Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Structure within a Structure

Construction is underway for this 'structure within a stucture' which allows for a barn/stable-like building within a prefabricated steel structure one. This space allows for horse stalls, diagnostic procedures, laboratories and office space for a team of veterinarians serving performance and elite horses.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Characteristics of D O W N L I G H T I N G luminates:
  • versatile
Are you looking for general or ambient lighting?
Do you want to accent, task light, graze, wall wash or use in a wet location?
  • control
Do you want to direct the light or its' intensity?
Using baffles, slopes, eyeballs, shields, recesses can achieve your intent.
  • high performance
Lamp and fixture are efficient.
Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out and replaced with low voltage, compact fluorescent, HID and LED lighting
Easy to maintain.
  • aesthetic
Available in a variety of finishes to coordinate with any decor

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


ADA is for encumbered people, not just disabled people.

Americans With Disabilities Act was enacted by Congress in 1990. The original intent was to create protections for people with disabilities that would be permanent and would prohibit discrimination.
  • New commercial buildings must have accessible doorways, ramps and restrooms
  • ADA requires existing public businesses to remove structural barriers that prevent equal access, "where such removal is readily achievable."
  • ADA requires that "alternative methods" must be used to provide access when removal of barriers is not achievable.
Aside from plan changes allowing for wider openings, ramps, etc., acceptable design sometimes requires changes in hardware. This change is beneficial in removing barriers which then provide greater accessibility. These hardware changes might include include such things as:
  1. Lever operated mechanisms, push-type mechanisms and U shaped handles
  2. Automatic Doors and Power Assisted doors which comply with ANSI codes

Hardware + Construction

In construction design, hardware is more than nuts & bolts.  In the design of buildings we think about locks, edge devices, hinges, exit devices and stops. We look at these in regard to:
  • fire and life safety
  • theft
  • aesthetics and
  • ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act)
Dorma Architectural hardware rep, Michael O'Conner presented us with the attributes of builder's hardware. Builders' hardware follows specifications, provides longevity and follows fire codes. Architectural hardware does not. Can aesthetics and safety meet?  This German company seems to offer architectural hardware which is a builder's hardware.

From the Dorma website....                                                                                                                       "Knowledgeable and responsive customer service. Products that offer the highest levels of safety and security. Quality Solutions. These are the driving forces behind DORMA Architectural Hardware. Built on a tradition of innovation and responsiveness, DORMA Architectural Hardware markets a wide range of state-of-the-art and aesthetically-pleasing commercial door hardware."

Hardware and Safety....  besides the many choices of hinges, locking systems and openers (which can make a building safer during a crisis),  there is another system which provides help for people needing to evacuate a building quickly. Photoluminescence can be integrated in a variety of materials and will produce a glow in darkness.  When in a floor, this glow helps people find their way out in an emergency. Fortunately, the Twin Towers had this installed in their stairwells which were darkened and smoke filled on 9/11. CT, MA and NY require this in all medical and educational buildings over 5 stories.  In a year all buildings above 5 stories will require photoluminescence in CT.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Deck Framing Connections

Last week we learned about seismic design for ceilings; the 'how to' reduce the risk of the ceiling falling in. This week was the 'how to build a safe deck'. It's all about connections! The dangers are from loose-
  • posts
  • railings
  • attachments to an existing building
In stressing the importance of connections, Louis Daviau from Simpson Strong-Tie Company, also pointed out the reality of the building process. Often a client does not want to spend extra to have the architect or engineer make site visits during construction. That extra cost is to ensure that the builder is following the specifications and may avoid more costly corrections in the future
  • Are they using an appropriate connector? Should they choose lag screws, carriage bolts, SDS screws, or bolts?
  • Are they using the correct size/length for each connection?
  • Are they spacing the connectors correctly?
  • Are they using galvanized or stainless steel?
The DCA6 based on the 2009 International Building Code tells it all. This Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide gives all the information needed to meet code and build a safe deck. It has all the tables and schedules needed to know how to choose. No mystery!

Another strong recommendation made, when adding a desk to an existing house, if you can't see the bolts and the bolt pattern build a free standing deck!