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Puzzle Pieces

Putting together a building and its envelope is almost like putting together a puzzle. Finding the right pieces to work together is key to creating a complete envelope system.

In this month’s Constructive Insights, Alan Scott, along with Kristy Kwong, a building enclosures designer with WSP in Los Angeles, discuss how important it is that the individual pieces of the building envelope work together. Failures in the building envelope can range from day-to-day performance to the long-term durability of the structure. The compatibility of the different materials is essential to sound building envelopes, which in turn is fundamental to having healthy and sustainable buildings.

Building envelopes come in all shapes and sizes, and the number of products available for architects to choose from is endless. While one architect may prefer to use one brand of insulation over another, as long as all of the pieces work together as they are supposed, there are indefinite possibilities in terms of the specific products that are chosen. Which brings me to this month’s Special Feature, the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards.

The Readers’ Choice Awards take a look at the top 25 products chosen by you, our readers, over the past year to learn more about. This year, the top product categories were metal roofing and insulation, both of which had six products selected. Coming in third was roofing underlayment with four products. Of other interest are two solar products that ranked number one and three in our list. 

Also this month, we have an update on the usage of metal composite material (MCM) in the U.S., from Andy Williams, director of codes and standards at the Metal Construction Association. In the Guest Column, Williams provides an overview of what’s happened in the nine months since the Grenfell Tower fire, which we reported on back in September. 

In other important news, this past week the U.S. Green Building Council released LEED v4.1. Announced at Greenbuild last year, this newest version of LEED is considered an incremental step in the evolution of the world’s green building rating system. LEED v4.1 simplifies the rating system by streamlining the scorecard and requirements, and adds new methodologies for tracking and rating performance, which are integrated directly into the rating system. Read more on our blog.

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