The Importance of Foam Insulation in Commercial Construction

It used to be that building “insulating” evoked images of rolls of fiberglass batting material in either pink or white / yellowish color. Since the late 1930s, long strips of fiberglass batting have been cut to fit between walls studs and sandwiched between the exterior wall and the sheetrock interior. Fiberglass provided far superior (and…

It used to be that building “insulating” evoked images of rolls of fiberglass batting material in either pink or white / yellowish color. Since the late 1930s, long strips of fiberglass batting have been cut to fit between walls studs and sandwiched between the exterior wall and the sheetrock interior.

Fiberglass provided far superior (and safer) building insulation than had been used in construction for centuries. But it was, and is not without a significant health risk caused from inhaling the small fiberglass particles that can break free from the batting during handling. Protective mask, gloves, goggles, and clothing were standard safety equipment when installing fiberglass insulation.

And since its insulating effectiveness, fiberglass does not provide a truly good vapor and air barrier if not properly installed.

Many of today's commercial construction projects are being insulated with foam products that are providing greater insulation and other intrusion resistance than fiberglass batting. Let's explore some of the history and uses of foam insulation.

The short story

Spray foam insulation is polyurethane product that was developed in 1937 by the German industrial chemist, Otto Bayer. It was brought to the United States where it was used in military and aviation projects in the mid-1940s.

After the war, the auto industry began using polyurethane polymers in car bodies and the housing industry began using it on a limited basis for insulating homes. By the 1970s, technology had improved the application and affordability of spray insulation for use in the construction industry.

Today's spray foam insulation products provide greater energy efficiency and are achieving increasingly improved “green ratings.” This insulation is utilized in many housing and commercial construction projects around the world.

R-value ratings, Open Cell and Closed Cell foam insulation

Insulation has an R-value rating, “a measure of resistance to heat flow through a given thickness.” Generally, the higher the R-value, the greater the heat flow resistance will be.Spray foam insulation has higher R-value ratings than does fiberglass insulation.

Modern spray insulation used in construction is usually one of two types: “Open Cell” or “Closed Cell” foam.

  • Open Cell foam is comprised of tiny foam cells that are not fully closed. Air fills the “open” space inside the material. Open Cell foam has an R-value of 3.4 to 4.5 per inch.

Open Cell insulation is a very effective sound barrier (nearly twice the sound resistance as Closed Cell foam).

  • Closed Cell foam is comprised of fully closed cells densely packed together and filled with gas, enabling the foam to rise and expand. Closed Cell foam has an R-value of 5.4 to 7.2 per inch.

Closed Cell provides superior insulation and because of its greater cellular density it provides structural reinforcement to insulated surfaces.

Benefits of spray insulation

This insulation offers a number of unique benefits when used in commercial and residential construction:

  • This insulation has no food value meaning that the foam is of no food interest to destructive insects and rodents.
  • Bacteria and fungal growth can not develop on spray foam insulation because it is an inert substance.
  • Applied in liquid form, spray foam insulation expands and conforms to all open spaces creating a “continued thermal envelope” that effectively seals off leaks and gaps and results insects and vermin from entering.
  • Spray foam insulation adheres to any clean and dry surface, will not shrink, settle, or disintegrate.

Value in commercial construction

Spray foam insulation is more expensive to install than traditional fiberglass insulation. However, spray foam offers considerable sound and weather insulation benefits to nearly any imaginable construction application.

Its initial expense will be offset by its durability (80+ years), its ability to fill even the smallest areas that fiberglass can not even reach, and provide higher energy efficiency thus reducing energy expenses.

With the increasing focus on energy efficiency, it is highly likely that spray foam insulation will continue to gain in use in both the housing and commercial construction industries.

How Weather Plays a Part in Commercial Construction

The end of 2013 and the start of 2014 marked a period of exceptionally bad weather across the United States. New housing construction dropped to the lowest monthly total ever recorded, even when the Great Recession was at its lowest point. And as 2014 ends, early-season Arctic air and snow blasts have set records across…

The end of 2013 and the start of 2014 marked a period of exceptionally bad weather across the United States. New housing construction dropped to the lowest monthly total ever recorded, even when the Great Recession was at its lowest point. And as 2014 ends, early-season Arctic air and snow blasts have set records across the country from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast.

There is little about weather that does not affect the commercial construction industry. The weather is hot and dry or it is wet; winds blow gently or at gale force level; snow, hail, or sleet falls; storm fronts can bring thunder and lightning. Each weather condition brings potential challenges to any construction project.

Weather affects performance

Weather extremes can slow down or bring construction activity to a halt. Extremes of wind, cold, heat, or precipitation can adversely affect the construction site. But weather also affects the equipment, materials, AND the personnel. Let's look at how the weather effects construction:

  • Work stoppage – this seems fairly obvious. It's too hot / cold / wet / windy to safely continue working. It may be unsafe to even travel to the work site.
  • Product performance -weather also affects the performance of many construction materials:

    • Moisture – can develop into mold in porous materials like wood, insulation, fiber products, and masonry and can compromise the integrity of the materials.
    • Dry- lack of moisture can be as problematic as too much moisture. During extremely dry weather conditions, the normal moisture content in concrete and masonry can evaporate too quickly, reducing concrete's compressive strength. The bond strength between bricks and mortar can be reduced, causing masonry leaks.
    • Heat-application and performance of paint is affected by heat and UV exposure. Paint can fail to cure properly, resulting in delamination, wrinkles, blisters, cracking, peeling, fading, and embrittlement.
    • Cold – additional equipment is often required to keep construction materials at proper temperatures. Forced air heaters and ground thaw equipment may be utilized to ensure materials remaining with required temperature ranges during installation. Even sand, aggregate, and water must be heated to prepare concrete properly.
    • Freeze-thaw cycles + UV exposure – extremes of weather changes reduce the resiliency of seals and sealants; sealants lose their elasticity, extremely fail, and must be replaced.
  • Equipment performance – dry, wet, and cold weather conditions affect the performance of equipment. Dust is a common problem during windy, dry weather and it can work its way into the working parts of equipment. Many types of equipment must be winterized during cold weather to ensure their safe, continued function.
  • Worker safety – Each season brings seasonally unique safety risks to commercial construction workers.

Extremely cold weather can cause frostbite, hypothermia, and dehydration. Sunburn, hyperthermia, heat prostration or heat stroke, and dehydration are common risks in extremely hot weather. These are insidious and potentially life-threatening conditions and the worker can be totally unaware that one (or more) of the conditions is developing.

Thunder, lightning, and high winds create dangerous working conditions and work must stop while the conditions play out. Workers are at highly increased risk of electrocution, falling, or being stuck by lightning or flying debris during these extreme weather conditions.

Ignoring weather risks costs money

While weather-related work delays are potentially costly to the project budget, so are the loss of personnel, equipment, and materials. Some delays and loss can be reduced by anticipating weather-related risks and working with the conditions (and the weather) as much as possible.

There will be some challenging weather days, but there also will be many good-weather commercial construction days.

How the Recession Has Affected the Commercial Construction Industry

For some time, I have asked myself (and others), “What was so great about The Great Recession?” This economic crisis has been deemed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the worst world-wide recession since World War II. Its impact has been felt in almost every industry imaginable, and particularly in the construction industry. It…

For some time, I have asked myself (and others), “What was so great about The Great Recession?” This economic crisis has been deemed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the worst world-wide recession since World War II. Its impact has been felt in almost every industry imaginable, and particularly in the construction industry. It ran its course for 18 interminably long months, between 2007 and 2009; the worst period occurred at mid-year, 2009.

How did it affect the commercial construction industry and what has / will be occurring almost 5 years after the official “end” of the Great Recession?

What happened?

The construction industry is accredited to cyclical changes but the Great Recession was hardly a typical downturn or cyclical change. No sector of the construction industry was spared from the harsh impact of the Great Recession; not residential, commercial, industrial, or heavy and civil engineering.

One aspect of the recession that is not often stated is that the cyclical boom of the construction industry was followed directly by the recession, leaving a large glut of residential and commercial real estate on the market.

As the recession deepened, homeowners were defaulting on their homes, others were not buying homes as they had planned, and investors were being extremely cautious in financing new construction projects.

2012 – 2013 was preceded to be a period of growth and non-residential construction activity was expected to continue its recovery. Once, again, there were recovery delays, fueled in part by government and financial institutions:

  • A federal budget sequester resulting in scaled back government spending.
  • A federal government shutdown.
  • Credit restrictions placed on construction projects, home loans, loans in general.
  • Increasing long-term interest rates based on expectation of the government reducing its stimulus program.

Those factors, and the extremely slow recovery of the world economy, certainly had a direct and negative impact on the construction industry.

Moving into 2015

So what is the state of commercial construction in 2014 and beyond? Recovery is happening, but not at an increased pace. Factors that (according to industry observers) affected growth in 2014:

  • Weather-related delays on projects at the start of the year.
  • Ongoing sluggishness in the institutional market and lowered construction spending projections.
  • Financial institutions continued their restrictive lending practices.

Is there any good news? Yes! Let's look at some of the more favorable changes in 2014 and some positive indicators going into 2015:

  • Some easing of lending restrictions; loans rose 4 percent in the second quarter of 2014, most of it related to the commercial real estate industry.
  • Commercial construction projects are rapidly increasing in several regions of the US, particularly in Texas (Houston) and the southern region in general, and New York (Rochester and New York City), Massachusetts (Boston), and Louisiana (New Orleans).
  • Consumers are “cautiously optimistic” and spending is up, as is the increase in jobs.

The commercial construction industry was, and continues to be deeply affected by the Great Recession. But industry observers, like consumers, are cautiously optimistic (with more emphasis on cautious than optimistic) that the industry is slowly and steadily moving forward.

The Basics of Drawing Blueprints for Commercial Construction Projects

There are aspects of commercial building projects that everyone can take notice of. There are the various phases of construction, the finished building, the landscaping on the outside. But do you realize that no construction process even begins without first drawing up blueprints? That is an absolute fact! This article will discuss various facets of…

There are aspects of commercial building projects that everyone can take notice of. There are the various phases of construction, the finished building, the landscaping on the outside. But do you realize that no construction process even begins without first drawing up blueprints? That is an absolute fact! This article will discuss various facets of reading and drawing up blueprints.

In order to correctly draw up blueprints a person must first know how to read them. If you do not have much expertise in either science or mathematics, fear not! You can still learn how to read blueprints. This industry seems to have a language of its own with various words, lines and strange-looking symbols. You will learn how to read someone else's sketches with all of these “peculiarities.” You will also learn how to properly make rough sketches of your own based upon what you will want your finished project to end up looking like. A wise person said this. Reading blueprints is “a little like eating elephants. Over time, and with a lot of patience, this CAN be accomplished.

There is one basic; yet crucial, step to reading blueprints to always keep in mind. That is: “plan, elevation and section.” The definition of a plan is: “a view looking downwards on the object, usually the horizontal plane cut at 30” above the floor. “Elevation is a sideways view of an object, and typically from one direction or another. cut-through look at an object, frequently an imaginary view allowing a person to see how it will be built. .

The most mundane part of reading blueprints is reading the specs and overall conditions for the particular project. However, skipping this process is a huge mistake with serious ramifications. The specs include things like miles that must be achieved by certain dates in the construction phases, or permitted times of the week or day construction can be done. It can even be as simple as clean up requirements. People do not design specs just for their own health! There are specific reasons for them at all times! Again, not paying attention to these details can be extremely costly for everyone involved in the construction process. Do yourself a favor in your job as a blueprint reader – READ THE SPECS!

If you want to be in the profession of drawing up blueprints, a lot of knowledge can be gained from learning how to read them. However, the best advice we can give you is to GO TO SCHOOL FOR THIS! Nothing substitutes for a great education in this industry. There are plenty of higher education facilities that offer degrees in these subjects. Let us not forget apprenticing or entry-level jobs where you can gain actual experience. If you take the time to properly learn how to do this job; you will be rewarded with an important career for the duration of your life.

New Construction Methods – Innovations in Commercial Construction

Did you know about the existence of new and innovative commercial construction designs, services and products? It is absolutely true that there are such things. Some companies are committed to utilizing dynamic science to lead to the discovery of and development of new and innovative products. Additionally these companies have come up with new products…

Did you know about the existence of new and innovative commercial construction designs, services and products? It is absolutely true that there are such things. Some companies are committed to utilizing dynamic science to lead to the discovery of and development of new and innovative products. Additionally these companies have come up with new products and integrated systems that have the industry as a whole continuously reinventing itself. We will examine some of these more closely in this article.

For those people who thought innovative construction methods were only possible for residential structures, think again! The commercial construction industry is right behind them. Some participating companies are helping to enhance the performance of building methods and make commercial buildings safer and more durable; in addition to reducing their operating costs. All of these things factor into some designs that are especially attractive to people who are looking at them.

Not only do innovative commercial construction methods make a building safer and more attractive; they also help contractors abide by various building code challenges, which tend to differ based on where in the world they are located. A vital part of a contractor's job is to balance these different needs and various building codes, all at the time of construction. This is an extremely daunting task, but one most companies can master.

One particular kind of construction is known as “tilt-up construction.” This is where “a tilt-up building's walls are created horizontally in large slabs of concrete called panels. when it is tilted into place. ” This type of construction gives a commercial project the illusion of having been completed overnight. In reality there is often much work left to be done on the INSIDE to make it really ready to open for business. Neverheless; with this kind of construction, the overall time it takes to finish a project is relatively quick.

Another facet of the commercial construction industry to be greatly enhanced by new innovation techniques is commercial roofing. After all, no building is complete without a roof, right? There are specific companies out there who strictly focus on building roofs. The best ones have completed 5000+ roofs over their years in business and have received literally over one hundred positive customer reviews. Not only will these build your roof in the first place, they provide repair services for catastrophic natural disasters such as severe storms. They typically also offer free inspection services in order to determine if any damage has been done following a storm; Egypt, at the completion of the roof when a building is finished.

Resource information is available; relating to any portion of this article, on the Internet.

Commercial Construction – How to Breakdown the Costs

The first thing to do when breaking down the costs of commercial construction is to find out everything you can about this specific project and its geographical location. You must know exactly what kind of a building it will be and what types of businesses will occupy it. Next you must know everything you can…

The first thing to do when breaking down the costs of commercial construction is to find out everything you can about this specific project and its geographical location. You must know exactly what kind of a building it will be and what types of businesses will occupy it. Next you must know everything you can possibly about the location it will be in. What kind of architecture is prevalent there? What is the weather like? The answers to this question are important because you must ensure your project will safely accommodate any type of people that will frequent it. You should also be familiar with any local ordinances that may dictate what kind of structure it can be. Once you have the answers to these questions you can estimate the different costs that will be involved in constructing it. What are those individual costs? We will now take a look at them.

The key factor here is the cost per square foot. In determining this it is a good idea to have an understanding of the community this project will be in. That is because; in order to figure out YOUR budgeted costs per square foot, you should know how much will be charged to each tenant once the project is complete. In other words, you need to know how much of a profit you will get back in return upon its completion. There are research sources you can access on the Internet that will give you an estimate of the square footage involved in constructing various types of projects, as well as by the different regions of the world. The data provided by these websites is quite extensive and will be of much assistance to you.

The next factor we will examine is the cost of the construction materials for your pending project. This is another thing that will vary greatly; depending on who you purchase your supplies from and once again, where they are physically located. The type of materials you intend to use for your building will also help determine your costs. The costs of a building made from concrete will differ from those of one built from steel. If you have a lot of glass or marble or other more elaborate materials on the outside, the costs of those will enter into your bottom-line. What about the surrounding grounds of this building? Will it contain more grass and trees or bushes? Will it feature rocks and stones of different sizes and types? Will you have any water features like a fountain, small lake or pond or anything like that? All of these things you intend to include in the construction of your commercial project will certainly enter into your costs.

Another thing that will contribute to your costs is whether or not there are structures already located where you wish to build. If there are, there most likely will be the cost of dismantling the other structures. After all, that sort of an activity will not be done for free. You may need to pay for that up front, include those costs when it comes time to earn your money back once construction is complete. There may also be permit costs and other legal fees associated with eliminating other buildings. You must consider these as well.

The 3 P’s to Having a Safe Construction Site

Maintaining a safe construction site requires constant diligence, from the planning stages to the final cleanup. Many construction companies develop a culture of safety in which managers and workers cooperate to create the safest workplace possible. This is possible when there is adequate communication and respect onsite. To create a culture of safety on active…

Maintaining a safe construction site requires constant diligence, from the planning stages to the final cleanup. Many construction companies develop a culture of safety in which managers and workers cooperate to create the safest workplace possible. This is possible when there is adequate communication and respect onsite. To create a culture of safety on active construction sites, three steps are critical – present, prepare and protect.

Present

Presenting the case for a safety culture in your construction company means to make sure that each employee is aware of not only local, state and federal safety regulations, but any additional measures which your company takes as well. This should take place not only in initial training sessions, but periodically throughout the year. Should there be a site or job which has specific safety hazards unique, training should present prior to the groundbreaking for all employees who will be working on that site.

Prepare

Preparation goes beyond simply discussing the safety plan and having emergency plans in place. Sites should have back-up equipment if possible, be cleared of debris regularly, have all safety equipment and gear available for each employee as well as an extra set or two for any visitors, etc. Additionally, the site should have safety plans in effect to protect the area surrounding the site – streets or sidewalls if overhead work is necessary, fencing, signage, etc. Some sites have designated safety zone inspections or an employee who is designated as the safety supervisor for a particular zone. This gives added accountability and assistance for the members of your team and helps them to create a safer workplace.

Protect

Protecting your workers, the public and environment is a minute to minute occurrence and need on a safety culture minded construction site. Employees need to watch out for themselves, their co-workers, the general public, their equipment and the environment while working. Sometimes haste and being behind schedule can cause a critical safety step to be skipped or missed. Other risks to construction site safety include complacency – one works with the same equipment or doing the same task so much that their familiarity might cause them to be lees vigilant in regards to safety practices.

Using common sense and creating a culture of safety for your construction site can save both time and money for construction companies facing an uncertain future. The financial outlay of providing a safe environment in which your employees can function is minimal in comparison to time and money lost from a serious accident.

5 Reasons to Build a Green Commercial Building

Being Earth-friendly has become more than just a fad, it's an actual movement. More and more people are realizing how important it is to be kinder to the planet. This movement has even gone so far as to include commercial and office buildings. Green construction utilizes modern architect designs as well as green and /…

Being Earth-friendly has become more than just a fad, it's an actual movement. More and more people are realizing how important it is to be kinder to the planet. This movement has even gone so far as to include commercial and office buildings. Green construction utilizes modern architect designs as well as green and / or recycled materials. Your return on investment is almost 10 points higher than a standard building, and who would not want that? Let's look at some of the reasons it's good to go green.

1. Helping the local economy by creating jobs. If you decide to go green, you certainly will not be alone. An increasing number of businesses are asking for green buildings and that means there are more architects and construction firms ready to serve. It also means giving people great jobs with a technical skill set – something that in some areas is lacking still, particularly those areas that have not yet come out of the recession.

2. Better energy efficiency. Your energy efficiency will certainly be improved by working towards LEED certification over what's found in an older building. When you build green, you can use better heating and air conditioning systems thanks to newer models that are much more energy efficient (and more cost-effective) than older versions.

Modern insulation and windows can help keep your employees comfortable without the cold air blasting from an air conditioner. That keeps air quality better, too. Studies have shown a significant reduction in allergies and lost work time in green buildings. Other natural resources are maintained better as well, like water.

3. Not just for new buildings either. You might want to consider renovating a current building. Sometimes, a renovation can improve your building's workflow efficiency, as much as 16%. A building laid out in the 1960s that featured wide desks and space for typewriters no longer works in our laptop-laden environment. When you renew and incorporate cool recycled materials, you not only help keep items out of the landfill but you also give your office a unique look. It's a less expensive option than building new.

4. Great for drawing in customers. Going green can help take your office building into the 21st century and save you money at the same time. This is especially true if you plan to keep the building for a while. You can also use your remodeling as an advertising tool. People who are interested in helping the Earth will be intrigued by your efforts. Advertising a green building regardless of whether it is new construction or a remodel is a positive thing.

5. Green is not just for the building construction. Did you know there are also tax benefits for going green? You can get discounts for a variety of green building items. Some federal incentives are available for things like solar panels and other energy options. Because a green building costs you less to operate, you can give your shareholders a higher dividend each quarter, thanks to improved profits.

As you can see, there are a lot of good reasons to make your commercial building green. Remember, it is an investment, but in many cases, it's one well worth making.

Four Reasons It Pays to Maintain a Clean Construction Site

When planning any construction project, it is important to plan the set up, completion of the project and cleanup of the site. When looking at cleaning up a construction zone it is important to address the final cleanup as well as the ongoing maintenance and cleanup needs that will be faced daily. There are several…

When planning any construction project, it is important to plan the set up, completion of the project and cleanup of the site. When looking at cleaning up a construction zone it is important to address the final cleanup as well as the ongoing maintenance and cleanup needs that will be faced daily. There are several benefits of ongoing and effective construction site cleanup which include: added safety onsite, greater productivity, a better reputation in your community and better cost savings per project.

Safety

An active construction yard is full of various dangers inherent to the nature of the work with scaffolds, ladders, electricity and heavy equipment. These factors combined with debris onsite which is not properly put away or disposed of makes an already dangerous location more so. Materials not put away or disposed of collecting around the feet of workers creates an added risk for tripping and when carrying materials from place to place, the view of the ground can be undertaken, making the importance of this practice critical.

Productivity

Just as mother always said, “A place for everything and everything in its place,” such is the guideline on an active construction site. Best case scenario is that workers spend time looking for materials which were not put in their proper place, wasting man hours. Worst case scenario in this situation is that the area becomes unsafe or causes an accident, spill, or casualty to a passerby.

Reputation

Word of mouth is critical in any business and construction is no exception. Cleanup of a site – both during the active phase as well as at completion is one area in which the general public can see a measurable gauge by which to admire or disparage a construction company. With proper construction site cleanup practices, the public gains a favorable opinion of your company and can recommend your services to others.

Cost savings

When employees are safe and productive, the time needed to complete a project is decreed. Having a constant awareness of keeping your construction site cleaned up can lead to more profits for your company.

No matter which of the above are the most important to you, or is the most needed for your company, there are reasons to continuously keep your active construction sites cleaned up and free from debris and unwanted materials. This keeps your construction zone running more smoothly and effectively while protecting your workers, the neighbors to the site and the environment as a whole.

Flipping Commercial Real Estate

Home-themed TV shows make it sound easy: buy a house, update it, quickly resell it, and bank the profit. But look behind the scenes of flipping commercial real estate and you may discover that this simple process requires (some) money, careful budgeting, strategic planning, and a certain amount of luck and skill. Flipping basics Flipping…

Home-themed TV shows make it sound easy: buy a house, update it, quickly resell it, and bank the profit. But look behind the scenes of flipping commercial real estate and you may discover that this simple process requires (some) money, careful budgeting, strategic planning, and a certain amount of luck and skill.

Flipping basics

Flipping commercial real estate means investing in a residential or commercial property, updating that property (somewhat), and selling it. You should aim to make a net profit of 10% – that is, selling it for a price 10% to 25% higher than the original purchase price, including all related expenses. Flip + Sell + Reinvest.

Where and how to start

The process of flipping a house can seem pretty basic but there are important steps to take at each point of that process:

  • Education: Education is your first property flipping step. Use the Internet, library, community college and seminars to learn all you can about property flipping and buying properties with little-to-no money down.
  • Target property: Determine what type of first property you want to flip. Are you interested in homes that are new construction, fixer-uppers, or commercial properties? Focus your studies to that property choice.
  • Credit: Check your credit score through the three free services. You need to know where you stand credit-wise before you begin applying for mortgage loans.
  • Not having a budget may be your first step towards failure. Your property choice will influence the amount of loan you may qualify for. How much of a cash down payment will you make?

How much will it take to get the house up to code, habitable, and sufficiently presentable? Budget for repairs and materials, contractor services, permits and inspections. One blogger suggests planning to add 20% to your estimate for the final cost of a fixer-upper.

Your budget should also include the property price and the closing costs, any HOA fees, realtor and legal fees, inspection fees, mortgage, insurance, taxes, etc.

What to fix?

A new construction flip should require very little in repairs or updates. Fixer-uppers are different. You are not selling the fixer-upper “as is”; you are planning to rehabilitate it for better value.

  • Structural: Budget for issues such as plumbing, electrical updates, and structural restoration.
  • Best updates: Buyers want decent bathrooms and kitchens free of plumbing and mold problems. Do not kit your fixer-upper with a chef's kitchen and master suite spa. Do the important basics and make both areas look fresh and clean – and safe!
  • Curb appeal: The exterior may require some refreshing to both the structure and the landscape. Again, do the important safety and refresh basics.

Continue your education

Lear with each step and each property flip. With a solid knowledge base and flip plan, you may find yourself becoming an experienced and skilled commercial real estate flipper sooner than you think. Remember – your success is in flipping that first property for a profit, reinvesting, and repeating the process. Best wishes for your success.

All Basics You Need to Know About Ready Mix Screed

What is Floor Screed? In the language of a concrete specialist, a floor screed is a material made out of cement and sharp sand in a 1: 3 or 1: 4.5 ratio. It is laid onto either a precast concrete floor unit or onto a solid in-situ concrete floor slab. Let's understand the same in…

What is Floor Screed?

In the language of a concrete specialist, a floor screed is a material made out of cement and sharp sand in a 1: 3 or 1: 4.5 ratio. It is laid onto either a precast concrete floor unit or onto a solid in-situ concrete floor slab.

Let's understand the same in a layman language. Sometimes you find that concrete floors seem uneven or you need to hid some cables or wires. You can apply a thick layer of screed in such scenario. Floor screed is a widely used technique in the construction industry.

In this technique, a concrete floor is applied on the ground to provide it with level, durable and sturdy surface. It's not just level the surface and deliveries strength, but it also brings in the perfect finish to the floor.

Concrete Vs Screed – Is it One and Same?

Both floor screed and ready mixed concrete are made out of same ingredients including cement, aggregates and water. But the size of aggregates, the consistency level of the mix and the cement grade are the ones that differentiate both concrete products and prepare them for a whole diverse range of industrial applications.

Ready Mix Screed – The Next Generation of Floor Screed

When failure in screed has turned up into a big challenge for construction industry these days, contractors and engineers have become even more watchful for the quality of screed mix. And this is when ready mix floor screed comes on the scene.

Ready mix screed, as the name suggests, prepared in the factory or plant and then delivered to the construction site. The specialist concrete mix vehicles used by ready mix concrete manufacturing companies enable them to access any construction site, where getting access is quite difficult.

The companies use the best quality, environment-friendly and durable ready mix concrete to design floor screed, making it a cost-effective alternative for both new construction as well as renovation work. Ready mix screed is ideal for industrial floors due to its light weight and improved durability.

Key Benefits of Ready Mix Screed

While there are a plenty of advantages of choosing a ready mix screed over on-site mix screed, here are some of the most important of all.

  • Best Quality Control: The screed mix produced at batch plants are assured to be in line with the most stringent of the EU quality standards and it passes through an array of quality checks before it is delivered to the construction site. So, there is no room of human errors, and consistently top-quality screed is guaranteed every time you place an order.
  • Convenience and Comfort: Now, as you know ready mix screed is mixed in a factory using standard quality guidelines and checks, it is certainly a more convenient option than preparing the screed mix on site.
  • No Need of Storage Space: Screed is strongly recommended for construction sites where there is not enough space for storing materials, or probably for those who do not want to find or invest in storage space.

Some Most Common Application of Ready Mix Screed Include,

  • House floors
  • Conservatory floors
  • Shed / garden-room floors or bases
  • Steps
  • Garage floors
  • Workshop floors or warehouse floors
  • Industrial floors

On a final note, it is the quality of screed mix that determines the success of your project. So make sure you choose the right company for your floor screed needs!

MEP Drafting: The Various Drawings That Are Generated in the Process

Drafting Services are executed for the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing systems of the going to be constructed buildings, so that the MEP engineers can be delivered with the most accurate and efficient drawings. MEP Drafting is carried out with the support of electrical, mechanical and plumbing engineers along with the CAD drafters. Drafting is a…

Drafting Services are executed for the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing systems of the going to be constructed buildings, so that the MEP engineers can be delivered with the most accurate and efficient drawings. MEP Drafting is carried out with the support of electrical, mechanical and plumbing engineers along with the CAD drafters. Drafting is a very technical process, so to execute these services all the MEP engineers first involve in the design of their respective systems and then provide specification to the drafters based on what they have designed.

The Mechanical Engineers are accountable for the design development of the HVAC systems of the building, whereas the Electrical Engineers are responsible for the design of the power distribution systems and fire alarm systems.

The plumbing or the piping systems of the building are looked after by the plumbing engineers. They design the entire piping system of the building based on the instructions of the architects. In fact, all the MEP engineers design their respective systems based on the instructions of the architects. This is because the architect is accountable for the entire appearance of the building and the rest of the building system, be it the structural framework or the MEP systems that they all developed or designed to support it.

The different types of MEP drawings that are generated in the drafting process are explained below.

Mechanical Drawings : In mechanical drawings, the layout of the HVAC systems is drawn or drafted. In other words mechanical drawings consist of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems of the building. The HVAC system drawings can be categorized in multiple manners depending upon the information shown in them. The mechanical drawings can be assisted with the schematic diagrams so that the information can be understood in a better way.

Installation drawings : Installation drawings are generally the detailed drawings which are generated from the coordinated models. So the accuracy of theses drawings can not be doubted. They are referred by the engineers during the installation of the HVAC systems.

Electrical drawings : The drawings of the electrical systems include the electrical wiring drawings, circuit diagrams, schematic diagrams, electrical floor plans and the layout drawings for fire alarm systems. The electrical wiring drawings are developed to describe the entire wiring system of the building meant for the transmission of the electricity. The electrical circuit is shown with the help of the circuit diagram where the electrical floor plan describes in detail the electrical plan of the entire floor. It gives the information related to the placements of switches, lighting, fixtures, etc.

Plumbing drawings : The plumbing drawings consist of the layout drawings of the piping system of the structure. These drawings assist in getting a clear understanding of the piping system of the different floors of the building.

Different Software Used in the Execution of Pre-Construction Engineering Services

In modern times the actual construction process completely depends upon the pre-construction Engineering Services. And the fact remains that none of these services can be executed without the use of the latest software's that have all the necessary tools and features important for project execution. These pre-construction Engineering Services became prominent only in the last…

In modern times the actual construction process completely depends upon the pre-construction Engineering Services. And the fact remains that none of these services can be executed without the use of the latest software's that have all the necessary tools and features important for project execution. These pre-construction Engineering Services became prominent only in the last few decades because of the rapid growth in technology. It is not only the Architectural, Engineering and the Construction industry, which is making the use of technology to enhance its productivity, but same is the scenario with every other industry in the world.

The pre-construction engineering services include CAD Design and Drafting Services, that include architectural, structural and MEP CAD drafting services. Apart from it there are BIM Modeling and Rendering Services, along with Clash Detection and Coordination Services. So it is important that relevant software should be used in the execution of these services.

The important software's that are heavily used in the execution of these services are listed below.
The purpose of using AutoCAD : Since Drafting is executed at the very beginning, let us start with the description of AutoCAD which is widely used for it. In other words AutoCAD is heavily used in the execution of the drafting services. Drafting is nothing but the process of generating the drawings with the assistance of AutoCAD. These drawings are also called CAD drawings or drafting documents. The significance of these drawings is huge because they are used for multiple purposes. They are used by the BIM models to develop the 3D models and are also referred by the architects and engineers in the actual construction process.

Revit is another important software : The next coming modeling services and the software which is used in the execution of these services is Revit. Revit can be used in architectural, structural and MEP modeling services. The modeler has to be conversant with the uses of Revit. The software is especially developed for the purpose of creating 3D models and hence is equipped with the appropriate tools and features necessary for this. The drafting documents are used as the basic inputs by the models to develop the architectural, structural and the MEP models.

Navisworks is used in clash detection and coordination : Navisworks is again an important software that is implemented in the execution of the clash detection and coordination services. Apart from clash detection and coordination it is also used for generating 4D simulations of the construction process.

3ds Max : It is a rendering software used in the execution of the rendering services. With the assistance of 3ds Max an architectural model is given a photo-realistic touch.

So it is clear from the above description that none of the pre-construction engineering services can be executed without the assistance of software.

Common Flat Roofing Problems

Why, despite the knowledge, decades of experience in the design and construction of flat roofs and the use of increasingly sophisticated materials, do flat roofs still bring doubts and worries to many property owner's minds? The answer to this question lies in these three factors: Design, Construction and Operation. Very common flat roof problems stem…

Why, despite the knowledge, decades of experience in the design and construction of flat roofs and the use of increasingly sophisticated materials, do flat roofs still bring doubts and worries to many property owner's minds? The answer to this question lies in these three factors: Design, Construction and Operation.

Very common flat roof problems stem from poor maintenance or a complete lack thereof. Regular maintenance requires flat roofs to be periodically inspected for damage, repaired, cleaned and checked for the functionality of its insulation and waterproofing properties

Design

Design Errors – The cycling through hot and cold seasons deteriorates flat roofs across the Greater Toronto Area year after year. On the surface of a roof temperatures can range from -30 to +80 ° C. They are also exposed to UV (ultraviolet) radiation and several cycles of freezing and thawing. Therefore, the nature and properties of the materials from which the flat roof will be made and insulated with should ensure functionality under these conditions for at least 15-20 years.

Leaks, roof moisture and fungus are the most visible consequences of improper maintenance. Poor insulation promotes heat from escaping through the layers of roofs leading to leaks and flooding from melting ice and snow. This process becomes detrimental to the flat roof and leads to the deterioration and destruction of the membrane, flashings, gutters, downcuts, and melting or falling icicles that add danger your workplace.

Construction

Thermal Insulation

Each type of roof should have transported out calculations of temperature and moisture. The aim is to not only select the correct thickness of thermal insulation, but also eliminate the possibility of condensation between the layers of the roof and eliminate conditions concurring to the growth of mold on the ceiling and walls on the inside. These calculations take into account the space around windows, skylights, roof hatchways, etc. These are the places where freezing frequently occurs and are favorable conditions for mold growth. Withadequate ventilation, steam and moisture within the layers cause separation and can be seen visually on the ceiling and wall in the form of cracks and peeling paint coating, which are tell all signs of weakness in the roof's waterproof seal.

Waterproofing

This layer on every flat roof, regardless of its function is crucial. The most common cause of leaks is due to errors by the contractors: lack of knowledge of the technologies used and the lack of a qualified team of employees.

Approaching the problem from the exterior (the “positive side”) seems to make the most sense to many people. It takes a reasonable amount of labor to dig down to the base of your foundation wall. Once excavated, any areas in the roof decking or concrete foundation or walls that have been compromised can be repaired with a new waterproofing membrane.

Substitution of Materials

A common mistake is to use “just as good but cheaper” alternatives or materials other than those provided by the manufacturer or chosen and described in the project documentation. The resulting “savings” for the difference in price of material is usually beneficial and disproportionate to the cost of any consequential repairs.

Equipment Technology

Proper execution of waterproofing usually depends on the use of special equipment. The waterproofing layers can be mechanically fastened and connected to factories, glued or welded with hot air, fumes, flame or heat-sealed and require the use of different types of equipment. Overheating of the burner flame can cause weight loss in the asphalt's insulating properties and can be made “stale”. This risk is actually removed with the use of insulating materials welded by hot gases or hot air. Welding temperatures in this case are too low to permanently damaged the roof waterproofing material.

Operation

Rooftop Equipment

Some property owners believe that the purpose of the roof, due to the fact that it is flat can be freely changed. Ventilation, HVAC units, television antennas and other rooftop equipment are connected via an internal installation carried out through the ceiling or attic, through which the lead wires are often randomly located. Each of these elements can have a negative impact on the stability of the roof, insulation and can increase the load.

Green Roof Problems

Roofs with a layer of grass need an appropriate thickness of the substrate (at least 20cm). The growing grass requires regular mowing and watering daily. Rofs with vegetation (shrubs and low trees) need to be cautious – it is unacceptable to hammer into a roof (such as wood or metal supports for forests) without the knowledge and consent of the manufacturer or professional contractor. Waterproofing layers can easily be damaged by this process leading to a re-roof or replacement, and this is an expensive venture.

Can Wet, Commercial, Low Slope Roofing Insulation Be Repaired?

What feels like a very simple, straight forward question can never be that simple when dealing with commercial and industrial roofing. Can it be dried? What about the “R” factor? Will vents get the moisture out or will it make the problem worse? To get the bottom of these questions, we need to first consider…

What feels like a very simple, straight forward question can never be that simple when dealing with commercial and industrial roofing. Can it be dried? What about the “R” factor? Will vents get the moisture out or will it make the problem worse? To get the bottom of these questions, we need to first consider the problem.

Once water seeps benefit the surface of a commercial or industrial low slope roof, the water will migrate. Picture a sponge. If you pour water over one corner of a sponge over a period of time then the entire sponge will eventually get soaked. The same will happen to most low slope insulations. The problem is made worse, depending on the type of decking is used benefit the roof. Tectum deck will allow the water to run straight through, metal deck will slowly drip the water out, and concrete decks can hold back moisture for years before it actually starts appearing inside the building. Prolonged exposure to moisture in organic insulations (perlite, fiberboard, etc.) will cause irreversible damage. Just like wood laying on the ground, organic insurances will rot.

Inorganic insulations (fiberglass, ISO, foamglass, etc.) will not decompose like organic ones. They are closed cell systems that will not absorb moisture and can be discharged out with very little damage to the insulation. Repairing the leak will typically remove the moisture, since typically a negative pressure is present inside buildings, causing the moisture to escape inside the building.

While your insulation is wet, the “R” value is essentially destroyed. If you are dealing with an organic insulation, the most common solution is removing and replacing the damaged area. If the problem is detected early enough, the insulation may be saved by repairing the leak, but if it has progressed to creating a sunken area, it may be too late.

One-way vents are very effective for drying out wet insulation. Usually, one vent for every 100 square feet of surface area is sufficient to dry out wet insulation.

Extremely though each roofing situation is different. If you find yourself in a situation where you have a leak, it is always best to consult with a local professional flat roof specialist. They will be able to evaluate whether your particular situation warrants a repair or a replacement. Also most will offer a free, no obligation quote or suggestion to take care of your particular issue.