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Technical Articles
Professional Liability Claims Against Design Professionals

A Certificate of Merit May Be a Prerequisite
By Arthur F. O’Leary, FAIA, MRIAI
In recent years, many states, but not all, have enacted legislation that requires attorneys who file professional negligence actions against architects and engineers to take specified steps to determine, understand, and verify the exact nature of the architect's or engineer's supposedly negligent activities.
Before proceeding with the legal action, the attorney must execute a Certificate of Merit, which is a statement that explains the basis for the belief that the design professional has acted in a negligent fashion. This requires that the attorney confer with third-party licensed professionals who believe that there is a sufficient basis in contract or in law for commencement of the action. The qualified professionals consulted must be from the same discipline as those being sued. The person consulted should not be a party to the litigation.
Technical Articles Archives | Read more

Building Products Revue
Healthier Walls through Rainscreen & Ventilation
The desire to construct more energy-efficient buildings with tighter exterior envelopes has led to problems of a different sort: an increase potential for mold, mildew and rot. Although, a tighter assembly does create more thermal efficiency, it can also trap water, which frequently leads to the deterioration of the building materials. 
“A potential mold problem will always exist when material configurations allow more water to penetrate exterior walls than can dissipate or evaporate (more going in than coming out), resulting in an environment conducive to mold growth” says Dan Johnson, Technical Sales Manager at Stuc-O-Flex International, Redmond, Washington.
Revue Archive | Read more

DCD Insights
Reduce Costs and Build Greener with Innovative Building Systems & Products
By Pam Hunter
Architects, contractors and other building professionals increasingly are using some innovative products that offer benefits that range from increased energy efficiency to lower costs. Many of the products—even though some have been on the market for years—have become more prominent as a result of a heightened interest in sustainability and green building techniques. 
Concrete Form Masonry Units (CFMUs), developed by Minneapolis-based Pentstar Corporation in the late 1990s, offer the benefits of multi-layer masonry walls in one unit. While typical multi-layer masonry walls consist of structural block wall, a vapor barrier, insulation and a veneer member, CFMUs consolidate all of these elements into one compact unit that is installed in one application. “It is a new building product that is not just a traditional block—it’s a complete building system in one unit,” says John Spakousky, president and founder of Pentstar® Corporation and the inventor of the CFMU. Revue Archive | Read more

Construction Cost Trends for 2007
Construction prices seem to be leveling off with the housing boom behind us. Housing starts have declined significantly since last year and we will not see the same robust growth in the housing market as in the last few years. There continues to be moderate growth in non-residential sectors. New government bonds assure infrastructure rebuilding, state and federal construction spending and could compensate for the drop in housing.
DCD Insights Archive | Read more

The DCD Sq. Ft. Cost Guide For Medical Buildings
For 50 years Design Cost Data magazine has been presenting actual projects with their real cost to build for preliminary estimating, cost modeling and more. The following guide, the DCD Sq. Ft. Cost Guide for Medical Buildings, has been assembled from projects in our database, the National Historical Building Cost Database, to provide the industry with a benchmark for future building costs.
Design Cost Data is based on the philosophy that actual buildings, when coupled with up-to-date cost indices, are the most reliable basis for future building costs. The buildings appearing in the DCD Sq. Ft. Cost Guide for Medical Buildings reflect square foot costs that have been escalated to April 2007 and targeted to a historical location factor of 1 (see DCD Regional Modifiers and Cost Escalators on page 45 of this issue).
DCD Insights Archive | Read more

Case Studies     

File: Civic/Government

• Blanca–Fort Garland Community Center Phase 1 Additions & Alterations
   Blanca, Colorado 
 Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Customer Service Field Services Bldg. #3
   Van Nuys, California

File: Commercial

 The Crack Pot Restaurant
   Bel Air, Maryland

File: Educational

 Mountain Range High School
   Westminster, Colorado
• Science and Technology Hall, Slippery Rock University
   Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
• Raven Stream Elementary School
   New Prague, Minnesota

File: Medical

• Oktibbeha County Hospital, Phase IV South Tower
   Starkville, Mississippi
• WakeMed Heart Center Expansion
   Raleigh, North Carolina

File: Office

• 1200 Sheldon Office Building
   Plymouth Township, Michigan

File: Residential

• Lincoln University, New Student Residence
   Lincoln University, Pennsylvania 
• Liberty Village
   Lincoln, Nebraska

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