Our staff regularly presents to clients and peers at industry conferences throughout the U.S.
Gale is a registered American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education Systems (CES) provider and a LEED Education Provider; therefore, we are able to give credits for our presentations.
We would be happy to provide your staff with an educational seminar of your choice; descriptions of our seminars can be found below.
Building Enclosure Commissioning
When it comes to remaining dry, many new buildings fail to perform as well as expected. According to the Construction Specification Institute, enclosure leaks were the primary cause of lawsuits against design architects in 1999. Building construction has become increasingly complex and the demand for “green” (i.e. water- and air-tight) buildings continues to grow. Once construction starts, the contractor is primarily focused on constructing the building in accordance with the drawings while remaining on schedule and within budget. Oftentimes, mistakes or oversights can take place during the installation and construction, resulting in a building that leaks air and water. Addressing the building enclosure issues in the early stages of a building construction project saves money and time, and reduces liability for the design and construction team.
Up Against the Wall: How to Address Masonry Wall Issues
Facility managers are responsible for maintaining a safe, aesthetic, and “leak-free” environment for occupants. Masonry walls (both old and new) often present many challenges for facility managers including:
- Moisture intrusion (leaks) into building interiors
- Deterioration and damage (typically visible on exterior surfaces)
- Stains on exterior surface
- Interior air quality problems (mold and mildew)
The presenters will discuss how to recognize the symptoms of masonry wall problems, various causes of the problems, the short and long-term effects of these problems, and remedial options. The presenters will also describe how they investigate wall problems to identify causes and effects of moisture leaks and other types of damage. The audience will come away with a general knowledge of typical masonry wall issues and some “rule of thumb” does and don’ts.
Truly Green: A Look at the Advantages of Maintaining Historic Campus Buildings
Most colleges and universities in the U.S. have taken great strides in recent years to embrace “being green.” LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) certification has taken hold in both public and private construction. Most institutions pursue some level of LEED when constructing new buildings and do so with great fanfare. But one often overlooked, or at least undervalued method of achieving overall resource efficiency is to maintain and/or adaptively reuse our older building stock. We will explore the idea that perhaps the truest form of green building on campus is maintaining historic buildings. Case studies of various historic restoration projects will also be discussed.
Restoration of Historic Terra Cotta
Terra cotta cladding and decorative elements can be found on many historic buildings. Its use was most prevalent between the late 1800s and the 1930s. Many building owners and facility managers are faced with deteriorating terra cotta components and need to determine appropriate repair methods or consider replacing the terra cotta with alternate materials. This presentation will discuss the origins and history of terra cotta and its use as a building material. The presenter will detail the causes and symptoms of terra cotta deterioration, and the course of action that building owners and managers should take when restoring terra cotta elements.
Restoration and Maintenance of Your Slate Roof
Slate roofing has been used in building construction for centuries and remains the most durable roofing material available today. With the proper design and maintenance of a slate roof, one can anticipate a service life in excess of 100 years. Correctly designing a slate roof requires a thorough analysis of existing conditions. This is particularly important if project scope is limited to slate and/or flashing repairs. Gale’s presentation will provide a brief history of slate; and describe accessory materials, types of slate, and how it is quarried and fabricated into shingles. We will also present evaluation methods and techniques, describe sampling procedures, discuss recognized standards for testing of existing and new slate shingles, elaborate on design considerations and identify potential troubleshooting issues and resolutions.
A Systematic Approach to Evaluating the Building Envelope
A major responsibility of building owners and managers is to ensure that their buildings are water-tight, energy-efficient, and safe. This often means investigating and evaluating the building envelope (roofs, walls, windows, waterproofing, and structure) to define and resolve existing problems as well as to avoid future problems. We will present a systematic approach for investigating, evaluating, and repairing building envelope problems including researching a building’s history, performing a field inspection, testing methods, and engineering analysis and material selection.
A Guide to Inspecting and Maintaining Various Roofing Systems
This presentation will provide a detailed guide to investigating, evaluating, and repairing problems with many of the most frequently-used types of roofs including “sloped” (metal, slate, tile, shingle) and low slope or “flat” (built-up roofing, modified, single-ply, etc.). The systematic approach outlined in this presentation includes researching the roof’s history, performing a field inspection, testing methods, setting up a database or benchmark for roof management, and reviewing available tracking forms and roof evaluation checklists.
Incorporating Green Roofing Principles at Your Institution
Green roofs are gaining increased usage on college/university campuses. This interest is due to declining green space and the ability of such systems to reduce storm water runoff, eliminating the need for retention basins. Improved energy savings, storm water retention, and aesthetic benefits are driving forces behind the growth of green roofs. Significant improvements in the performance of different components including roof repellents, drainage layers, waterproofing membranes, and lightweight growing media and plants have resulted in anticipated service lives of 40 plus years. We will discuss the history of green roofs, types of systems, functions of key components, design factors to consider, maintenance considerations, costs, and the benefits.
Roof Asset Management Programs: Valuable Tools or Just More Paperwork?
Roof Asset Management Programs have been touted to facility managers as the ultimate tool for efficiently managing property assets with simple keystrokes on a computer. These programs range from simple inventory spreadsheets to powerful relational databases with analytical reports that attempt to decide costs and priorities using various algorithms. Do these programs deliver on their promises? What are the true costs, both short and long term? How does a facility manager start the process of implementation? How do these programs assist with budget planning and procurement of funding? We will attempt to answer these questions and more. The presentation will review the options and components of the various engineered Roof Management Programs that are available to maintenance personnel, facility managers, and planner. We will encourage discussion of current methods of roof asset management for multiple facility networks and compare them to the engineered systems that are available.
How to Make Your Roof Generate Income
Building owners and facility managers spend a lot of time, energy, and money installing and maintaining their roofs. This seminar will discuss how to make your roof work for you. If appropriately designed, roofs can generate income and help save on building operational costs by reducing heating and cooling costs and extending the life of your roof. There are many options available and they range from generating electrical power from roof-mounted photovoltaic cells (photovoltaics are solar cells that produce electricity directly from sunlight) to coatings (coatings that reflect the sun’s UV rays and infrared radiation will reduce absorbed heat and prolong roofing life) that assist in reducing heating and cooling costs. This seminar will discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and costs of each option. In addition, we will provide case studies for each option.
Waterproofing Below-Grade Structures
This presentation is designed to educate facility managers about the fundamentals of below-grade waterproofing. With high costs, functions are being placed in below-grade locations. Classrooms, laboratories, auditoriums, and other critical occupancies require a completely water-tight environment. This presentation will inform facility managers about the various below-grade waterproofing options available along with recommended materials and installation methods. We will address a variety of sub-grade waterproofing systems including positive and negative side waterproofing, plaza deck assemblies, and garden roof designs. We will analyze the following types of materials including pre-manufactured membranes (e.g. thermoplastics, modified bitumens, bentonite panels), spray-on or brush-applied coatings, and expandable and/or injectable waterstops. We will focus on design concepts, detailing, surface preparations, application methods, and troubleshooting for typical below-grade waterproofing problems.
Waterproofing, Plaza Decks, Green Roof Technology
This presentation will address a variety of sub-grade waterproofing systems including positive and negative side waterproofing, plaza deck assemblies, and green roof technology. We will analyze the following types of materials including pre-manufactured membranes (e.g. thermoplastics, modified bitumens, bentonite panels), spray-on or brush-applied coatings, and expandable and/or injectable waterstops. We will focus on design concepts, detailing, surface preparations, application methods, and troubleshooting for typical below-grade waterproofing problems.
Design and Selection of Operable Windows
Selecting the appropriate operation type for windows is critical to the success of a window replacement project and the satisfaction of the end user. This presentation will outline the various window operation types that building owners and managers must choose from when replacing windows in their buildings, including awning, hopper, casement, double- or single-hung, slider, and pivot. It will address the factors that building owners and managers must take into account, such as building use, occupant restrictions, building code requirements, emergency egress requirements, etc. This presentation will assist building owners and mangers in making educated decisions when selecting the most appropriate window operation type for their building and will illustrate the decision-making process with a project case study.
Installation of a continuous air barrier in the exterior building enclosure of new construction has become mandatory in many localities. As with all new things, a learning curve is expected and opinions on the correct means, methods, and materials vary widely. This presentation intends to clarify design concepts and installation of air and vapor barriers in the building enclosure. Air barrier technology is not a new science. It has been developed and implemented in Canada with successful results for approximately 20 years. The earliest known air barrier was constructed hundreds of years ago from natural vegetation, bark, and mud. Today, U.S. contractors primarily use air and vapor impermeable membranes in the exterior wall cavity. One must understand that this is not the only way to design or construct a properly functioning envelope system. A number of materials can be utilized as air and/or vapor barrier as long as they meet minimum permeability ratings and are located and installed correctly in the enclosure. When reference is made to the building enclosure, the definition is any separation component (walls, windows, doors, roof, foundation) that separates the controlled interior environment from the exterior environment. Both air and vapor can move through each of these components through diffusion or through open gaps in the system assembly. Controlling the transmission of air and vapor through the enclosure can provide both increased energy conservation and reduce the potential of condensation within the system assemblies.
Stabilization Repairs to Multiple Historic Masonry Structures at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
In 2002, Harvard Planning and Real Estate undertook a large and complex project to stabilize 17 masonry buildings (most of the buildings are historically significant) in the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The buildings were suffering from water infiltration and continued deterioration could have posed a safety threat. This presentation will focus on the steps taken to repair the building envelopes of these historic buildings and the challenges that were encountered during the project. Some of the challenges included conducting the investigation and repairs to the buildings during 100% occupancy and ensuring that the many different groups involved (i.e. residents, city officials, historical commission, tenant groups, business enterprises, and university personnel) were satisfied with the process and the results.
Renovation of Historic Structure at Simmons College
The Simmons College Administration Building is the key historical focal point of this private college located in the Fenway area of Boston. The building, constructed in 1908, was suffering from multiple building envelope problems including water infiltration through roof and wall components, as well as extensive deterioration of masonry components including limestone, terra cotta and brick masonry. The presentation addresses various aspects of the project including; budgeting prioritization, historical review, plan/specification development, energy upgrades, etc. In addition, the presentation will highlight the sequence of construction, obstacles encountered, and general installation/repair methods utilized in renovating the envelope components.
The Truth behind the Health, Safety, and Environmental Risks Associated with Infilled Synthetic Turf
Since the 1960s, artificial turf has been installed on athletic fields throughout the U.S. In the past few years, there has been some controversy regarding the health, safety and environmental risks of synthetic turf. Using recent independent studies, the presenters will address and shed light on some of the perceived risks associated with infilled synthetic turf including sports injury related to the current generation of synthetic turf, water quality impacts, and human health risks (lead, temperature, staph, and toxicity). The presenters will also discuss the various ASTM testing standards related to infill synthetic turf.
A Decade of In-filled Synthetic Turf: What Have We Learned and Where Are We Going?
Many institutions and municipalities are replacing natural turf with “infilled” tufted polyethylene synthetic turf. In the past, decisions were based on manufacturers’ representations and hearsay; little performance data was available. There are now many “infilled” synthetic turf fields that are over 10 years old, which gives us a performance history regarding maintenance requirements, life-cycle costs, durability, safety, and warranties. Among manufacturers, there are differences in materials, construction, composition, warranty, and proprietary restrictions. Due to the aggressive nature of the synthetic turf business, there is a lot of misinformation generated by the industry. This presentation will discuss various alternatives and provide a decision-making approach that will facilitate more cost-effective procurement strategies. Finally, we will examine new product innovations and what we should expect to see in the near future.
Facility Manager-Driven Athletic Campus Master Planning
The quality of athletic campus facilities plays a significant role in attracting potential students; therefore, the vision and shaping of the athletic campus is often performed by administrative and athletic department personnel with little involvement of the facility management professionals. The presenter will discuss the importance of including facility management personnel in the planning process because they ultimately “own, operate, and maintain” the athletic facility. They will illustrate the process by discussing how this was achieved during recent athletic facility improvement projects.
Track and Field Planning for Athletic Performance and Effective Meet Management.
Many university and secondary school track and field facilities constructed in the 60s and 70s have approached their useful life and require reconstruction. This seminar focuses on effective planning for this redevelopment. Topics include determining the appropriate track radius, lane configuration (number and width), and field event number, orientation, safety requirements and layout within the site. Meet operational considerations such as event queuing areas, event markings and current timing and scoring systems are discussed. Some of the recent changes in longitudinal and cross slope criteria are discussed for the various track and field governing bodies. Additionally, the seminar discusses the planning for track infrastructure such as storm drainage, lighting and irrigation conduit, communications and data. Finally, the seminar reviews the experience and lessons learned in the development of a new track and field complex at Dartmouth College in 2006.
Athletic Surfacing Decision Making: Natural vs. Synthetic Turf, Latex vs. Urethane Track Surfacing.
Some of the most important decisions made by athletic facilities managers in any renovation project are related to the type of athletic surfacing to specify. Typically the overall project budget is dominated by this particularly costly line item, and it is likely that no other decision will impact facility performance as much. Unfortunately these decisions are often complicated by misinformation and misunderstanding. The intent of this seminar is to provide proven installation methods, cost, athletic performance, safety, and maintenance data related to the various surfacing options for both athletic turf and all weather synthetic track surfacing systems. The seminar provides a thorough review of the advantages and disadvantages of each surfacing alternative and decision making criteria. If requested, this seminar can be tailored to focus, and therefore go into more detail, on either the turf or track surfacing area.