Educational Seminars

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.

Air/Vapor Barriers

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.

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