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This year’s online version of CONSTRUCT now features nearly 30 educational sessions as organizers continue to grow the event’s learning and certification opportunities. New topics to be covered Oct. 7-9 include curtain wall systems, high-performance protection for floors and walls, accessibility in design, fire codes, and minimizing hazards during construction.
By Craig Webb
The lowly stairwell—for decades almost an afterthought in commercial building design—appears likely to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic as an important element of future construction, an
industry veteran believes.
Yes, the building you’re working on today requires parking spaces, but how many will you need for cars 10, 20, 30 years from now? Mark Santos of DESMAN, a design management firm that specializes in parking consulting, design, planning, and restoration, advises you to be aware of trends and start thinking about ways to adapt parking spaces in the future.
Candidates for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) should be able to schedule
online-proctored appointments starting Nov. 16, the National Council of Architectural Review Boards (NCARB) announced Sept. 1.
"Tile manufacturers continue to push boundaries with gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs (GPTP) in terms of design and size, crafting porcelain interpretations of everything from natural stone to wallpaper and even
personalized pictures,” Contemporary Stone & Tile Design magazine says.
The National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA) and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
(PCI) issued a joint document to alleviate confusion in the marketplace regarding certification programs for precast and prestressed concrete products.
Sessions on the future of specifiers, common construction challenges, and working both efficiently and effectively are among the 17 educational sessions that will be featured at the CONSTRUCT Show this
coming Oct. 7-9, CONSTRUCT’s organizers announced. And this year, for the first time, those sessions not only will be free, they also will be available on demand until Dec. 31
One of CONSTRUCT’s featured educational sessions for 2020 is one entitled “The Future of Specifiers—The Way Forward.” It will feature Alexander Lungershausen, associate principal at Hennebery Eddy Architects in Portland, OR; Michael Chambers, associate vice president at HGA Architects & Engineers, Sacramento, CA; Cam Featherstonhaugh, architect and associate at TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design, Burlington, VT; and Melody Stinson, a Portland, OR-based senior spec writer for Deltek.
During interviews with CONSTRUCT 365 News, Lungershausen and Stinson talked about their desire to see specifiers work more closely with others in their shops, overcoming COVID-related communication issues to become a more valuable resource in the design process. No more “grumpy old man in the corner,” as Lungershausen put it.
The number of mass timber projects in design, under construction, or completed has risen nearly 110% between September 2018 and June 2020, WoodWorks reports. And that pace could go even faster as jurisdictions give early approval to building codes permitting tall mass timber structures.
An environmental group has called on product specifiers to seek out recycled drywall and new product made from natural gypsum rather than material produced as a byproduct of burning coal. But gypsum industry officials say this could be a tough request to fulfill. Opting for lightweight drywall might be the best possible compromise.
What if the wooden stud holding up a building also could be its decoration? What if the same wood used for a wall panel could bend and become part of the roof? Researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Colorado believe they have come up with an answer: What they called “zippered wood.”
Zippered wood starts with a pair of 2x4s that are cut in precise and complementary ways so that, when they are twisted and bent into the desired form, they lock or “zipper” together. The mated pieces then are clamped and glued—no steaming or soaking required.
The result is a farming member that can be twisted as much as 135 degrees and yet are stronger than a straight stud, the product’s developers claim. Their work won them a 2020 R+D Award from Architect magazine, the official publication of the American Institute of Architects.
“Airports are the cathedrals of the 21st century,” symbols of local cultural, historical, and sociological trends
even as they help move millions of people from one destination to another, architect Luis Vidal writes. But in this new era of the coronavirus, “airports will need to balance the freedom of movement with the fear of uncertainty,” Vidal says. So, how will things change?
Vidal predicts we’ll have new security and technology that will screen passengers’ health as it checks their identity. Designs will need to be flexible. They’ll need to be inviting enough to promote freedom of movement and yet also impart a feeling of cleanliness and safety.
“A sustainable airport of the future will be safe, recognizable, resourceful, sleek, dynamic, and forward-thinking,” writes Vidal, whose firm is helping modernize a terminal at Boston’s Logan Airport and is designing a new terminal in Pittsburgh. “It will be flexible to accommodate rapidly changing conditions and unexpected threats, while helping to tell the cultural and geographic story of a region.”
Paul Doherty is thinking simultaneously these days about microscopic viruses and supersized cities. He
believes AEC’s future includes both.
“We are in the age of pandemics,” says Doherty, a featured speaker at the CONSTRUCT Virtual Conference launching Oct. 7. “COVID-19 is just the latest. They will continue to be in our psyche.”
Paul Doherty’s proposal to reduce COVID-19’s spread in buildings through negative air pressure is getting a real-life test at a clinic in Billings, MT. That city’s Billings Clinic dramatically increased its number of airborne
infection isolation (AII) rooms by adjusting the facility’s HVAC system to dramatically increase the number of potential rooms for coronavirus patients.
Susan Milne of Epiphany Studio, a marketing agency for architectural product companies, says manufacturers need a fresh approach toward specifiers if they hope to get you to pick their products.
The average student spends 15,600 hours inside a school by the time they graduate from high school, Harvard University estimates in a new report. Thus, it’s no surprise that building and maintaining healthy school buildings has generated lots of discussion as the COVID-19 pandemic rages. For one thing, in the same amount of floor space, schools have four times more occupants than occupants of office buildings, the EPA estimates.
INSTALL, the International Standards and Training Alliance for floor covering installers, issued recently five best practices that it believes commercial architects and designers should employ when specifying floor coverings in this new era of heightened infection control.
Jon Dommisse and Michelle Kempen of the Milwaukee-based architectural firm Kahler Slater predict COVID-19 concerns will lead to at least half a dozen revisions in bathroom design.
Clark Dietrich has introduced Pony Wall Lite, a lighter-gauge option to its existing pony wall products. Designed for interior applications, the 16-gauge Pony Wall Lite’s thinner plate is compatible with a 2.5-inch stud wall and is available in 24-, 30-, 48-, and 60-inch sizes.
All of Clark Dietrich’s pony walls are designed to support the out-of-plane loading of cantilevered partial wall
systems when they are unsupported at the top rack. The load is transferred to the floor system through the base plate, which is welded to Pony Wall Lite’s stud member.
With its introduction of WT-240 P, Sika now claims to be the only manufacturer to offer two technologies—hydrophilic crystalline and hydrophobic pore blocking—in its array of permeability reducing admixtures.