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The BW-ICRI Chapter has the largest membership of any chapter in the world with about 160 representatives of local consulting firms, construction companies, material suppliers, and property managers. Our local chapter includes many of the founders of the concrete repair industry including many nationally recognized industry leaders. The chapter is actively involved in community outreach through work with Habitat for Humanity, Carver Vocational Technical High School, and last year awarded eight scholarships to deserving college students as well as those in the industry seeking to improve their skills.
The Chapter has been recognized nationally as the Chapter of the Year many times (most recently last year) and Chris hopes to continue this tradition of excellence and leadership in the industry.
We’d also like to give mention to Chris’s daughter Molly, who will be traveling to Kenya to work at an orphanage in June 2011. One of her intended projects is to provide basic computer training to the children. She is hoping to take many donated laptops to be left for their use. If anyone has old laptops they would consider donating, please let me know (nothing special, just operable). Receive a tax deduction while helping orphans in Kenya.
Several concrete columns in the basement of a local 11-story apartment building were noted by Management as being severely cracked. A Contractor was hired to make the repairs to these columns that supported all floors of the living spaces above. Heavy duty shoring was installed so that the “Jenga-like” repair process could be safely performed and the building could remain in service. After the deteriorated concrete was removed, we found severely corroded steel reinforcement that indicated that the structural integrity of the columns were severely compromised. The repairs were performed in the nick of time.
Several of our staff attended the University of Maryland Career Fair in College Park, MD. It was a pleasure talking with such exceptionally strong candidates for full time employment, as well as internships. In attendance for ETC were two Maryland University Alumni, one in which came to us as a young intern several years ago. We are hopeful this year to find another perfect match for our company!
Due to our expanding staff, ETC’s Maryland office has found a new home! We are very excited to be into our larger space and somewhat settled. As most of you know, moving is NO FUN… no matter how much you’re looking forward to the new place. It has been a year long journey for us with construction & planning. We thank all of our clients and professional friends for your patience.
There are a number of tools available to help evaluate and correct building problems, particularly those related to moisture intrusion. Infrared scans are frequently used for checking roofs and exterior building walls This same technology is used to check for hot and cold spots in walls, electrical equipment, etc.
A side use of infrared cameras has been to survey interior finished surfaces for possible “hidden” water intrusion. Sometimes, these cameras can detect moisture in ceilings or walls even before there are visible signs of moisture or drywall damage on inside surfaces.
In order to get your next roofing project off to a good start, be it minor repair or total replacement, the following is a list of items to discuss with your contractor to help ensure both parties are on the same page prior to starting the work. Reviewing some of these key items prior to job start-up will help both parties understand what is expected and hopefully make the job go a little smoother.
1. Review scope of work with the contrator to make sure everyone undertands what work will take palce. Ask if posible change order items are anticipated and what the unit costs may be for additional work.
2. Understand what the contractor’s anticipated start and completion dates are for the entire job. Knowing the working hours and if weekend work will be allowed is also important
3. Identify storage, parking and work areas. Make sure the contractor understands his responsibility for keeping the areas clean and maintaining the security of his equipment and materials.
4. Make sure the contact person in the field as well, as the responsible person in the office, is identified in case problems arise. Have a list of all emergency numbers of key personnel prior to starting work.
5. Clairify whether the contractor will utilize certain facilities (such s water, electricity and/or restrooms) while working on the job.
6. Bonds, insurance certificates, building permits or any technical submittals should be obtained prior to starting work. The Contractor should be responsible for securing any state or local permits or insepctions.
7. Inspect property and document any existing damage prior to starting work to help protect all parties.
8. Understand who is responsible for connection or disconnection of mechanical systems.
9. Find out what warranties will be given from the contractor and/or manufacturer.
Structural insulated panels (SIP) are a prefabricated assembly of rigid foam insulation sandwiched between layers of structural boards, often oriented-strand board (OSB). These panels are used for walls, floors and roofs for homes in place of “conventional” stick-built construction.
While SIPs have been around for a long time, they are currently gaining a lot of attention and many home builders are making SIP panels a part of there regular construction or at least offer it as an option.
As with most anything, SIP construction has several pros and cons. On the pro side, they are very energy efficient, mechanically sound and quick to construct. On the other side, they are normally more expensive than conventional framing and the consequences of poor fabrication and/or defective installation can be extremely difficult to correct.
Caution needs to be used when deciding on SIP construction. The fabricators and installers must be properly trained to avoid severe problems. People involved with conventional, stick-built home construction are not qualified to perform SIP construction unless they receive the proper training. In addition, the cutting of holes in SIP panels (for skylights or other items) must be carefully reviewed to avoid compromising panel integrity.
Most jurisdictions require a percentage of construction cost be allocated to upgrading the accessible route to the altered space. Many times this involves modifying the existing restroom facilities. Some ways to do this are:
1. Adding grab bars to toilets stalls (vertical grabs are now required);
2. Increasing stall size by reducing fixture count. Be careful to maintain an adequate fixture count to support occupant load; and
3. In extreme cases it may be necessary to enlarge the restroom by moving the end wall and will affect adjacent areas.
Many times this requirement is overlooked and can lead to delays in building permit issuance and increase design costs. Let us know if you need any help planning for future projects. Architect on staff!
More and more synthetic materials are being used in the building trades. Vinyl siding, PVC pipes and their like have been around long enough that we know how they behave, but there are things about other products (cellular PVC trim boards, composite deck planks, etc.) that are not as widely known.
* Synthetic trim is not a direct replacement for wood. PVC (even cellular PVC) experiences far more thermal movement than wood and attachment provisions could differ from wood, depending upon a number of factors. Manufacturers could require extra fasteners and adhesives for certain configurations.
* Synthetic trim won’t rot, but it can degrade when exposed to the elements. Painting is recommended for some and required for others and there are considerations apart from adhesion and compatibility issues. Because of the elevated thermal expansion of plastics, certain colors are not recommended for exterior applications. Dark colors absorb more thermal energy from sunlight and the resulting rise in temperature will exacerbate movement problems. White is generally the best choice.
*Synthetic (composite) decking will not usually have the same strength as wood and its span rating is usually reduced. If you replace wood with composite, it may be necessary to add floor joists or other support.
These are just a few things to consider when dealing with synthetics. You should always consult with the material manufacturer before using, modifying or treating these products.
Well, as clients go…this one is particularly nosy (Pun Intended)! Daisy, of Court Yards at Green Tree, Baltimore, MD helps keep a close watchful eye on Kirk as he does a pre-design inspection for a common paver area. Unfortunately due to the heavy snow fall last year, this property experienced many displaced/heaved pavers caused by the plows and snow equipment. You may want to require your snow removel contacter to use rubber shoes on all equipment. This will help keep the blades/metal edges from dragging along and damaging the surface. Please see the previous posting for more information on this topic or call us and we’ll be happy to advise.
As for Daisy, I think Kirk impressed her with all his knowledge (or maybe it’s all the petting?). After 2 licks and countless tail wags, I’m confident we have her stamp of approval! We look forward to MORE visits from Daisy and her person, Amy Gur (Board Member). Stop by and check out the progress anytime!!
Before we know it the winter will be here and so will the snow. As you are negotiating your snow removal contracts for this season you should keep in mind the following guidelines compiled from leading deck coating manufacturers to protect your coating systems and avoid non-warrantable damage to coated parking decks:
1. Excessively piled snow can significantly load the deck surface beyond its design load capacity resulting in structural cracks and/or more serious structural damage. Therefore avoid piling snow on elevated parking decks.
2. The use of metal blades (on plows and shovels) should be avoided at all times to prevent physical damage to the coating system. Snow plow equipment blades must have shoes, rubber tips, or small skis to prevent tears in the deck coating system. The use of metal blades without protection is not recommended. Most snow plow manufacturers offer rubber tipped blades and skis to prevent damage to deck coatings.
3. Snow blowers (with rubber blades) and snow brooms are recommended, as opposed to heavy snow removal equipment.
4. Snow removal equipment must have rubber tires.
5. Ice buildup should be controlled and/or removed with deicing materials.
There is currently a significant controversy in the roofing industry regarding the proper design methods for resisting wind uplift for vegetative roof systems. It seems that the various organizations looking at this matter cannot come up with a standard that everyone can agree is technically correct and sound. Hopefully, continued discussions will end with an agreement but right now there is a wide difference of opinion regarding the approach and even the appropriate conclusions that can be made from various testing programs and data related to this issue.
If you have or are considering the installation of a vegetative roof, get good technical guidance and advise!