual looks at the key issues that can help owners, designers, and contractors work together to improve decision-making. Design professionals will discover what they need to do in order to develop good building performance.

  • The end of the schematic design and design development chapters have sections outlining documents, steps, and criteria that should be completed before the next phase in the process is begun.

  • The final design chapter has a peer review section that includes a checklist to provide designers and builders with independent design reviews and technical guidance to promote technically sound, budget-conscious designs.

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