Articles

  • In the Eye of Irma
    The 2012 ASCE code requires Naples, FL to be designed for ultimate 3-sec wind gusts of 160 mph. Irma was well within that number upon landfall. Even with limited historical data, it’s evident that ASCE does a significant amount of research to create their design wind speed contour maps. The code-specified ultimate design wind speeds represent a 7% probability of exceedance in 700-years.
  • Start With the End in Mind
    This is the first of a series of seasonal articles that will look at the steps BECS takes to assist our clients to develop a program that will successfully identify project needs, the roles of team members involved in the project, and the expected end result of the project.
  • Understanding and Maintaining Facility Maintenance & Repair Project Warranties
    This article, authored by Steve Turner, P.E., and Principal of BECS, describes how facility maintenance and repair projects involving façade, roof, garage, windows, and balcony replacement, often involve various trades and materials. Understanding the protection and value of the warranties that come with these materials and what that protection can provide requires proper interpretation of warranty terms, guidelines, and an understanding of the flow of work and external factors that can hinder, reduce or even negate warranty agreements. This article provides guidelines owners and associations can follow in order to develop and maintain an effective warranty program.
  • Trouble Under Foot: Resurfacing Historic Floor Systems
    Successful flooring installations are dependent on proper accommodation of the structural substrate, which is often achieved through the use of self-leveling under layments. This paper describes an in-depth laboratory-based study of several commonly-used cementitious levelling products.
  • Investigation of the role of fire retardant treatment in the failure of wooden trusses
    Fire retardant treatment processes have led to expanded applications of dimension lumber, notably for commercial and multifamily buildings that must meet more stringent fire code requirements than single family homes. Several chemical treatments widely used in the 1970s and 1980s were later found to cause progressive strength loss and embrittlement over many years. This paper, coauthored by BECS Senior Consultant Mike Drerup, describes an extensive, laboratory based assessment of a structure that was critically weakened by FRT-induced strength loss over a twenty-year period.
  • Effects of the Recent Earthquake, Hurricane Sandy, and Severe Winter Weather on Building Envelopes in the D.C. Metro Area by Steven Turner, P.E.   (PDF)
    In this most recent presentation, we discuss the major building types in the Washington D.C. area, including frames, footing, foundations, roofs, introduction of flashing systems, architecture, and modular design. We describe the types of damage we observed from the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Louisa County Virginia in August 2011. We also review the types of damage reported that was not related to the earthquake.
    Next we talk about the common types of damage we observed from Hurricane Sandy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. that included tropical storm force sustained winds (approximately 40 –70 mph) with hurricane force gusts (approximately 80+ mph), and coastal flooding.
    Last we discuss common damages observed during freezing temperatures and snow removal during the winter of 2013-2014. You'll find Case Studies, a list of the signs of potential roof problems, and simple steps owners and boards can take to avoid envelope water and air infiltration.
  • Roof Collapse: Some Causes and Prevention by Steve Turner, P.E.   (PDF)
    Learn the common conditions that cause roof deficiencies, signs of potential roof problems, common roof failure mechanisms, and simple steps that owners and Boards can do to avoid the crisis of roof collapse.
  • Managing Aging Buildings' Infrastructure by Ted Ross, Steve Turner, and John Blackburn; PMA Bulletin, August 2014 (PDF)
    Buildings are like people. They inevitably get older. The normal life expectancy of most majoe building components is 30 to 50 years. We recommend proactive aging building management based on four steps.
  • Tile on Existing Exterior Reinforced Concrete Balconies by Steven C. Turner; Concrete Repair Bulletin, March/April 2013 (PDF)
    Exterior reinforced concrete balconies are often covered by tile set in mortar beds with grouted joints. These installations are not only aesthetically pleasing but are also durable, easily cleaned, and protective. This article provides details for the proper installation of tiled surfaces over structural concrete slabs.
  • Management Strategies for Large Building Aging Infrastructure by Ted Ross, Steve Turner, and John Blackburn; Winter 2012 NAPE Bulletin (PDF)
    The management of aging building plant, equipment and structural components by building owners, manager and building engineers can be a daunting task. Based on the experience of three experienced professionals, this article summarizes the four key steps to managing this process. Using these four steps will help owners and managers understand how to effectively manage aging building infrastructure.
  • Looking Beyond Sound, Clean and Dry, by Steven Turner; Concrete Repair Bulletin, January/February 2001 (PDF)
    This article discusses surface preparation in terms of field conditions, scheduling, and work flow.
  • Summary of recommendations for design, maintenance, and repair of parking garages. (PDF) This report is based on an aggregate of the author's opinion plus views of other authors/sources and is for hypothetical purposes. Includes: Factors Influencing Design Criteria and Material Selection, Favored Systems for Washington, DC Metro Area, Most Prevalent Maintenance and Repair Items Encountered, Suggestions for Preventive Maintenance, and Associated Costs (rough budget)