Blog – Building Envelope Forensics

A Tale of Two Engineers

Structural and civil engineers were meant to collaborate – after all, their academic faculties are usually under the same roof! This is a story of such a collaboration to restore a historic townhouse on Beacon Hill. The building was plagued …

Read Article »

The Power of Rust

By Robert G. Wilkin, P.E., SECB   We have known for many years that as rust forms on metal installed in masonry or concrete, the rust  expands up to seven times the original thickness of the metal.  The force of this …

Read Article »

The Origins of Yellow Staining

By Robert G. Wilkin, P.E. CBI recently completed a project to recoat the stone on a 200-year-old mill building.  The project was designed under the requirements of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, so the recoated stone needed to match its previous …

Read Article »

Slate Roofing, Outlasting the Competition

By Jonathan Stevens, Assoc. AIA, LEED BD+C Slate roofing has been around for hundreds of years and adorns many historic buildings.  Architects and designers choose slate because it is beautifully elegant and a highly durable roofing material.  Slate, as we …

Read Article »

Designing Easy to Use Operable Windows

By Steven Watchorn, LEED AP BD+C & Jenne dos Santos In addition to a window’s primary function of letting natural light into buildings, operable windows also provide a stronger connection to the outdoors allowing users to control natural ventilation and, …

Read Article »

Façade Inspections: Part 2

By Craig E. Barnes, P.E., SECB Last week we left you thinking about what the bump in the road is for building owners to hire architects or engineers to perform regular façade inspections: cost and competition. From my experience, most …

Read Article »

Façade Inspections: Part 1

By Craig E. Barnes, P.E., SECB Every engineer in the world must be aware that a piece of a building that falls from above may have disastrous results to passersby below.  It goes without saying that those cities in the …

Read Article »

“Roof Leaks”

By Robert G. Wilkin, P.E., Associate Roof Leaks is in quotations because many roof leaks are not the result of leaking roofs.  Many roof leaks are caused by mechanical equipment, punctures caused by mechanical equipment, repairs, or other reasons.  After …

Read Article »

Hot Weather Masonry

By Jeff S. Barnes Summer is upon us and thoughts have turned to sunny days at the beach, driving around with the windows down and the music up, vacations, and the 4th of July.  The summer also brings heat, humidity, …

Read Article »