Was Grenfell’s disastrous fire due in part to an all-too-common risk transfer strategy?

Grenfell Tower, a UK public housing project that caught fire recently, was a true disaster that is most likely directly attributable to incompatible design specifications and implementation by established architecture, engineering and construction professionals.  I've been holding off publishing much about the event until there is more consensus from the forensic experts regarding root cause, … Continue reading Was Grenfell’s disastrous fire due in part to an all-too-common risk transfer strategy?

Really, really old school building methods put to the test

Great Big Story bills themselves as "a global media company devoted to cinematic storytelling." Last year, they produced a great short feature about a team of skilled contractors and archeologists putting ancient building techniques to use in order to construct a medieval castle. Here's the description accompanying the video: It’s hard to fathom how magnificent … Continue reading Really, really old school building methods put to the test

How a Building Scientist tackles mold on the exterior of his home

Peter Yost is a building scientist and regularly blogs at Green Building Advisor. A recent post of his chronicled his adventures dealing with some sort of bio-organic growth on the recently added siding at his home — but just at the south side, not the north. Mr. Yost's wife first noticed the issue and began … Continue reading How a Building Scientist tackles mold on the exterior of his home

Why does actual building performance differ so much from energy modeling?

Energy modeling is not exactly a brand new science, but it certainly hasn't been around very long, either. In essence, energy modeling is a software-based approach to predicting how much energy a given building will use based on its location, orientation, wall/roof/slab design, windows, doors, etc. In California, for example, energy modeling is a critical … Continue reading Why does actual building performance differ so much from energy modeling?

Saying goodbye to a true architecture, engineering & construction forensics legend

Debra Rubin, of ENR, shares the sad news of the passing of an AEC forensics grandmaster: John M. Hanson, who, as president, helped guide the growth of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. into an industry-leading forensics and failures engineer and who led probes into high-profile collapses of the Kansas City Hyatt hotel walkway in 1981 … Continue reading Saying goodbye to a true architecture, engineering & construction forensics legend