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9th Edition of MA State Building Code

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9th Edition of MA State Building Code

It was recently announced that the 9th Edition of the Massachusetts State Build Code will be released in August or September 2017. A concurrency period will be provided in which a building can be permitted under either the current 8th or the new 9th edition. This concurrency period will end January 1, 2018 and all projects permitted in 2018 will be required to comply with the 9th edition.

 

The new, 9th edition code is based on modified versions of the following 2015 codes as published by the International Code Council (ICC):

  • The International Building Code (IBC)
  • International Residential Code (IRC)
  • International Existing Building Code (IEBC)
  • International Mechanical Code (IMC)
  • International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
  • International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC)
  • Portions of the International Fire Code (IFC)

The 9th edition brings changes to the building enclosure as well, including but not limited to the following:

  • Updated code requirements for location of vapor retarders
  • Vegetated roof has been defined
  • Load requirements for snow drift load
  • Dead load and design requirements for solar panels and support framing
  • Provisions for addressing impact loads from elements supporting facade access equipment
  • Seismic requirements for ballasted PV solar panels

 

For more information, click here.

 

Please feel free to contact Gale if you have questions about how the 9th edition may affect your building enclosure!

 

FAA DBE Program Resources

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FAA DBE Program Resources

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires all recipients of federal financial assistance exceeding $250,000 in a federal fiscal year (FFY) to create and implement three-year Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Programs. These DBE Programs are intended to promote and enforce equal opportunity for disadvantaged firms that compete for airport contracts.

 

FAA New England Region DBE Programs (FFY 2018-2020) are due on August 1, 2017 and require data collection and analysis to develop goals for DBE participation for upcoming projects. DBE participation goals are calculated based on three major components:

 

  1. Available businesses in an airport’s market area for each required area of work (e.g., environmental consultants, paving contractors, or electrical contractors)
  2. Available DBE businesses in an airport’s market area for each required area of work
  3. Historical DBE participation data (airport-specific)

 

The FAA requires approval of DBE Program goals prior to granting federal funds. Below are some helpful resources for FAA DBE Program development:

 

Sample DBE Program: A template, created by the FAA, to provide grant recipients with all necessary program provisions. 

Contact List: A listing of FAA DBE Compliance Specialists, by region. These individuals can help answer questions regarding DBE Program development. 

United States Census County Business Patterns (CBP): A database that allows users to gather information about available businesses in a particular state or county. 

County Business Patterns User Guide: Guidance for data collection using the CBP database. 

MA DBE Directory: A listing of disadvantaged businesses registered in the state of Massachusetts. 

ME DBE Directory: A listing of disadvantaged businesses registered in the state of Maine.

NH DBE Directory: A listing of disadvantaged businesses registered in the state of New Hampshire. 

 

The Advantages of Using Waterborne Structural Spray for Tracks

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The Advantages of Using Waterborne Structural Spray for Tracks

waterborne structural sprayRunning tracks are a paved-in-place system. The base, comprised of a single-compound polyurethane binder and machine-installed SBR rubber granules, is what gives a track its “cushion.” After this step is complete, the track is finished with multiple spray applications of 100% solid pigmented polyurethane and EPDM granules, or an environmentally friendly water-based structural spray.

There are several environmental advantages to using a waterborne structural spray instead of a urethane based spray:

  • Low to zero VOCs
  • Made without isocyanates
  • Reduced chemical exposure
  • Reduced odors
  • Faster dry times – two sprays in one day
  • Less prep work and issues with clean up
  • When replacing the track, the reduction of harmful chemicals allows for simpler disposal due to reducing hazardous and environmental liabilities

environmental resource taglineMany tracks are constructed on land adjacent to environmentally sensitive areas. Choosing a waterborne structural spray for these conditions is appropriate to enhance environmental protection and alleviate concerns about potential chemical exposure.

During a recent Gale track project (photos shown to the right), the town chose to use a waterborne structural spray because of  the track’s adjacency to wetlands, a perennial stream, and close proximity to residential neighborhoods.

 

Interior Issues Caused By Exterior (EIFS) Cladding

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Interior Issues Caused By Exterior (EIFS) Cladding

What is EIFS?

EIFS is an acronym for Exterior Insulation Finish System. EIFS is a non-load bearing, exterior wall cladding system that consists of continuous insulation board attached either adhesively, mechanically, or in combination, to exterior 3sheathing, which is covered with a reinforced base coat and textured protective finish coat. There are two types of EIFS: the Face-Sealed System and the Drained System. Face-Sealed EIFS is a sealant dependent “barrier system” that is fundamentally flawed due to its reliance on perfect workmanship and material performance to provide a 100% moisture barrier. The Drained System, predominantly used today, includes provision for drainage of moisture via flashings and open vertical planes between the exterior sheathing and the insulation board. This system helps to manage moisture that may enter the wall cavity. EIFS was first developed in Europe and was introduced to the U.S. as an energy-saving building system on commercial buildings in the late 1970s and residential homes in the early 1980s. The EIFS Drained System was introduced in the late 1990s.

 

Issues with Face-Sealed EIFS

Commercial and residential buildings constructed between the late 1970s and the early 1990s that have Face-Sealed EIFS cladding could potentially have one or more undesirable conditions caused by bulk water intrusion combined with
inadequate wall drainage. Water trapped within this wall system can cause further issues when combined with HVAC deficiencies. Defects can include microbial growth, staining of interior finishes, reduced structural integrity (corrosion and/or decay of load bearing walls), insect infestations, increased interior humidity, and cracking of the interior and exterior finishes. Although these issues are often readily apparent, decay and corrosion can be concealed and may result in latent structural damages.

 

Deferred Maintenance

EIFS1The noted defects are typically exacerbated at building walls that are not periodically maintained. One of most common causes of moisture intrusion through Face-Sealed EIFS are deteriorated sealant joints and window systems. It should be noted that the service life of most windows is less than 40 years, and the service life of most sealants is less than 15 years. This implies that buildings constructed with Face-Sealed EIFS likely have windows that are approaching the end of their serviceable life, and that replacement of exterior wall sealant joints should have occurred at least twice during that time.

 

The Consequences

s (microbial growth), and the loss of revenue associated with the construction and abatement (which may include temporary relocation of tenants). If your Face-sealed EIFS clad building has deteriorated exterior sealants (typically crazed/cracked appearance) and/or interior staining/mildew odor, an assessment by an industrial hygienist, building enclosure consultant, structural engineer, and possibly a mechanical engineer are recommended. The assessments should be followed by a structured plan to make necessary repairs and replacements, and periodically (typically every 5 to 7 years) evaluate and maintain the exterior wall and fenestrations.

 

Deferred maintenance of sealant joints and windows in Face-Sealed EIFS can result in significant construction costs to repair or replace the EIFS, interior finishes and windows, the abatement of hazardous material.

Considerations When Using Flush Wall Panels in Screen Wall Applications

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Considerations When Using Flush Wall Panels in Screen Wall Applications

 

Wind-Damaged-Panels1To maintain the aesthetics of a new roof design, building owners often choose to conceal their rooftop mechanical equipment with screen walls. Screen walls are considered “architectural walls,” and are typically constructed using steel frames and finished with metal wall panels.

While aesthetics are an important consideration for screen wall design, building owners and designers should not overlook wind loading while selecting metal wall panels for their screen wall. Metal wall panels are often secured to a solid substrate, such as a masonry wall; however, wall panels attached to exposed steel framing (vertical posts and horizontal channels) in screen wall applications typically leave the back side of the panels open and exposed to wind. Wind can create a negative pressure acting outwards from behind the panel. This wind load pressure can cause panels to bow, allowing the connection between panels to disengage. When selecting metal wall panels for a rooftop screen wall, consider the following parameters:

  • Panel Width: Increasing the width of a metal wall panel increases the surface area on which wind loads are applied. Selecting narrower metal wall panels helps to mitigate the effects of negative wind loading pressure.
  • Panel Material: Many manufacturers offer metal wall panels in a variety of materials including aluminum and steel. Thicker gauge material with higher tensile strength will reduce the tendency for panels to deform under negative pressure.
  • Panel Profile: Metal wall panels come in a variety of profiles: panels typically consist of two engagement legs on either side of the panel that interlock to form a connection between adjacent panels. Panels with longer engagement legs will provide for a deeper connection between adjacent panels, limiting the possibility of this connection to be compromised under wind loads.

Installing metal wall panels on a rooftop screen wall can improve building aesthetics; however, without proper consideration of wind loads, these panels are susceptible to damage. Selecting metal screen wall panels of an appropriate width, material, and profile to withstand wind loading pressure will help the panels to remain secure throughout the life of the roof.

 

Organic Infill at Local High School

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Organic Infill at Local High School

organic-infillIn today’s health-conscious and eco-friendly world, the popularity of organic products is on the rise. This interest and concern has carried over to Athletic Facilities Planning. Gale recently completed a project for a school opting to use organic infill for two new synthetic turf fields. The school was focused on the fields’ proximity to wetlands, as well as the health of their students and the perceived concerns associated with SBR crumb rubber. The school was provided with a summary of alternative infill options and Geofill, a coconut/cork and sand mix, was selected.

 

The School District felt this decision was appropriate after weighing the pros and cons of the infill options and costs. Below are some considerations for organic alternate infills:

 

Pros

  • Organic and environmentally friendly.
  • Retain water, which provides an evaporative cooling effect as compared to fields with a crumb rubber infill. This can be an advantage, especially in warm climate locations.
  • Provide athletes with a natural feel under foot.
  • Shock pads provide a consistent G-max (acceptable impact level).

 

Cons

  • The cost is higher compared to traditional crumb rubber field (40% increase for infill and shock pad).
  • Can require more maintenance than crumb rubber.
  • Requires replenishing every 2-3 years.
  • The material is not recyclable for infill use, but can be used for landscaping beds.
  • May require watering since it can become dusty during a dry summer.

 

 

 

Metal-Over-Metal Retrofit Roofing Using Prefabricated Sub-Purlins

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Metal-Over-Metal Retrofit Roofing Using Prefabricated Sub-Purlins

retrofit-roofing-croppedAt one time or another, every building owner will deal with the process of replacing their roof. While this is a necessity for the proper function of a building, it can often be costly, disruptive (smelly and noisy), and messy. If your building currently has a metal roof that needs replacement, one option to consider is a metal roof overlay system.

The most common metal roof overlay system includes prefabricated sub-purlins, which are z-shaped structural members that are factory cut to fit snugly over a variety of metal panel profiles. The purlins, typically 16-gauge galvanized steel, are attached through the existing metal roof panels to the building’s structural frame to provide the appropriate base to which the new metal panels are secured.

The benefits of a metal-over-metal retrofit roof system include:

  • Reduced costs and disruption associated with demolition, and provides better protection for the building’s interior finishes from unpredictable weather versus removing the existing metal roof.
  • Minimized requirements for the contractor to gain interior access, which reduces interruption of occupant day-to-day activities.
  • Increased energy efficiency. The sub-purlins can be formed to customized depths to allow installation of additional insulation.
  • Reduced labor costs from faster project completion.
  • Ability to easily upgrade an existing exposed fastener (face fastened) metal roof to a more watertight standing seam (concealed clip) roof.

There are many factors to consider before choosing a sub-purlin retrofit system. The existing building structure should be analyzed to verify that it can safely support the additional weight of an overlay. Furthermore, applicable code requirements should be researched to determine if the new overlay system will be compliant. Lastly, the overall condition of the existing metal roof system and insulation assembly should be evaluated. If the existing panels are visible from the interior and are aesthetically unpleasing, or if the need for continuous insulation is driving your roof project, an overlay may not be the right option.

Planning Your Athletic Facilities Project: How Long Does it Really Take?

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Planning Your Athletic Facilities Project: How Long Does it Really Take?

When planning an athletic facility project, it’s important to keep in mind the overall project timeline. Prior to bulldozers and excavators moving dirt, an engineering process that can take months to complete must occur. While each project is different, below is a typical project process and timeline:

 

timeline

FAA Offering Rebate for Avionics

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FAA Offering Rebate for Avionics

The FAA is offering a $500 rebate to general aviation aircraft owners to aid in the cost of Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) equipment. Starting in 2020, this equipment will be mandatory for flying in most controlled airspace.

 

The ADS-B Out requirement is part of a transition from ground radar and navigational aids to precise tracking using satellite signals. The equipment periodically broadcasts an aircraft’s position, velocity, and other information including dimensions. Displays utilizing ADS-B Out are capable of showing other aircraft in the sky or on the ground at an airport. It can also provide pilots with information on hazardous weather, terrain, and temporary flight restrictions. Only certain features are required by the ADS-B Out 2020 mandate. Title 14 CFR §91.227 defines the equipment requirements.

 

The FAA plans to issue up to 20,000 rebates on a first-come, first-serve basis for up to one year. This incentive is only for registered, fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft. Software upgrades to existing equipment are not covered by the rebate. For additional information on rebate eligibility, equipment installation, and to reserve and claim a rebate, visit http://www.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb. A full description of the airspace covered by the mandate can be found in Title 14 CFR §91.225.

 

Can Your Facilities Weather the Storm?

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Can Your Facilities Weather the Storm?

Surge

 

The scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center have predicted that the 2016 hurricane season will be more active than in the last three years. We have learned from experience that hurricanes can be quite unpredictable, causing widespread damage to many vulnerable areas, and are not limited strictly to coastal regions. Depending on the ultimate path and intensity of a storm when it makes landfall, hurricane‐force winds can cause loss of power, flooding, and damaged or destroyed roofs, doors, windows and wall systems. This could lead to substantial interior and or structural damages to buildings. These storm-related building failures can cause unanticipated shutdowns of educational, institutional and commercial sectors within a community.

 

Facility DamageThe following preventive measures may help avoid or reduce catastrophic harm to your building’s components and systems, and improve the chances of your facilities maintaining functionality in the event of a hurricane:

 

Reliable Backup Power & Resources. Stockpile resources, such as generators, batteries (alkaline, rechargeable, car, solar voltaic, etc.), a reliable supply of fuel, water, flashlights, radios, portable televisions, power inverters, roof repair materials, removable shutters, tarps and any other essential items in a secure location where they can be quickly retrieved after the storm.

 

Protect the Roof. Inspect the entire roof thoroughly before storm season. Secure areas of displaced membrane or perimeter flashings by installing additional anchors, especially in older buildings that have not been designed to meet current wind code requirements. Install additional fasteners or screw anchors with washers on the face of the edge metal or coping face flanges, with the highest priority being at corner zones and about 24‐in. on‐center in the perimeters. Add mechanical fasteners to membranes in vulnerable perimeter areas where adhesion of the roof system is suspect.

 

Mitigate Stormwater and Flooding Concerns. Remove debris or loose materials that could clog drains, gutters, downspouts and scuppers to maintain free flow of water.  Relocate or reposition critical materials, such as scientific experiments, records and archives, key computers, etc., away from areas that may be prone to flooding.

 

Secure Roof Appurtenances and Accessories. Basically, anything that is anchored to a roof needs to stay there. Reinforce or secure air‐conditioning equipment and fans to the roof using additional screw fasteners and/or straps. Add metal or even nylon straps at strategic locations to help reinforce the ducts and provide supplemental anchorage down to supports.

 

Exterior DamageSafeguard the Building Enclosure. Minimize potential damage from windborne debris and to the building’s exterior by using storm shutters (preferred method), plywood panels, steel deck material or lightweight corrugated plastic materials to protect windows, doors and louvers (wall openings). Window films applied to the inside of the glass can provide a level of protection, but its use should be limited to upper floors, as films are generally not tested for large projectile resistance. Secure or bring in light-weight objects, such as garbage cans, tools or furnishings that may become projectiles during a storm.

 

Implement a Facility Survival Plan. Creating a plan before the storm will help you to quickly mobilize and make necessary repairs to restore operations as soon as possible. Below are some important steps to consider:

 

  • Establish a base of operations from which to coordinate recovery and repair efforts.
  • Develop a contingency plan that focuses on readiness, including manpower, equipment and materials needed immediately after the storm.
  • Organize a recovery team by assigning repair tasks to specific individuals or contractors prior to the emergency. Include team member phone numbers and email, as well as team staging and assembly locations. For each roof or wall assembly, specify materials, protocols and personnel responsible to address problems. Use a chart or calendar to establish a timeline for required repairs. A repair manual will also be helpful and allow for consistent quality standards during the recovery operation.  Roof and wall repairs should be completed by a contractor knowledgeable about proper flashing techniques and materials.
  • Develop a primary and backup communication protocol with post-event procedures for on-call constructors, consultants or other entities to expedite emergency assessments, evaluations and repairs; to temporarily relocate assets or functions; and for potential transportation needs.