This month, during the Boston Society of Architects Annual Meeting, our friend and colleague Richmond So P.E., P. Eng., C.Eng., MIStruct E. received an Honorary award with the American Institute of Architects BSA 2013, for his outstanding dedication to collaborative practice and design excellence.
Richmond and his team at RSE Associates have been great help to our internal Schock team by providing their consulting and engineering services. We are always striving to provide the best solutions for our customers and having their support has been very important.
The event was followed by with the gala opening of the BSA Space exhibit, Rights of Way- Mobility and The City.
Rights of Way is a global exploration of mobility and transportation in cities. The exhibition feature dozens of examples of visionary urban thinking, showing how the city is shaped by the ways people move through it.
Curated by James Graham and Meredith Miller of MILLIGRAM-office, Rights of Way demonstrates that our urban environment is the result of constant negotiation among designers, policy makers, the private sector, and individual residents. The exhibit will be on display at the BSA until May 26, 2014.
Congratulations to Richmond So on his recognition. If you are in Boston, be sure to visit the BSA Space.
The 199 Mott St. condo building is being labeled, “The Green Collection” due to the energy efficient initiatives which are being installed in the structure.
Located in the Nolita area of New York, between Kenmare and Spring Street, construction continues to progress on the “steampunk aesthetic” development. Kutnicki Bernstein Architects designed the boutique, eight story building, which will include a ground-level retail area, 11 residential units and a rooftop terrace.
The owners, Alfa Development, are raising the bar on luxury condo construction by implementing design knowledge and well-known strategies to maximize energy efficiency, thermal comfort and indoor air quality.
Alfa began with Chelsea Green by taking responsibility to build to higher energy efficient standards in their luxury condo suites, which sold 90% of their units off the floor plan.
As one of the sponsors, Schoeck Canada visited the CPCI Infrastructure for Life Seminar in Toronto.
Renowned speakers presented different topics from across the industry. We were able to learn about new trends and innovations concerning precast, reinforcement and different design possibilities.
The conversation is turning up on Renzo Piano this week as dozens of publications discuss the upcoming opening of the Piano Pavilion, the expansion to the Kimbell Art Museum.
While just a few months ago, Renzo Piano was named Senator for Life in Italy. This month marks the opening of the modest and highly respected Piano Pavilion, which accompanies the grounds with the Louis Kahn masterpiece. Modest, because of the small footprint of the 90,000 sq. ft. space, compared to the neighboring Kahn building at 120,000 sq. ft. … read more
Cantilevered balconies are common in residential structures, yet their traditional design is a slab of continuous concrete passing through the building envelope. This concrete slab balcony creates one of the most significant thermal bridges with excessive heat loss.
As buildings improve with higher performance walls and windows, the amount of heat loss at the balcony slab is increased. Therefore, designers are looking for solutions to thermally separate the interior slab from the exterior balcony slab.
From a structural point of view, balconies have to resist several loadings conditions like permanent loadings (dead load), variable loadings (live loads, wind loads, snow loads) and rare loadings resulting from earthquakes. Seismic considerations could have a relevant influence on the design of buildings depending on the geographic location of the building (seismic hazard), soil characteristic, stiffness and weight of the building, the assemblies and so on. … read more
What do Passive House (Passivhaus) and the Tower at PNC Plaza have in common?
Pittsburgh and High Performance Building.
Last week we attended the 8th Annual North American Passive House Conference in Pittsburgh. We realize the passive house movement is growing momentum and expanding from a predominately residential focus-to include passive commercial and multi-family projects. While passive standards have not been implemented in many commercial or multi-family projects in North America, there is movement forward to incorporate high performance strategies, and those involved in the Passive House movement are at the forefront of this progress.
Steel beams which penetrate the exterior wall (and break the continuous insulation layer) represent a detrimental thermal bridge in the building envelope. This situation often occurs in the structural details when a continuous steel canopy or balcony beam cantilevers out from the interior structure.
This penetration to the continuous insulation (CI) layer, is being further considered and addressed in energy building codes such as the ASHRAE 189.1 and 90.1 and the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), which guides codes and standards for both baseline and high-performance green buildings.
Since steel is a highly conductive material (k=50W/mK) / (R-0.003 per inch), a thermal break solution is necessary to reduce energy loss, prevent condensation on the surface, and avoid damaging results to the building. … read more
Renzo Piano’s expansion to the Kimbell Art Museum is near completion. The Opening Day for the Piano pavilion will take place on November 27th, 2013.
The expansion includes a 300-foot-long, 22-foot-high building composed of two parallel wings. Eric Lee, Director at the Kimbell Art Museum, presents an early look at the Piano pavilion. Test your thermal bridge knowledge: See if you can find the where the Isokorb® structural thermal breaks would be included in the building:
Last week I was fortunate to speak to a group of over 50 NYC “passivists” about solving the thermal bridging problem in concrete slab and steel beam connections.
In this context, passivists are architects, designers, builders and those involved in the promotion and ideals of the Passive House movement and members of PHNY. … read more
More projects are considering GFRP reinforcement as an alternative to steel, bringing in the need for continuous research, whether for new applications or optimizing existing ones.
As always, Schöck has continued to invest on further researching ComBAR® properties and applications, collaborating with research institutions in North America as well as Europe.
Spring and summer have been some very busy months for us and we would like to highlight a few projects which incorporated ComBAR® glass fibre reinforced polymer rebar.
The most scenic construction site is just behind the Niagara Falls.
One of the first New York City projects to include Isokorb® was the Fulton Center subway station. We covered this project during installation of Isokorb® thermal breaks in 2012, on our Schӧck German blog “Isokorb® at the Top.”
The Fulton Center subway station is still under construction and is getting increased attention with the installation of the Sky Reflector-Net. The Sky Reflector-Net is being installed within the oculus, housed within an eight-story dome. This dome includes Isokorb type S connections for a thermally broken steel support walkway.
Schöck-efficient…That’s what we were called from our partner in Australia, when working on a recent project. You think Schöck is only providing high performance, quality products? There’s more than that. Providing our innovative building products always includes high quality service as a part of the package.
We want to make your project efficient, and we want to see you satisfied! There are many building envelope details where solutions to thermal bridging are possible with our standard Isokorb® product range. Yet other times, various applications require a custom thermal break solution to be designed. Schöck accepts these challenges with your building envelope and we want to find the right solution for your structural connection. That’s were our technical support team is in demand. They are the ones getting in contact with you to clarify the technical details, ensuring all information is considered, weighing up the possibilities and providing a technical proposal for your project.
If you are familiar with Schock Isokorb® you may associate it with products that limit thermal bridging in the wall portion of the building envelope in such areas as balconies or canopies. These solutions provide a continuous insulation layer in the vertical plane of the wall. As we look at the building envelope in a holistic approach, we can focus on other problematic areas that can be resolved with additional Isokorb® products.
Parapet walls, much like balconies, are thermal bridges that allow conductive materials to transfer energy through the thermal barrier. The two differ, as balconies are typically added as an aesthetic, giving the appearance of an extended living space within a unit, yet parapet walls are designed as part of the structural integrity of the building.
Parapet walls are designed to resist variable wind pressure differences, protecting mechanical units and other roof assemblies mounted on top of buildings. As an integral part of the building structure, parapets can prove problematic in many forms, such as: lateral failure, membrane failure, water intrusion, and improper water drainage. Therefore, when considering all of these possible setbacks, continuity of thermal insulation may be a secondary thought. The current, traditional practice to remedy such problems is to wrap the parapet with insulation. However, this application could become complicated in areas where the parapet wall is adhered to insulation, and the insulation is adhered to the roofing membrane.
As Yogi Berra once said, “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”
View pdf of traditional Parapet without thermal breaks for cast-in-place concrete
Building performance codes have become more rigorous in Canada, especially in the Ontario Province with SB-10 standards. Architects are looking for more options to meet these code requisites, and projects in Ottawa such as St. Patrick’s, Tweedsmuir and Cathedral Hill are setting the bar.
These three projects are currently in construction in Ottawa, and all share the similarity of using Isokorb concrete thermal breaks, yet they are distinctive in building design and purpose. The St. Patrick’s home is a short and long term care facility, Tweedsmuir a low rise development in the Westboro neighborhood, and Cathedral Hill is a high rise condo/apartment building in downtown Ottawa.
During last month’s American Institute of Architects (AIA) tradeshow, a noteworthy study was released, which compares the thermal performance and whole energy impact of concrete balconies. The research was completed by Morrison Hershfield, a leader in building physics, who also completed the ASHRAE 1365-RP, Thermal Performance of Building Envelope Details.
Last week, we attended and exhibited at the 2013 AIA National Convention and Expo in Denver, Colorado. The Mile High city, located 5,280 feet above sea level is a vibrant metropolis, full of excitement in the streets, culture and art, sunny skies, and an assortment of locally crafted beer.
The CPCI (Canadian Pre-Cast/Prestressed Concrete Institute) Summer Meeting took place this year from May 28th to May 30th at the beautiful and iconic Fort Harry Hotel Spa and Conference Centre in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The 32nd Annual Steel Design Conference will be held on June 5, 2013, 9:00am to 3:00 pm.
The NY13 Symposium will take place at the City College of New York, The Bernard & Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, located at 160 Convent Ave, New York.
The symposium will be held from 9:00 am to 5:15 pm on Saturday, June 8th.
This will be the second annual New York Passive House Symposium, with a focus on Policy, Finance, and Performance. … read more
Even though structural thermal breaks were developed for cold weather conditions, design firms in Texas and the Southwest have been eager to learn about this technology. During the first five months of 2013, APCS (independent representative of Schöck) has presented the course on Structural Thermal Breaks 9 times, for medium and large architectural and engineering firms in Texas and Arizona. Many of these firms design commercial and institutional projects nation-wide, as well as for international. These firms have opened their doors to APCS and Schöck to learn more about the causes and effects of thermal bridges, and how to minimize these effects. Architects, Civil, Structural, and Mechanical engineers have been interested in the scope of thermal bridge consequences such as excessive energy losses, cold slabs, condensation, and even mold occurrences.
Last month, Schӧck in the UK was contacted by an American engineering firm wanting to find out some information on a nonmetallic concrete reinforcement product.
The UK office immediately forwarded this inquiry to our offices in Baden-Baden Germany. Germany which in turn notified the offices in Canada and the contact information was provided to myself here in the United States. … read more
As part of the Building, Ecology, Science and Technology (B.E.S.T.) Lecture Series, Mark Lawton, Vice President and Senior Building Science Specialist at Morrison Hershfield presented “Myths and Realities of Thermal Bridging” at the University of Toronto, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and on February 28, 2013.
In this lecture, Mark speaks about his latest ASHRAE sponsored research project entitled “Thermal Performance of Building Envelope Details for Mid- and High-Rise Buildings” (1365-RP). It is worth your time.
I am excited to attend the 17th International Passive House Conference in Frankfurt, Germany on April 17-21. With 16 session and 90 presentations this is the world’s largest Passive House Exhibition. With a focus on energy efficiency and renewables, the conference will cover a wide range of topics from regional concepts, energy refurbished projects, and the use of renewable energy sources.
This years conference will include presentations on large number of US projects, a trend that is growing as energy use continues to become a greater focus in buildings.
Just last month, Schock received Passive House certification of the very first “thermal bridge free” construction for balconies while attending the BAU show, the World’s leading fair for Building and Design.
We are excited about the recent annoucement of LIDO, a 21-level residential tower in False Creek, Vancouver, Canada to include Isokorb® thermal breaks in their balcony/slab connections.