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THE COVER LiDAR Captures Accurate As-Built Condition of Combined Sewer Overflow Pipes in City of Milwaukee – story on page 10 CHANNELS ENVIRONMENTAL + SUSTAINABILITY 13 Energy Efficient Roofing: The Race is On STRUCTURES + BUILDINGS 15 How Fabric Structures Can Save Your Construction Project Money 16 Walk the Line: The Importance of Fence Line Monitoring in Construction 17 UMA Scales up Production on Unusually Large Soil Nail Wall 20 Unique Opportunities and Challenges of Multi-site Construction 21 Sustaining Our Bridges: Taking Advantage of Captured Time 23 Spark Building Insulates Heated Slabs from Frigid Balconies with Structural Thermal Breaks TRANSPORTATION + INFRASTRUCTURE 25 Environmentally-Conscious Tollway Construction in Austin 26 Snoqualmie Pass Opens Improvements for Drivers and Wildlife WATER + STORMWATER 28 Protecting the Soil – Best Construction Practices for Large Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems BUSINESS NEWS 31 How Do Wearables Improve the Construction Industry? 32 The Role Public Projects will Play in Rebuilding the Economy SOFTWARE + TECH 33 The Role of Software in Streamlining Wetland Delineation Processes 35 New Era of BIM Lifecycle Implementation - Part 4 SURVEYING 40 Just Wing It – Aerial Surveying for Pipeline Projects 42 Rapid Surveying Comes to the Fire in a Global Crisis 44 Use Geographic Informational Systems to Optimize Quality Control in Geotechnical Environmental Testing
departments 8 Events 46 Reader Index Columns 5 The State of the AEC Industry Chad Clinehens 6 The Race to Cross Panama Luke Carothers
VOLUME 6 ISSUE 11 csengineermag.com
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The latest COVID-19 data published by Zweig Group shows the effect of the pandemic on the industry. Despite the numbers showing cancelled or delayed contracts, we are doing far better than our brothers and sisters in the retail, restaurant, and hospitality industries, at least so far. Early in the pandemic, when stay at home orders kept many inside office workers at home, I heard many firm leaders say their surveying and construction personnel were busier than ever. With the nature of their work being outside, COVID lockdowns had little effect on their workday. Surveyors and construction admin barely skipped a beat in many firms. For firms that experienced disruption, it was the transition of office workers to the home. Years of research pre-COVID showed investment in IT infrastructure is one of the top drivers of growth, along with marketing and human resources. Those firms that had robust IT infrastructure definitely made the work from home transition quicker and easier. For everyone else, it was a rapid transformation. With all of the challenges of COVID-19, it has forced us to advance in some much needed areas. As an industry, we’ve significantly lagged other industries in measures of workplace advancements like diversity, flexibility, and information technology (IT). I believe advancements in both diversity and flexibility are critical to helping us solve the recruiting and retention challenge we face as an industry. Flexibility is certainly an area where we were forced to make profound adjustments. The good news is that firms have done quite well—with many reporting increased efficiencies and productivity of staff.We asked firm leaders what percentage of their workforce telecommute/ work could effectively remotely. Responses increased from 80 percent at the beginning of the pandemic to 95 percent in the most recent data set. As the restrictions of COVID dissipate, we are going to have to fight the tendency to go back to the way things were. The flexibility that was forced is good and it is working well. This level of flexibility will help us in both in recruiting and retention as an industry. We’ll never go completely back to the way things were and we need to embrace it. Although COVID has not had a dramatic effect on our field personnel, the effect on the office environment will be lasting. Another area experiencing major disruption is business development. 90 percent of AEC firms say COVID-19 will affect overall business development activities in the next 12 months. The ability to obtain new work was cited as the biggest impact of COVID, along with ability to train staff; collection period/accounts receivable (AR); ability to collaborate with subcontractors / consultants on projects; and ability to collaborate internally on projects. 78 percent of firms surveyed believe their revenue will be down in 2020 from 2019, and they expect it to be down by a median of 20 percent. Looking ahead, firm leaders are equally divided as 51 percent surveyed recently believe the economy is going to be in better shape next year with 49 percent believing it will not be, further illustrating how challenging it is to plan. Looking ahead, some firms are adjusting their expectations now. When looking at 2021, 59 percent of firms are considering changes to their budget with the median cut at 15 percent. Regardless of where you are with your own expectations of the future, there are some things you can do to stay strong and emerge even stronger. 1) Embrace efficiencies and right size your firm. 2) Preserve cash and be prepared for additional volatility. 3) Invest in marketing and business development. The tendency is to cut these areas, as evidenced by the latest data.
The State of the AEC Industry Chad Clinehens
CHAD CLINEHENS, P.E., is Zweig Group’s president and CEO. Contact him at email@example.com.
Looking back, moving forward
Despite the earliest plans for a project of its type being drafted in the beginning of the 16th century, the Panama Canal was not completed until 1914 when the United States finished its decade-long project. This roughly 50-mile stretch of locks, dams, and man-made lakes shortened the nautical distance between the East and West Coasts of the United States by nearly 8,000 nautical miles. At a time when the United States was rapidly expanding Westward, the Panama Canal proved to be a vital source of travel for sailors and income for the United States government. Prior to the United States, several countries and kingdoms took aim at creating the vital passage. From King Charles V of Spain ordering a survey in 1534 for the construction of a route to ease travel to the colonies in Peru to Thomas Jefferson imploring the Spanish to find a less treacherous route around South America, there have been no shortage of ideas for the construction of a route across the Panama Isthmus. By the mid to late-19th century, engineers around the globe were beginning to perfect the creation of canals. Massive projects such as the Suez and Erie Canals gave several people the confidence to build a man-made waterway across Central America. One such was a French man named Ferdinand de Lesseps who secured a concession from the Columbian government (who controlled the territory at the time) to build a sea-level canal across the Isthmus of Panama. Lesseps was a big figure after successfully developing the Suez Canal, and he had no problems raising the funds for the project. Despite objections from several notable engineers such as Adolphe Godin de Lepinay that a sea-level canal would not be feasible in the terrain, work began on the doomed project in 1881. As is often the case, the engineers were correct in their judgements. Engineers working on Lesseps canal project soon found out that they were not nearly prepared to handle the conditions posed by the terrain nor was their equipment suitable for the job. Lesseps plans were based on his experience from the construction of the Suez Canal, which took advantage of Egypt’s dry, arid climate. The constructions teams were not prepared for the challenges posed by a tropical environment that was humid, hot, and brought torrents of rain. Lesseps and his team found that the heavy machinery that easily dug into the soft, desert soil on the Suez Isthmus did not come close to performing in the tough inland portions of the Panama Isthmus. Additionally, workers from Europe were unaccustomed to the humidity and mosquitoes as well as the death and disease that followed. In the first three years of the project, approximately 200 men died every month from disease and accident with many succumbing to Yellow Fever and Malaria. After close to a decade of failure and mismanagement, the French Panama Canal project was dropped. In the ensuing fallout, Ferdinand de Lesseps and his son found themselves in criminal trouble as a result of the project’s mismanagement after being sentenced to five years in prison for mishandling public funds. The efforts of the French engineers were left in ruin for over a decade following the aftermath of the failed project before the United States formally took control of the canal property and began construction. The United States approach to the construction of the canal was vastly different than that of the French, opting for a high-level canal with locks. With a better understanding of the challenges that faced them—controlling the spread of disease, working in wet conditions, and a better plan in general—the team ofAmericans was able to complete the project in 1914.
The Race to Cross Panama Luke Carothers
LUKE CAROTHERS is the Editor for Civil + Structural Engineer Media. If you want us to cover your project or want to feature your own article, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This presentation explores the question - "What is the appropriate level of investigation when conducting a structural building condition review?" The protocol for a condition review of a structure is frequently limited to a set of observations to determine if there is any visually apparent evidence of distress, damage, or deterioration. Yet some structures have hidden defects, either in design or construction, that represent capacity limitations that analysis would show are actually highly overstressed under service loads. Such hidden structural limitations have led to sudden collapses. https://www.nspe.org/resources/pe-institute/live-educational-events/ nysspe-november-4th-webinar-series-klepper-hahn-hyatt Canon 1, NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers: “Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public” november 4– 1 pdh This webinar will introduce you to four of the current members of the NSPE Board of Ethical Review (BER). Discussion will focus on four ethics cases that illuminate multiple aspects of Canon 1, to “hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.” These cases are personal favorites selected by each BER member from the more than 600 opinions the BER has published since the late 1950s. Topics include health, safety and welfare issues such as the impact of sea level rise associated with climate change, confidentiality limits to the engineer’s obligation to report observed safety violations, how far an engineer should go in warning officials about off-site safety concerns noticed on an unrelated project, and how to navigate the tricky politics of city government to achieve better code enforcement. https://www.nspe.org/resources/pe-institute/live-educational-events/ canon-1-nspe-code-ethics-engineers-hold-paramount-the Building A Strong AEC Brand Through Employee Experience november 11– 2 pdh/lu This is a two-week program of one hour each week of a live zoom meeting with our seminar instructors. This seminar will take a deeper look at what it takes to build a strong brand in AEC. It includes a unique perspective that focuses broadly on the employee experience as the driver of the brand and the client experience. From recruits to the community, all audiences are examined with tangible tactics and strategies to build a brand that drives firm performance. https://zweiggroup.myshopify.com/collections/webinars/products/ building-a-strong-aec-brand-through-employee-experience-virtual- seminar-starting-november-11-2020?variant=37109294760087&_ke= The repertoire of most practicing structural engineers in the United States today is limited to the use of conventional construction systems and materials, including hot-rolled and cold-formed steel, precast and cast-in-place concrete, reinforced and unreinforced masonry, and dimensional and engineered wood products. But there are other ways to design and construct structures that may have certain advantages over conventional framing systems. These include: SIPs, AAC, and CLT. Alternative Structural Systems november 18– 1 pdh
elevate aec virtual conference september 30 - november 19
You’ve asked. We’re answering. The Elevate AEC Conference can now be experienced 100 percent virtually. That’s right—the same world- class experience, but no travel required. The 2020 Elevate AEC Virtual Experience will be an eight-week long event, providing attendees meaningful content and networking opportunities from afar, highly produced with live interactions. This virtual experience will include daily doses of keynote speeches, Ted Talks, breakout sessions, virtual social mixing events, and awards celebrations. The Elevate AEC Virtual Experience will also include the ElevateHer TM Symposium which will include presentations of our 2020 ElevateHer TM Cohort’s research findings. This is one of the most exciting and requested events of 2020. With one cohort presentation each week, the ElevateHer TM Cohort presentations will be open to all and for anyone interested in learning more about how to solve the AEC industry’s top challenge: recruitment and retention. https://www.zweiggroup.com/virtual-conference/ This is a three-week prog/luram of one hour each week of a live zoom meeting with our seminar instructors. Zweig Group examines the ever- complex environment of ownership transition in an AEC firm. The presentation covers a range of topics, giving attendees a new view of ownership transition and how an effective plan can be put into place. Whether the attendees are young, up and coming AEC professionals or principals looking at their impending transition, the content gives everyone an introspective view of their career. We plan to take a deep dive into ESOPs to better understand the benefits of this transition option. https://shop.zweiggroup.com/collections/webinars/products/ ownership-transition-strategies-virtual-seminar-starting-november-2- 2020?variant=36266695590039 The NYS Uniform Code changed on 12 May 2020. Are up to speed? The Code is based on the 2018 IBC family of codes, with NYS modifications. All NYS design professionals, as well as the rest of the design and construction community, will need to get up to speed on the new code provisions. This presentation is an overview of the Uniform Code books and a review of some of the noteworthy changes to the Building Code, Existing Building Code, Residential Code, Property Maintenance Code, and Energy Code. Bring you questions, insights, and ideas as we share our knowledge with each other. https://www.nspe.org/resources/pe-institute/live-educational-events/ nysspe-november-4th-webinar-series-klepper-hahn-hyatt Ownership Transition Strategies november 2– 4 pdh 2020 Uniform Codes – What's New? november 4– 1 pdh
Structural Building Condition Reviews: Beyond Distress november 4– 1 pdh
Some are more commonly used in other countries, and some are new systems that show promise. While some will likely always have limited appeal, others have the potential for increasing their market share, and should be a part of a well-rounded structural engineer’s repertoire. https://www.nspe.org/resources/pe-institute/live-educational-events/ nysspe-november-18th-webinar-series-klepper-hahn Saving the Baby! Stories from Rescuing Structures From the Brink november 18– 1 pdh Old, vacant building structures can deteriorate to a point where they need extreme, careful attention just to maintain their stability. And sometimes, severe degradation of unused parts of occupied buildings has been allowed to occur without detection so that emergency measures are necessary. This presentation is a sharing of the author's experiences in attempts to "save the baby" - older buildings - from the unchecked onslaught of weather and other sources of deterioration. https://www.nspe.org/resources/pe-institute/live-educational-events/ nysspe-november-18th-webinar-series-klepper-hahn December 2020 All engineers who work on buildings should understand the basics of the EnergyConservationConstructionCodeofNYS. Envelopeperformance, in particular, is more important, challenging, and interesting that many architects realize. We'll review code requirements including recent performance-increasing changes , clarify compliance path options including trade-off options and averaging insulation values, foundation and slab insulation requirements, considerations for fenestration, mass and stud walls, and metal building systems, summarize residential and commercial air barrier requirements including testing and verification, and details to minimize structural thermal bridging. https://www.nspe.org/resources/pe-institute/live-educational-events/ nysspe-december-2nd-webinar-series-klepper-hahn-hyatt 2020 marks the 10th year since New York State's Energy Code first required air barriers to be part of thermal envelopes in buildings. Yet many architects and engineers still do not have a good grasp of how they should be designed and detailed, and many contractors are not clear on how they should be installed and verified. This session will cover the basics of air barrier systems as well as a summary of the most common types. For each, we'll review the pros and cons, as well as installation and detailing challenges. We'll cover field installation verification and testing. We will also debunk some myths about air barriers and identify some materials that do not properly function as air barriers, and why. https://www.nspe.org/resources/pe-institute/live-educational-events/ nysspe-december-2nd-webinar-series-klepper-hahn-hyatt Engineers, Envelopes, and the Energy Code december 2– 1 pdh Air Barriers: The Thermal Frontier december 2– 2 pdh
Hydraulic Design of Water Tunnels Webinar december 7– 8 pdh This webinar offers fundamentals in hydraulic design of water tunnels with the following objectives: - To understand hydraulic functions of power tunnel, sewer tunnel, water supply tunnel, diversion tunnel, long culverts, and surge tunnel/shaft - To get familiar with the design of water tunnels -To get familiar with less known design issues such as tunnel optimization, sediment transport and erosion in tunnels, hydraulic jump in tunnels, cavitation in tunnels, and sewer overflow - To introduce design tools https://www.nspe.org/resources/pe-institute/live-educational-events/ nysspe-december-2nd-webinar-series-klepper-hahn-hyatt on demand Chasing specific business applications to solve a unique challenge used to be the answer to one problem, except as the technology stack grows, so does the disjointedness. This problem introduces more data and workflow challenges to be solved. As the construction technology landscape continues to evolve, one solution will not be the answer to today’s complex file sharing and storage challenges. Join Newforma, Autodesk, and Schmidt Architects to learn how the construction technology space is progressing towards more unity and the benefits of working in a connected environment. Discover how Newforma’s integration with Autodesk BIM 360 further streamlines collaboration to provide increased flexibility to view, search, and manage project files to improve project delivery. https://csengineermag.com/newforma-autodesk-bim360/ Composite steel construction has been recognized for a number of years as one of the most economical systems for constructing building floors. This webinar will focus on information contained within SJI’s “2nd Edition CJ-Series Composite Joists,” which includes the standard specifications, weight tables, bridging tables and code of standard practice; share how one can utilize SJI’s Floor Bay Tool for estimating the cost of CJ-Series joists; and describe recent projects where CJ-Series composite joists have been utilized. https://csengineermag.com/economic-floor-systems-with-composite- steel-joists/ Newforma & Autodesk BIM 360 – Working Together 1 pdh Economic Floor Systems with Composite Steel Joists 1 pdh
LiDAR Captures Accurate As-Built Condition of Combined Sewer Overflow Pipes in City of Milwaukee
By Jon Chapman and Robert Seleen, P.E.
The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) wanted to better understand the existing condition of their next stretch of com- bined sewer overflow (CSO) pipe to be slip lined. They were interested in finding a cost-effective and timely solution that would mitigate the construction delays and change orders that they had experienced on prior projects. The City contracted with the civil engineering and sur- veying firm of raSmith (Brookfield, Wis.) to provide advanced survey technologies and create current and very accurate as-built documenta- tion of their CSO pipes. The City’s Combined Sewershed 3016 is comprised of over 4,000 acres and incorporates a large Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) net- work. Pipes range in size between 66 and 144 inches in diameter and are generally located 35 to 90 feet underground. Installed in the 1880s to 1920s (with additional installations in the 1990s), the aging system requires regular rehabilitation. Since the 1960s the City of Milwaukee DPW has identified and re- paired pipes within the network. Past repairs have involved grout work, formed concrete liners, steel liners, shotcrete, and fiberglass mortar pipe (slip lining). Slip lining is a trenchless technology that has been used since the 1940s to repair leaks and rehabilitate existing pipes and is generally considered to be very cost effective. Slip lining is completed by installing a smaller, carrier pipe into a larger existing host pipe. The particular section of pipe that the DPW was recently looking to slip line was comprised of approximately 3,700 linear feet of pipe, ranging in diameter between 6 and 7.5 feet, at depths ranging between 35 and 50 feet. This stretch contained three radii and four tangent sec- tions of pipe. While there are several different methods used to install a slip line, this particular project utilized what is known as the segmental method. This construction process involves excavating and exposing a section of existing pipe, allowing a rigid slip liner to be lowered into the pipe with a crane. Nominal length sections of 15 to 20 feet of slip liner are lowered one at a time into the pipe. Each segment then rides on a series of rails that are preinstalled in the bottom half of the pipe. After each pipe segment is lowered into the opening and is resting on the rails, it is then pushed horizontally into place by a skid loader that is lowered in before the pipe segments. Once each segment is pushed into the correct horizontal position, the annular space between the two pipes is grouted and the ends are sealed.
One of the challenges with this process presents itself when trying to slip line a curved section of pipe. Because each segment of slip liner is rigid and straight, and is pushed horizontally into place, it is very important that the length of each segment is no longer than what the radius of the existing pipe curve will allow to be pushed through it to avoid being hung up or stuck. Assuming you have confidence in the accuracy of the existing drawings, these maximum lengths can theoretically be calculated. Accuracy issues with old drawings aside, existing drawings are not going to show certain as-built conditions like pipe deflections caused by settlement or shifting, sediment buildup or other deposits that may also impact the ability to slide the slip liners through the pipe. An example of one of the cross section views of the CSO pipe, showing nominal diameter versus actual diameter due to deposits, deflections or other anomalies.
Map showing the location of the 3,700 LF of CSO pipe that was scanned, including three radii and four tangent sections.
Having faced the afore-mentioned challenges on prior slip lin- ing projects, which inherently resulted in multiple construction delays and change orders, the City of Milwaukee DPW began working with raSmith who utilized static LiDAR coupled with conventional survey control and tools to create current and very accurate as-built documentation of the pipes. The City required a series of deliverables including an alignment and profile of the existing CSO invert, 2D pipe sections at 100-foot stations in the tangent sections of the pipe, and 25-foot stations in the curved sections of the pipe. Additional sections were also required at any observed deflection or deformation points. raSmith tackled the project by first establishing tight survey control at ground level. This included establishing a series of control points along the corridor and near the various manhole access points. Survey control points were also established in the bottom of the pipes at the manholes by inverting a static LiDAR scanner over the manhole and conducting a series of inverted scans that captured control points both above ground and down in the pipe. Additional below ground control points were then established between the manhole access points, and basic sta- tioning was established. raSmith then used a static LiDAR scanner to scan the inside of the pipe throughout the entire 3,700-foot length to create a 3D point cloud of the interior conditions. During the field work data collection period, there was also approximately 6 to 8 inches of flow (primarily ground water infiltration) in the pipe, which prevented the capture of reliable point cloud data below the water surface, obscuring the pipe invert as well as some of the sediment buildup and deposits. raSmith utilized a robotic total station to map those features with a conven- tional survey approach to supplement the point cloud data. This approach allowed raSmith’s office technicians to not only create the alignment and plan and profile documents, but also specifically map the areas with sediment buildup and wander- ing deposits, which may also potentially hinder the slip lining construction process. Furthermore, the series of cross sections clearly illustrated the existing profile of the pipe compared to a perfectly round pipe of the same size and alignment. As a value- added deliverable, raSmith also provided the City of Milwaukee with the 3D point cloud data and a 3D surface of the inside surface of the pipe. All of the resulting documentation was included in the bid document package sent to general contractors to assist them with properly planning for and bidding on the subsequent construction work. Of the general contractors that utilized this information in their planning and budgeting efforts, their bids inherently were very similar and considerably lower than those general contractors who did not utilize that same information. The DPW issued a contract in November 2019 to slip line three of the tangent sections and two of the radii that were sur- veyed using static LiDAR; the other tangent and radius will be
raSmith inverted a scanner over each manhole access point in order to capture control points above and below ground simultaneously.
rehabbed in a future DPW contract. The general contractor that was awarded the construction bid used the provided horizontal alignment information to work with a pipe supplier to best determine the work shaft locations and length of pipe that could be slipped into place from each location. One work shaft was located downstream of a radius that enabled the contractor to slip pipe in both directions. In the tangent direction full 20-foot pipes were used. In the direction of the radius the contractor chose to use 10-foot sections, which allowed them to push the pipe through one radius, through a tangent section and then through the second radius. A second work shaft was located upstream of this An example of a sinkhole that developed in June 1997 as a result of an aging CSO pipe system. Photo: City of Milwaukee Dept. of Public Works
radius where the contractor was able to again use 20-foot pipe sections to connect to the 10-foot section at the end of the radius. Having access to cross sections and a 3D surface of the existing pipe allowed the DPW’s engineers to quickly review the contractor’s shop drawings and proposed slip lining procedure while providing staff with a sense of confidence that no surprises would be encountered during construction. This project was a great success for the City of Milwaukee DPW because of the general contractor’s methods, work shaft location and pipe length selection. The project’s schedule and budget were based on previous slip lining work contracted by the City, and the work was completed in roughly half the time scheduled and under budget. A contractor works to install a fiberglass mortar pipe slip line segment into an existing large diameter CSO pipe. Photo: City of Milwaukee Dept. of Public Works
S t r u c t u r a l E n g i n e e r s A x i o m # 7 Structural Engineers Axiom #7
Professional Liability is essential. Overpaying is not. Professional Liabi ity is Essential. Overpaying s Not.
I t pays to have the right profes- sional liability coverage. But you shouldn’t overpay. At Fenner & Esler, we’re more than just brokers. We’re A/E specialists. Delivering the right coverage and value to design firms of all sizes since 1923. With multiple insurance carriers. At Fenner & Esler, we’re more than just brokers. We’re A/E specialists. Delivering the right coverage and value to design firms of all sizes since 1923. With multiple insurance carriers. And a proven track record serving the unique risks of structural engineers. And a proven track record serving the unique risks of structural engineers. It pays to have the right profes- sional liability coverage. But you shouldn’t overpay.
Get a quote—overnight. Visit: www.fenner-esler.com Click “Need a Quote” Call toll-free: 866-PE-PROTEK (866-737-7683 x. 208) Ask for Tim Esler. Email: email@example.com tim@Insurance4Structurals.com ww .insurance4structurals.com Get a quote—overnight. Visit: w.insurance4structurals.com lick “Need a Quote” ll toll-free: 866-PE-PROTEK ( 66-737-7683 x.208) Ask for Tim Esler. Email: tim@Insurance4Structurals.com
JON CHAPMAN , senior project manager at raSmith, served as the project manager for the City of Milwaukee Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project. He has more than 27 years of experience in LiDAR (3D laser scanning), UAS, and 3D visualization services. Jon is also an FAA Certified UAS Pilot. raSmith is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm comprising civil engineers, structural engineers, land surveyors, development managers, landscape architects, and ecologists. ROBERT SELEEN is a floodplain hazard mitigation manager in the environmental engineering section at City of Milwaukee Dept. of Public Works. He has worked in the Milwaukee area for over 15 years as a laborer, surveyor, inspector, and professional engineer for private companies and local government. His dedica- tion to water quality improvement projects is based on his desire to ensure future generations can enjoy Wisconsin and all of its beauty.
T H E P RO F E S S I O N A L ’ S C H O I C E S I N C E 1 9 2 3
Just like automobiles, airplanes, and computers, roofing materials have improved markedly over time. Today’s products are more durable, weigh less and offer improved aesthetics compared to what roofers installed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Thatching, for instance, which stayed popular in the 18th and 19th centuries among America’s earliest settlers, is no longer a viable roofing alternative. Today’s roofers, however, are faced with a challenging task. Build- ing owners, and government officials, are pressing for more energy- efficient materials and designs. America’s increased emphasis on improved energy efficiency in building products started out, oddly enough, in one of the nation’s most favorable temperate climates. In 2015, Hawaii – where the average temperature on the islands ranges between 78-85 year-round – Governor David Ige signed four energy bills, including one that directed the utilities to generate 100 percent of their electricity sales from renewable energy resources by 2045. Within a few years of that legislation, the race toward the “Green New Deal” began in earnest. Last year, New York joined the green energy arms race by calling for dramatic changes over the next 30 years. It calls for the state’s electricity to come from renewable, carbon-free resources, such as solar, wind and hydropower. Roofing materials are, and will continue to be, among the most scrutinized build- ing materials that architects weigh toward helping Energy Efficient Roofing: The Race is On Systems Require Integration to Meet Demands Of Government Officials Hungry for Green and Clean By Thomas Renner
sues, insurance requirements, foot traffic, and a wide assortment of variables to design the most environmentally efficient roof. “It’s not a product question, really, it’s a system question,” said James Kirby, a Building and Roofing Science Architect for GAF. Energy-efficient roofs are going to be a focus of the industry in the years ahead. There are a lot of details to consider and solving that equa- tion can be incredibly complex. Energy-Efficient Roofs An energy-efficient roof is environmentally-friendly, reduces energy costs and consumption, and includes materials that provide a higher R-value rating. A cool roof, for instance, can help save up to 15 percent annual air- conditioning energy use, and can help mitigate the urban heat island effect. A cool roof delivers higher solar reflectance and higher thermal emittance than standard roofing projects. When first introduced, cool roofs were mostly white or other light shades. Now, manufacturers have developed cool roof products in dark colors, even black. They also can enhance roof durability. Energy-efficient materials, such as air barriers and vapor retarders, can also reduce costs. Air barriers are systems of materials designed and constructed to control airflow between a conditioned space and an unconditioned space. The air barrier system is the primary air en- closure boundary that separates indoor (conditioned) air and outdoor (unconditioned) air. Vapor retarders are made from one of a variety of materials that are designed to impede the moisture flow through the wall assembly and protect the building envelope from condensation damage. Vapor bar- riers can also act as an interior barrier, minimizing the flow of air into insulated cavities during cold weather. Both products are frequently used in construction in the United States because of the wide temperature ranges in different sections of the nation and the overwhelming reliance on air conditioning. Americans spend about $40 billion annually to air condition buildings, and is used by 87 percent of homes in the United States. Air conditioning costs account for 12 percent of total household energy costs, and 17 percent of electricity expenditures. In some regions, however, air conditioning makes up 27 percent of home energy expenditures. The EnergyStar. gov website can help identify products and provides a roof calculator to help estimate energy savings by converting to different materials. Additionally, building owners can improve energy efficiency by select- ing materials with higher R-values. That R-value is a material’s ability to resist the movement of heat through it. The higher the R-value, the more insulation the materials provide by limiting heat flow between the outside of the building. “We are seeing a trend toward increased R-value requirements,” said Glen Clapper, AIA, Director of Technical Services for the National Roofing Contractors Association. “That generally means thicker in-
achieve the energy efficiency govern- ment leaders crave. Architects today de- sign commercial and residential buildings with improved insu- lation compared to predecessors. There is more, however, to installing energy- efficient roofs than just improving insu- lation. Some types of insulation are not compatible with certain roof types. Managers also need to consider code is-
More roofing products are becoming energy efficient, including a thermally broken roof hatch manufactured by BILCO. The roof hatch (shown is the Type S model) has an R-value of 20.3 in the cover and curb, and meets code requirements and standards currently in line with today’s commercial roofing systems. Photo: The BILCO Company
sulation. “We’ve seen some new materials, such as vacuum-sealed insulated panels and fasteners with thermal breaks that are helping to
requirements and standards currently in line with today’s commercial roofing systems. The hatch reduces harmful condensation since it is thermally broken, which means interior and exterior metal surfaces are separated by non- conductive material to eliminate heat transfer. It is particularly benefi- cial in buildings in which there is a wide fluctuation in temperature. The hatch helps keep heat inside the building when a roof is covered by snow and on cold, dreary winter days but helps air-conditioned build- ings keep cool as the sun beats down on sweltering summer months. The BILCO thermally broken roof hatch is supplied with the standard features on the company’s standard roof hatches, including engineered lift assistance for easy, one-hand operation to a fully open or closed position. Other standard features include a fully gasketed cover for weathertightness, an automatic hold-open arm, and a slam latch with interior and exterior padlock hasps. The product is constructed of alu- minum for corrosion resistance and has a high solar reflective index. A World-Wide Commitment From a simplistic standpoint, the role of the roof has not changed. Its purpose is to keep the elements out of the building. While their primary function has not altered, technical details in roofing have grown signifi- cantly. Architects, builders, and roofing companies can offer options that would never have been dreamed of a century ago. The current trend is directed at improving energy efficiency and it’s not just in the United States. In India, 40 percent of the population is expected to live in cities by 2030. More than 60 percent of the roofs trap heat are made of concrete, metal, and asbestos, which can trap heat. “Further, buildings account for more than 30 percent of India’s electricity consumption and a significant share of annual carbon diox- ide emissions,” Arvind Kumar and Rajkiran V. Biloikar wrote in The Indian Express. “It is thus imperative that any effort towards energy conservation must include a focused approach to urban areas and more specifically on buildings and built-up areas.” The article says govern- ment mandates on improving energy efficiency are on the horizon. Other nations can expect to see similar government mandates. Change will not come swiftly. The clean energy movement is going to evolve over time, and there is a lot of work that has to be done. While still in the infant stages, some government leaders and international institutions are pushing for change to occur sooner rather than later. “In the building and construction sector, much attention was concen- trated on operational energy efficiency, the energy used in buildings and which can be influenced by building design, insulation, passive solutions for heating and cooling, appliances, and systems improvements as well as maintenance and usage,” said Martina Otto, head of the United Na- tions Environment Program Cities Unit. “But we also need to look at materials to reduce pressure on natural resources and embodied carbon (the amount of CO² or CO² emission to produce a material).”
improve energy efficiency.” Understanding R-Values
The United States is divided into seven climate zones for commercial and industrial buildings and homeowners to reach recommended insu- lation levels. Energy codes for commercial buildings are established by the International Energy Conservation Code. “There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach for commercial construction,”Clap- per said. “Requirements vary based upon climate zone and building type. R-value and solar reflectance are also factors that have to be determined.” The seven climate zones in the U.S. are defined along state and county lines. The zones establish a baseline for energy efficiency by setting performance standards for the building envelope. The codes account for mechanical systems, lighting systems, and service water heating systems in homes and commercial businesses. The zones are identified by their mix of weather. Zone 7, for instance, is classified as “very cold” and includes almost all of Alaska and por- tions of some other states. Zones 5 and 6 stretch across the nation, and includes states such as Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in the Northeast and Nevada and Nevada and Oregon in the West. Zone 2, which endures hot and humid weather, includes states such as Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. The climate zones, coupled with different building types, construction costs and material selection can make the roofing task on any build- ing exceedingly challenging. “Each building is unique in its energy demands,” said Andrew Imbus, Product Manager for Imbus Roofing, whose company has been part of the Cincinnati community since 1873. “Roofing is just one element of a building’s architecture. Roof- ers, architects and even legislatures governing building codes need to consider regional demands for energy efficiency, building typology demands, and architectural demands.” Maintaining Efficiency With roof construction, it is critical for architects to maintain the build- ing’s energy efficiency and construction integrity when adding roof openings. Besides keeping moisture, debris, and pests out of the build- ing, holes for accessibility to mechanical equipment and ventilation must also integrate with the building envelope to control energy costs. “The R-value of insulation hasn’t increased on a product-by-product basis, but recognizing that attachment methods for insulation, the inclusion of air barriers and vapor retarders into roof designs will im- prove energy efficiency,” Kirby said. One of the most popular sellers for the roofing industry in recent years has been a thermally broken roof hatch, manufactured by The BILCO Company. The product features a thermally broken frame and cover design to minimize both heat transfer and effects of condensation. The product features three inches of polyisocyanurate insulation with an R-value of 20.3 in both the cover and curb. The R-value meets code
THOMAS RENNER writes on building, construction, manufacturing, and other trade industry topics for publications based in the United States and Canada.
Before construction projects can begin, one of the first steps that is necessary is to set up on-site facilities for the crew to use. Smaller construction projects may only need facilities for storing tools and materials. For larger projects, facility needs may include fabrica- tion shops, warehouses, on-site offices, and more. Many governing agencies even require on-site restrooms or sanitation facilities regard- less of project size. Whatever types of facilities are necessary, the challenge is that con- struction crews cannot begin work on the actual project at hand until these structures are set up. On-Site Structure Options for Construction Construction project managers are faced with a dilemma when decid- ing what kinds of structures to use for these facilities. Typical construction methods such as wood, metal, or brick and mortar are too time-consuming and cost-prohibitive, adding to timelines and budgets, and can’t be relocated easily after the project is complete. Off- the-shelf tents and pop-up canopies — while cheaper, quicker to set up, and easy to relocate — are generally too flimsy to withstand harsh weather conditions or prolonged use, jeopardizing whatever you’re storing in them and increasing expenses if they must be replaced. Fabric structures provide an ideal alternative that combines the dura- bility of typical construction with the efficiency and transportability of off-the-shelf options. However, construction project managers should keep in mind that not all fabric structures are created equal. Many fabric structures claim to meet specific wind and snow loads and other challenges, but only engineered fabric structures can be relied on to follow through on their claims. Quality, of course, costs money. Designing a fabric structure to meet the unique challenges of your construction project and endure decades of use requires the highest-quality materials, proven engineering, and field and laboratory testing — and will naturally cost more than a non- engineered fabric structure. So, where do the savings come in? How Engineered Fabric Structures Reduce Construction Costs While specific cost savings come down to the manufacturer of your engineered fabric structure, engineered fabric structures typically save you money by reducing costs related to transportation, installa- tion, and maintenance. How Fabric Structures Can Save Your Construction Project Money By Rory Bagley
For example, engineered fabric structures fromAlaska Structures® reduce construction project budgets with the following cost-saving benefits: • Lighter weight and smaller cube size, enabling more efficient and cost- effective shipping • Minimal foundation requirements so you can install the structures on virtu- ally any level surface • Less preconstruction and site preparation required • Minimal equipment or tool requirements • Ability to be installed by unskilled labor — no need for expensive supervi- sors, setup crews, or experienced builders • Significantly reduced construction schedule • Plug-and-play lighting, electrical, and HVAC systems that you can install yourself • Virtually no maintenance required once the structures are set up • Energy-efficient structure design and built-in energy-saving systems, such as insulation packages and skylights What’s more, these engineered structures can be left in place for as long as the construction project lasts and then easily stored or relocated to your next project. If your construction project needs grow or change, the structures can be expanded or reconfigured without purchasing a new solution altogether. Fabric Structure Options From Alaska Structures® Alaska Structures® offers fabric structures for all kinds of construction projects, with hundreds of designs, sizes, and configurations to meet every need. Choose from storage structures for tools, materials, equipment, and ve- hicles, fabrication shops, workshops, warehouses, and mobile offices, or complete off-site camp systems for remote construction projects. Alaska Structures’ building experts work closely with construction project managers to custom-design a structure that meets local building codes and wind and snow loads. Contact the Alaska Structures team today to request a quote or learn more about how their fabric structures can save your construction project money.
RORY BAGLEY is an experienced structural architect who now consults with companies and writes about various engineering topics.
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