For it being the dead of summer, it sure has gotten busy. From leaking skylights to laminated glass, a couple of news items caught my interest recently.
With all the rain we had this spring up and down the Midwest and other parts of the country, many folks in the industry have been called about leaking walls, windows and skylights. Yikes!
This situation reminds me of an owner who thought he didn’t need to remediate a 40-year old wall because it didn’t leak. The gaskets were rotting out, had pulled out of the corners, and so were generally in need of replacement. But, since it had been a dry spring and summer, he leapt to the conclusion that the wall was in great shape – until it started to rain, which it inevitably did, and began to ruin some of the interior finishes already installed during his remodel. He changed that tune pretty quickly, then had to hustle to catch up the remediation of the leaks.
I recently participated in an ASTM working group about construction air tightness in areas other than curtainwall and windows. Our friends north of the border and in the UK are doing this already on a full-building basis. The timing of testing, near the completion of the building, leaves some lingering questions, most notably how to fix the hard to reach wall areas when the building is almost finished. Stay tuned, this is something that the building commissioning folks will be looking for when it gets to field testing. Granted, it’s not directly related to windows and curtainwalls, but can you imagine the blowers and testing to determine the air tightness of the WHOLE building? Picture blowers the size of semi-trailers.
Having our Navy son transferred to Kansas earlier this spring made his mom happy, as you can imagine. No, he is not stationed on any ships calling Kansas City their home port, as we’re a little too far upriver on the Missouri for that to happen. He’s pulled a recruiting billet here for the next couple of years. After the recruiting center shootings in Chattanooga happened, I’m paying a little more attention to the news – you do that, don’t you, when someone you know might be involved, whether it’s tornados, hurricanes, other natural disasters, or man-made tragedies? All of a sudden, talk not about bringing your work home, but having it come home nonetheless. I sent him to work with some facility suggestions for his superiors. I hope they’ll listen.
I’ve seen that companies are actively marketing bullet-resistance glazing to schools, but what about other facilities? Getting strip mall owners (where most armed forces recruiting stations are located) to upgrade the glass walls might be a bit of a reach. For very selfish reasons, it’s OK by me if the Navy spends some of my tax dollars upgrading them on their own.
Last year, after Julia Schimmelpenningh’s presentation at the GANA Annual Conference about lami glass offering a quick / simple solution for upgrading school or other building entrances, please call your school district’s facilities management staff and offer them your services gratis. One of the news feeds mentioned that any kind of protection need offer only a four- to six-minute delay to an intruder, the time it takes first responders to get on site. Laminated glass can help do that. If you have kids or grandkids, just do it.
And now in the heat of summer, another story about a “death ray” building. It looks like they’re fixing that problem on the so-called “walkie-talkie” skyscraper in London by putting screens over the glass (see the third photo from the top). But, now the concern is about people being blown over by high winds. Anyone who’s walked the streets of downtown New York or Chicago knows of this phenomenon all too well. For those of you that live and work in DC, with its maximum height restrictions, do you see much of that? Maybe the canyon effect in a city with a lot of tall buildings, might be something to that.
Keep your chin and nose up, there’s a heck of a lot going on in these dog days of summer.