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DURABILITY + DESIGN BLOG POSTS

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Specifying Joint Sealants to Maximize Performance
By Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.

The specification of joint sealants used as weather seals in building construction is as simple as choosing a sealant material from a manufacturer’s catalog, right? Well, maybe. ... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 6, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

Material Challenges in Historic Buildings
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

Preserving and repurposing existing buildings is supported by most current green building rating systems. The U.S. Green Building Council’s “LEED for Neighborhood Development” and other LEED V4 buildi... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 7, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

Educating the Young Professionals
By Letsfixconstruction.com

I have become more and more aware of an area where our young professionals are being neglected at an extremely critical time. We need to fix this.... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 31, 2017 | 8 COMMENTS

Correlation and Intent in Contract Documents
By Letsfixconstruction.com

Although it didn't seem like it at the time, one of the best parts of my CSI chapter's certification classes was reading the A201—not selectively, but the whole thing, beginning to end.... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 26, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

Extending the Service Life of Elastomeric Joint Sealants
By Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.

Elastomeric joint sealants are most commonly used in building construction as a primary (and sometimes as the sole) weather seal to prevent water infiltration, and air infiltration and exfiltration, t... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

Writing Specifications in a Vacuum
By Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

A 19th century Scotsman said, “Do not isolate yourself. Be among men and things, and among troubles, and difficulties, and obstacles.” The quoted individual was never involved in building design and c... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 21, 2017 | 2 COMMENTS

Construction Costs Unknown
By Letsfixconstruction.com

When architects begin with the design concept as the primary driver, or if they have a personal “favorite move,” the client’s budget is already at risk. ... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 31, 2017 | 5 COMMENTS

Relax with a Cool-Colored Wall, or Not?
By Jill M. Speegle

Color experts have long said the colors we paint our walls can affect our psyche and it appears some of those ideas are making it into the mainstream.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

What Don’t You Know?
By Letsfixconstruction.com

In my humble opinion, the best way to fix something is to learn what you don’t know. Often problems are perpetuated simply because we lack a piece... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 3, 2017 | 1 COMMENT

Green Building Materials and the New Administration
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

All of this begs the question of what impact these sea changes will have on the green building materials market, including those that comprise building envelopes, paints and coatings?... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

The Proper Use of Sealants on Weathering Steel
By Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.

Sealants used as weather seals on the exterior envelopes of buildings have been formulated to achieve tenacious bond to many building cladding materials that commonly include aluminum, steel, concrete... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 17, 2017 | 2 COMMENTS

Delegated Design: Where Does the Buck Stop?
By Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

With the increased use of delegated design in construction projects, questions have arisen over responsibility for and acceptance of the correctness of the design and the engineering... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 10, 2017 | 4 COMMENTS

Coatings Scientist: Eye on Innovation
By V.C. "Bud" Jenkins

What I like most about the coatings industry is that it is never boring. Each day promises something new to learn that I didn’t know before. Even the ordinary work of mixing a lab batch to see what it... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 8, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

Does Paint Make the Drywall?
By Letsfixconstruction.com

When you think about painting drywall in commercial structures, everyone is a critic when it comes to appearance... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 24, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

Green Building: A Mission Uncertain
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

On Friday, Jan. 20, Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. With the exception... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2017 | 2 COMMENTS

Color Champion: Frank Stella
By Jill Pilaroscia

One of the most important artists of the last century, the formidable Frank Stella... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 13, 2017 | 1 COMMENT

Team Spec: Communication is Key
By Letsfixconstruction.com

Are you communicating with your specifier during construction administration? Are you, perhaps, a little afraid to tell your specifier about something that didn’t get built according to the spec?... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 6, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

Steel Back Your Specification
By Letsfixconstruction.com

Many factors must be considered when a design specifies cold-formed steel framing members... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 13, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Is Construction Broken?
By Letsfixconstruction.com

This project is named “Let’s Fix Construction,” which implies that construction is broken—or at least not operating optimally... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 17, 2016 | 4 COMMENTS

5 Benefits of Building Enclosure Commissioning
By Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.

Despite this standardization and a growing history of proven results, many misconceptions and a general lack of understanding of BECx still plague the construction industry.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 16, 2016 | 2 COMMENTS

Assessing ‘arc’: Is it a Win?
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

Before I get into the discussion of the U.S. Green Building Council’s new technology spinoff organization called “arc,” I must provide you with some background. ... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 9, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Color Benefits Schools
By Jill Pilaroscia

The school environment is a clear example of how color shapes human experience and behavior. Unfortunately, many public-school color choices are relegated to administrative and maintenance staff.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 2, 2016 | 1 COMMENT

Construction Needs a Fix
By Letsfixconstruction.com

Our biggest challenge comes from working in a bubble. It comes from only seeing things from the perspective of our own discipline. It comes from lack of knowledge of how other disciplines work and whe... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 28, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Ways to Get Motivated in a Coatings Career
By V.C. "Bud" Jenkins

Motivation can be described as recognizing a need for something and then taking steps to achieve that need. This can be anything, since each individual is different, but it is very human to want to ch... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 18, 2016 | 4 COMMENTS

Tips for Testing Paint Colors
By Barbara Jacobs

Perhaps you are a painting professional who has just been asked for the thousandth time, “How will it look?” ... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 10, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

The Good, the Bad, and the Unique
By Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

“In a highly commoditized world, the name of the game is creating something unique, something that stands out,” stated Catherine Connolly, the chief executive officer and owner of Merida textiles.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 29, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

How to Choose the Right Colors
By Barbara Jacobs

That’s the question, and it applies to both interiors and exteriors of homes and other buildings... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 7, 2016 | 2 COMMENTS

Treat the Cause, Not the Symptoms
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

Sick building syndrome had recently emerged as a collision between efforts to make buildings tighter and more energy efficient... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 26, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Colorful Destinations
By Jill Pilaroscia

Wanderlust runs deep in summer, so this month we’ve rounded up some of the most colorful places on earth to whet the appetite for travel. From a sea of golden flowers in China to a rainbow-hued idyll ... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 22, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Building a Good Foundation
By V.C. "Bud" Jenkins

I was at a client’s store last week when a painting crew of five young workers came in to buy some paint.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 8, 2016 | 3 COMMENTS

6 Fundamentals of Good Roof Design
By Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.

Roofs fail prematurely or fail to reach their rated life of approximately 20 years for one of four reasons... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 28, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Painted Ladies: The Colorist Movement
By Jill Pilaroscia

Colour Studio principal Jill Pilaroscia played a pivotal role in San Francisco’s colorist movement, which spawned the popular “Painted Ladies”—fancifully painted Victorian houses for which the city is... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 25, 2016 | 3 COMMENTS

Tiny Houses: A Look at Materials
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

As an avid blue water sailor I have always been interested in how marine architecture meets the challenges of the marine environment... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 5, 2016 | 2 COMMENTS

Office Master Specs: 5 Things to Consider
By Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

Perhaps the best argument for creating and maintaining an office master spec is to have a centralized place to consolidate office policies, material and product preferences and “lessons learned.” ... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 8, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Color Shock: Sandy Skoglund
By Jill Pilaroscia

Sandy Skoglund is a conceptual artist and photographer based in New Jersey. She began creating life-size installations in the early 1970s. By the late 1970s, she became interested in photographically ... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 2, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Steps to Assessing Concrete Structures
By Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.

An assessment of a concrete structure to evaluate existing conditions and determine causes of distress and deterioration provides the basis for development of a repair program. ... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 9, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Is the USGBC Sustainable?
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

It’s time to question the U.S. Green Building Council’s approach to transforming the building industry, according to LEED Fellow Jerry Yudelson... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 6, 2016 | 3 COMMENTS

Color Sensation: Robert Swain
By Jill Pilaroscia

This month we’re eager to share the work of Robert Swain, a painter whose 50-year career has focused on the dynamics and subtleties of color... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 22, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

7 Tips for Writing a Spec Section from Scratch
By Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

For those of you who frequently write construction specifications, the time will come when you will need to prepare a spec section for some item of the building for which no master guide spec or other... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 7, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Graphic Color: Massimo Vignelli
By Jill Pilaroscia

This month we pay tribute to the incomparable designer Massimo Vignelli (1931-2014), whose influential modern aesthetic hinged on primary colors and graphic forms. ... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 22, 2016 | 1 COMMENT

Q&A with GSA’s Sustainability Architect
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

This post offers a glimpse into the U.S. General Services Administration's work involving high performance green building... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 2, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Collected Color: The Harvard Pigment Library
By Jill Pilaroscia

As color experts, we're always excited to share new developments in the field with our readers. This month we're delighted to report that the Forbes Pigment Collection at the Harvard Art Museums is no... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2016 | 1 COMMENT

Checklist for Evaluating Stone Durability
By Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.

Stone, in general, is considered a durable material; however, not all stones are as durable as one might anticipate.... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 17, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Rich Color: Top Boutique Paint Brands
By Jill Pilaroscia

Why bother with boutique paint? To start, many luxury paint brands offer deeper, richer and more complex colors based on high-quality pigments derived from minerals and clay. ... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 2, 2016 | 1 COMMENT

7 Areas Where Construction Conflicts Can Arise
By Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

Many construction projects are rife with potentially overlapping trade responsibilities. Here are several areas where conflicts can arise.... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 21, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

5 Winter Challenges Buildings Face
By Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.

This first blog written by Logan Cook of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. includes winter prep considerations for buildings... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 14, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Why I Love Green Building Science
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

One of the great things about being involved in the green building movement is the energy and enthusiasm... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 13, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Millennials: A Good Bet for Construction
By FMI

Now is the time to start incorporating a millennial-focused recruitment strategy for the workplace. 2015 represented a milestone in the U.S. labor market. For the first time, millennials (individuals ... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 7, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Best of 2015: Eye-Popping Books on Color
By Jill Pilaroscia

For the holiday season, we’ve selected a few gorgeously illustrated new books in which rich color takes center stage.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 18, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Artist Records Emotions in Color
By Jill Pilaroscia

Portuguese designer Luis Giestas recorded his emotions, at every hour, for 300 days, and laid out the result in a series of color-coded diaries. The project started as an exercise in dealing with anx... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 14, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

UK Architects Sound Alarm for Space
By Jill M. Speegle

British architects say they are fed up with “tiny rabbit-hutch homes,” with the release of new findings on the size of homes in the United Kingdom.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 3, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

The Colorful Dynamics of Glass
By Jill Pilaroscia

As the San Francisco skyline welcomes new silhouettes to its configuration, Colour Studio has had the opportunity to be involved in color selections for various high rises going up in the area. ... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 21, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Wellness: Focus of New Green Standard
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

One indication of the health and stability of the modern green building movement... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 15, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Groups Respond to Call for Green Code
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

In a deal nearly two years in the making, the International Code Council (ICC) and ASHRAE have signed the final agreement that outlines each organization’s role in the development and maintenance of t... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 17, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

New Leaders for LEED: What Will Change?
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

USGBC was founded 22 years ago with a governance structure appropriate for a U.S.-based, start-up NGO with a transformational mission. ... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 1, 2015 | 1 COMMENT

Safer Materials: What Will It Take?
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

The nature of building materials and products has been part of the LEED rating system from its beginning.... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 19, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Facility Manager’s Rx for Building Success
By Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

Maybe you just joined a health-care facility and are taking on a new construction project. Maybe this is your first big project with a new employer.... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 4, 2015 | 1 COMMENT

Designer Reinvents Aging Farmhouse
By Jill M. Speegle

Here’s a farmhouse with a modern twist, seriously. Twist Farmhouse, in Falls, PA, was not only a project to meticulously restore a rundown 1850s homestead to its former glory, but also a journey to pr... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 22, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Brutal Color: The Human Experience
By Jill Pilaroscia

As architectural colorists, we are interested in the role that color can play in creating human spaces within our constructed environments. One example of architecture enhancing the relationship betwe... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 14, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

A New St. Pete Pier Design Up for Vote
By Jill M. Speegle

Residents in St. Petersburg, FL, may soon see their 42-year-old iconic waterfront landmark replaced after more than 10 years of debate and one previously unsuccessful attempt.... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 6, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Color Icon: Alexander Girard
By Jill Pilaroscia

"Art is only art if it is synonymous with living," Alexander Girard once said.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 31, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Best Practices: Make Room for Daddy
By FMI

The construction industry has a unique culture and a rich history steeped in predictable practices based on how it’s “always been done.”... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 26, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

The Colorful World of Tetrachromacy
By Jill Pilaroscia

A wonderful ballet of reds, blues and greens choreographs the rich colors we experience in both our natural and built environments.... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 2, 2015 | 2 COMMENTS

Wright’s ‘Hollyhock House’ Blooms Anew
By Jill M. Speegle

The Hollyhock House—Frank Lloyd Wright’s first venture into architecture in Los Angeles—is blossoming once again following a $4.3 million, seven-year restoration program.... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 29, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

The Business of Brand Color
By Jill Pilaroscia

When it comes to branding and business, color has the ability to communicate instantaneously without words.... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 21, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Sales is Not a Dirty Word
By FMI

No one wants to be called a salesperson—regardless of their position in the company. Salespeople are frequently treated as the proverbial redheaded stepchild at the family reunion, although everyone i... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 5, 2015 | 4 COMMENTS

'Green' According to Whom?
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

The ongoing evolution of green building rating systems has intensified debate over a critical question: “Green according to whom?”... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 9, 2014 | 5 COMMENTS

Award Honors Curtain-lifting Restoration
By Jill M. Speegle

A revamped Art Deco movie theater on Long Island is basking in the glow of an award for its historic preservation.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 3, 2014 | 1 COMMENT

When Best Practices Go Bad
By FMI

Many times, companies develop best practices and implement them poorly. This can result in declining morale, losing projects due to bureaucracy, and reducing profit margins.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Colorscapes Serve Down on the Test Farm
By Jill Pilaroscia

As architectural colorists, we are often faced with questions about how the materials and finishes we recommend to clients will stand up to the test of time.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 4, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

One Hotel, 19 Architects
By Jill M. Speegle

Where can you admire the architectural genius of Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid and David Chipperfield all in one place?... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 24, 2014 | 1 COMMENT

Beyond Cost: Pricing for Value
By FMI

In today’s market, many contractors assume that there are no longer opportunities to sell value.... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 15, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

The Art of Seeing:
Josef Albers and Relative Color
By Jill Pilaroscia

At Colour Studio, our job as architectural colorists is to please the eye—but visual perception of any one color is one of the hardest variables to control.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Gen Y: The New Face of Construction
By FMI

From the field to the boardroom, the construction industry has a deepening labor shortage at every level.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 | 1 COMMENT

Historic Trends for a Modern World
By Jill Pilaroscia

We have been researching historic color palettes and thinking about what exactly makes a palette "historic."... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 5, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Murphy’s Laws of Spec Writing
(With Apologies to Murphy)
By Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

We all know Murphy’s Law: "Anything that can go wrong, will." Over the years, there have been many corollaries to Murphy’s Law. Here are mine, for specifications writing.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 2, 2014 | 3 COMMENTS

LEED’s Great Idea: Will It Work?
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

For all of its global success as the fastest-growing not-for-profit organization in history, the U.S. Green Building Council and its flagship LEED building rating system have not been without controve... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 22, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

From Loyal Employees, Loyal Clients
By FMI

Today’s business environment is very different from six years ago, when the pace of economic progress seemed unstoppable.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 18, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

5 Things About Specs You Need to Know
By Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

Last post, I wrote, “We can’t know everything about every material, product, assembly or system, and that’s where industry partners become essential.” Similarly, I try to emphasize to our young staff ... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 15, 2014 | 1 COMMENT

We LIKE This Colorful Series
By Jill Pilaroscia

Being architectural colorists, architecture and color are two words that we think go hand in hand.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 11, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Doing What You Promised, on Time
By FMI

So many people are urging contractors to refrain from the cliché “on time, on schedule and on budget.” But make no mistake, this advice still stands.... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 28, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Sustainability: The Older, the Better?
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

I recently contributed to a LinkedIn discussion about whether ancient structures and venues still in use are inherently sustainable. ... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 21, 2014 | 2 COMMENTS

Should Human Rights
Influence LEED Certification?
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

The FIFA World Soccer championships are underway in Brazil, and the U.S. Green Building Council is proud of the fact that six World Cup stadiums have achieved LEED certification.... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 27, 2014 | 9 COMMENTS

What Good Reps Know (and You May Not)
By Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

So that you don’t think my previous post was a screed against manufacturers and their product reps, let me tell you about the other side of the coin.... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 25, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Technology Trips on the Generation Gap
By FMI

Time management is critical in design and construction, from conception to completion. Technology can enable more effective time management, but the generation gap in today’s workforce (sometimes, a m... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 17, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Building a Better, Stronger Contract
By FMI

Few industries require the use of contracts more than construction.... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 14, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

The Ins and Outs of Color Blocking
By Jill Pilaroscia

Often, when we are thinking about color in our daily lives, it’s from the visual perspective of seeing a brilliant turquoise on a passing stranger’s shirt, a particularly striking ad or a colorful arc... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 6, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Designing a Better Education
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

For most American children, teachers and administrators, education is a linear process. We march from kindergarten through middle and high school with many of the same classmates, and few institutions... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 29, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

You Can’t Specify ‘Exceptional’
By Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

When I was a graduate architect just out of college and working in my first architectural firm, I was amazed to find out that such a thing as Sweets catalogs existed.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 24, 2014 | 1 COMMENT

‘Nobel’ Design Matches Prize Prestige
By Jill M. Speegle

An elegant, slender building clad in shimmering brass along Stockholm, Sweden’s central waterfront will serve as the new home for one of the world’s most prominent award ceremonies—The Nobel Prize.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 17, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

How to Hire, and Keep, the Right People
By FMI

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins noted, “The old adage ‘People are your most important asset’ is wrong. People are not your most important asset. The Right people are.” Of course, Collins... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 7, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Theater Designs Worth Applause
By Jill M. Speegle

A $5.4 million performing arts center that blends into the slopes of a volcano in Hawaii and a one-of-a-kind jazz venue in California are among the theater projects recently honored for their prestigi... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 1, 2014 | 1 COMMENT

Do We Need One Nation Under USGBC?
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

I’ve been involved with the U.S. Green Building Council since its early days. Over the last 20 years, I’ve served as Chair of LEED for Schools and other education committees, as a member of the origin... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 28, 2014 | 3 COMMENTS

School Rises Colorfully from the Ashes
By Jill Pilaroscia

Last year in Normandy, France, the Jean Moulin Elementary School reopened after a terrible fire burned much of the structure to the ground.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 25, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Get Them While They’re Young
By FMI

As the construction industry rebounds with the growing economy, the search for talent has never been more important. Companies that have not been thinking about their future workforce must do so now.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 13, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Great Apps for Mobile Color Lovers
By Jill Pilaroscia

Apps, apps, apps! We are surrounded by them. They fill up our phones and tablets, and there are more of them everyday. ... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 28, 2014 | 1 COMMENT

Win the Right Work
By FMI

Chasing a lot of work these days? Who isn’t? But some teams are so busy chasing work that they are missing the very opportunities they should be winning.... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

The Purpose of Color:
The Batel Centre of Cartagena
By Jill Pilaroscia

The Batel is the auditorium and convention centre of Cartagena, a ... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 17, 2014 | 1 COMMENT

5 Ways to Get a Leg up on LEED
By Robert J. Kobet, AIA

I am fortunate to have practiced internationally throughout my career in sustainable design and development, high-performance green buildings, LEED consulting, and environmental education.... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 30, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Coloring the Future: LEDs or Paint?
By Jill Pilaroscia

LEDs could replace paint as the future of color in architecture. ... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 28, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Waterlogged Wright Home to Relocate
By Jill M. Speegle

A rare home designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright will be getting a new zip code and a lifeline come 2015.... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Getting Paid—On Time, Without Drama
By FMI

Any principal of a construction firm will tell you that cash is king. There is little room for error when it comes to feeding the cash cycle. Why not apply the same focus and fervor to collecting the ... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 16, 2014 | 2 COMMENTS

Shack Interacts, Lights the CA Desert
By Jill M. Speegle

It’s difficult to imagine a house more connected to its landscape than this desert abode in Joshua Tree, CA.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 13, 2013 | 3 COMMENTS

Color Icon: Dale Chihuly
By Jill Pilaroscia

If ever there was an artist known for working with color, it’s Dale Chihuly.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 11, 2013 | 1 COMMENT

Architecting Color: Emmanuelle Moureaux
By Jill Pilaroscia

This week, we want to introduce you to a fantastic architect with a commitment to color. Emmanuelle Moureaux, a French native living and working in Tokyo since 1996, is an architect and designer with ... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 25, 2013 | 2 COMMENTS

San Francisco's Color Icon
By Jill Pilaroscia

This post from Colour Studio features one of our favorite San Francisco icons.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 7, 2013 | 2 COMMENTS

Making Colorful History:
50 Years after the March on Washington
By Jill Pilaroscia

A recent post on NPR’s “The Picture Show” caught our color-loving eyes. The article focused on the colorization of old photographs—specifically, of the March on Washington 50 years ago. ... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 12, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS

Sliding Façade Exposes House in UK
By Jill M. Speegle

After being abandoned for 11 years, a four-story house in Margate, England, is now the site of an unusual art installation—a brick façade that appears to be sliding off the building, exposing its decr... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 7, 2013 | 1 COMMENT

Hotel Packs a World Record Paint Job
By Jill M. Speegle

A recent makeover for a hotel in St. Petersburg, Russia, features a paint job worth... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 17, 2013 | 1 COMMENT

A Glass Ship for Vikings Unveiled
By Jill M. Speegle

It’s airy, yet enclosed. Love it or hate it, the recently unveiled, HKS-designed Minnesota Vikings Stadium is sure to turn heads.... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 15, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS

Paint Adds Pride to Florida City
By Jill M. Speegle

Replacing blight with beauty is a common goal of public art projects these days.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 5, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS

Architectural Charm from a Wright Roof
By Jill M. Speegle

Attention architecture and jewelry lovers! For just shy of $50, you could be the lucky owner of a piece of handcrafted jewelry—and architectural history—salvaged from a design by none other than Frank... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 15, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS

Attic Discovery: $30M in Artwork
By Jill M. Speegle

When the two investors bought the run-down cottage in Bellport, NY, for $300,000, their plan was to flip the home for profit.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 8, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS

Q&A: Conservation Layers Art, Science
By Jill M. Speegle

Whether she is restoring a massive painted wall or a small family heirloom painting, Chantal Bernicky takes skill and love for conservation to a new level.... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 21, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS

By the Book: NY Public Library Project
By Jill M. Speegle

Historic buildings that house volumes of literary marvels deserve to be preserved and restored to their former glory… even if we are in an age more attuned to scroll than flip. ... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 28, 2013 | 2 COMMENTS

‘I’m Simply Painting Some Concrete…’
By Burt Olhiser

Coating new concrete is a simple matter, correct? All you need to do is use a manufacturer’s alkaline-resistant primer and a good top coat, and, voilà, it’s done. And, I’ll be darned if it doesn’t loo... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 11, 2013 | 6 COMMENTS

Getting Your 250,000 Cents Worth
By Pamela Simmons

Let’s face it. Pennies have become pretty much useless as currency. Banks don’t seem to have much interest in them, it isn’t even worth the effort to pick one up off of the ground, and I’m not so sure... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 11, 2012 | 2 COMMENTS

‘Wait, Wait Don’t Implode,’ Judge Says
By Jill M. Speegle

Hold the explosives! A Nevada state judge has put the kibosh on plans to implode a structurally unsound hotel in MGM Resort International’s $8.5 billion CityCenter project in Las Vegas.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 7, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Problems
By Pamela Simmons

In the name of beautifying neighborhoods and downtrodden spaces, murals have been springing up on many metropolitan landscapes across the country. Commissioned by respectable artists, real money is ex... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 29, 2012 | 1 COMMENT

Hadid Shines as ‘Woman of the Year’
By Jill M. Speegle

Hey! Who says architects can’t be glamorous? Dame Zaha Hadid, 62, was just crowned Glamour Magazine’s “Woman of the Year 2012.” ... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 6, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Bright Idea? Enhancing the Wall
By Jill M. Speegle

Wish your walls could do more? Maybe even emit light?... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 19, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Protection from the Pressure to Paint
By Burt Olhiser

In accordance with our title, this column is a “Like It Is” effort to present common- sense approaches to how contractors in the real world can best protect themselves from claims based on the seeming... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 10, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Frank Lloyd Done Wrong
By Pamela Simmons

Hard to believe, but a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright may soon be torn down—and it isn’t the first landmark structure designed by this icon to find itself in such a predicament. Not by a long sh... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 9, 2012 | 4 COMMENTS

Raise a Pint, Paint by Facebook
By Jill M. Speegle

With the help of spray-painting robots, Facebook fans have helped Guinness paint two giant murals in Singapore and Ireland to mark the legendary brewer’s birthday.... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 3, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Working Ahead: Office Designs for 2020
By Jill M. Speegle

So long, cubicles! Hello, hackable buildings and b(Hives)! The high-performance office buildings of the future will surely include advanced features, materials, and technologies that will enable emplo... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 21, 2012 | 1 COMMENT

In the Loop: Q&A with Paint-Recycling Guru
By Jill M. Speegle

When an Ontario-based hazardous waste company hauled its first paint can in 1997, little did it know that some 15 years later it would operate a successful recycled paint business.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 | 5 COMMENTS

Doing Good: Enforcement’s Brighter Side
By Jill M. Speegle

When companies run afoul of environmental laws, they typically pay a fine, clean up the mess, and move on. But sometimes, they do more.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Painting it Forward, 1 Town at a Time
By Pamela Simmons

Sometimes you have to stop thinking about painting and just paint. On Sunday, September 9th, workers at Durability + Design did just that. Technology Publishing Company, which is also home to ... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 | 1 COMMENT

Recycling Paint: Making Jobs Out of Junk
By Pamela Simmons

After 20 years in the paint business as everything from contractor to salesman, and a later stint at a failed business, Jim Cosby decided to ignore the desperate pleas of his parents to “Please just g... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 31, 2012 | 6 COMMENTS

Paint on Demand: Thinking Outside the Can
By Pamela Simmons

The terms, green and sustainable are thrown around rampantly these days, but what do they really mean in terms of business practices? Naturally the first place we look is to the products... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 24, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

The Drywall Dilemma: The Rest Of The Story
By Burt Olhiser

As discussed in the first installment of this two-part article (Durability + Design, July-August, 2012), weaknesses in gypsum board finish systems often go unnoticed since very little stress is exerte... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 22, 2012 | 10 COMMENTS

The Art of Paint Recycling
By Pamela Simmons

It is estimated that the amount of paint discarded in North America each year is almost five times the amount of oil that the Exxon Valdez spilled into Prince William Sound in 1989. That incident has ... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 17, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Olympic Trials in Architecture
By Jill M. Speegle

As athletes continue to break records and crowds cheer at the London 2012 Olympics Games, many of the architects, engineers and suppliers involved in Olympics-related work are muted.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 2, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Steven Holl Offers Tour of His ‘Art on Water’ in South Korea
By Jill M. Speegle

With water as the art’s foundation and an abundance of “perfect” light, a new gallery and house in South Korea designed by Steven Holl Architects represents a “mini utopia.”... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 11, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

The Drywall Dilemma: Lessons Learned from the School of Finish Failures
By Burt Olhiser

The following is the first installment of a two-part discussion of a number of failure-analysis projects that involve an industry standard that itself has failed to some degree, though perhaps through... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 21, 2012 | 5 COMMENTS

Modern Renaissance: Dynamic Color Scenario Seen in Glance Ahead
By Jill M. Speegle

How would you describe a modern renaissance? Do the terms “extreme salvage,” “restrained luxury,” and “reimagined circus,” come to mind?... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 14, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

The Ideal and the Real: Firm’s Youthful Principal Blends Artistry and Utility
By Jill M. Speegle

Creating a space that enhances communication while providing visual appeal is key when it comes to designing commercial interiors, says Solomon Cordell Buenz director of interiors and associate princi... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 6, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Testifying for Color: Celebs Relate ‘Stories,’ Build on ‘Habitat’ Assist
By Jill M. Speegle

When it comes to selecting paint colors to liven interior spaces, the indecisiveness bug often bites. Heck, the indecisive bug sinks its teeth in two or three times a day for me…selecting what to wear... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 22, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Managing to Prosper: Planning and Executing an Effective Game Plan
By Burt Olhiser

This is the first in what will be an ongoing series of columns in Durability + Design. With that in mind I thought I should spend a minute to introduce myself and provide you, dear reader, with... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 1, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Elevating the Design: Decorative Finishes Jolt the Voltage of Upscale Hotel
By Jill M. Speegle

Decorative-painting projects in commercial spaces can present a host of daunting challenges. But imagine creating masterful finishes in a bustling elite hotel in downtown Chicago.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 26, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Barbie and Zaha: Fantasy Versus Reality in Architecture; or Not?
By Jill M. Speegle

With the upcoming one-year anniversary of the debut of blueprint-wielding Architect Barbie® and Zaha Hadid’s recent winning of the Jane Drew Prize, a discussion of women involved in architecture might... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 17, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

The Flip Side of Social Media: The Evolution of Connectivity that Counts
By Pamela Simmons

Like the telephone and the mail, social media applications have many uses and can be applied to many situations. But aside from the predictable, unusual connectivity opportunities have opened up for F... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 9, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Ready to ‘Check-In’ to Architecture? National Virtual Event Starts Sunday
By Jill M. Speegle

No flights, hotel reservations, or nametags are needed; in fact, you could stay in your pajamas and still enjoy National Architecture Week, scheduled to kick off this Sunday, April 8.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 5, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Op Art, Circa 2012: Demystifying the Hidden Secrets of the QR Code
By Pamela Simmons

D+D News published a story recently about a QR code painted on the roof of the new Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. QR codes may project a complex appearance, but they work very simp... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 2, 2012 | 2 COMMENTS

Vacation Planning 101: Safdie’s Riveting Museum Design in Arkansas?
By Jill M. Speegle

If you are in search of inspiration, culture, art and a dose of architectural magic, you may consider a trip to Bentonville, Ark., in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 16, 2012 | 3 COMMENTS

Pattern and Color, and the Intriguing Effects Created by Their Interaction
By Barbara Jacobs

What’s in a pattern, and why should we care? Color is one thing, and of course I think it’s one of the key aspects of design, and of creating supportive, interesting, and attractive spaces.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 2, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

In the Limelight: ‘Vegan’ Paint Company Settles on Fresh Vision
By Jill M. Speegle

With ingredients like clay, chalk, lime, and Italian marble it’s not surprising Unearthed Paints, a recent entry into the eco-friendly paint scene, is building a grass-roots following.... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 25, 2012 | 5 COMMENTS

‘Indie’ Paint Company Offers its Slant on the 2012 Color Hit Parade
By Jill M. Speegle

“Sprout,” “From Farm to Table,” and “Dusk to Dawn” may sound like a playlist of the latest “indie” music hits, and there’s good reason.... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 13, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

The Little House That Did: Inspiring an Architectural Landscape Part 2
By Pamela Simmons

In her book, Margaret Henderson Floyd explores deeply the projects of these influential architects. Initially, Henderson Floyd, (now deceased), an architectural history professor at Tuft’s and an expe... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 9, 2012 | 2 COMMENTS

The Little House That Did: Sunnyledge, Inspiring an Architectural Landscape
By Pamela Simmons

Along Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh’s fashionable Shadyside area, sits a somewhat plain brick house, larger than many by today’s standards, but still modest in comparison to the 19th century mansions tha... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 9, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

‘Argyle’ Positioned to Make Dramatic Entry at New Year’s Color Party
By Jill M. Speegle

Argyle, a true, earth-inspired green, will enter the color scene with considerable buildup: billing by one very influential color and design power as the “Color of 2012.”... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 20, 2011 | 0 COMMENTS

Inventive Reuse: One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s…House?
By Pamela Simmons

Anyone who appreciates a good beer now and then knows that it can taste like heaven, but the Buddhist monks of Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew raised the beverage’s status even closer to godliness when they bu... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 13, 2011 | 2 COMMENTS

Sugar-Based Specs: ‘Gingertown’ Designs Sweeten the Season
By Jill M. Speegle

Chocolate, sprinkles, jelly beans and gumdrops may not meet the specifications of your typical “building materials.”... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 30, 2011 | 0 COMMENTS

Mixing, not Matching: Contrast, Balance Produce Harmony in Composition
By Barbara Jacobs

What’s the real story behind the concept of “Mix and Match?” What are we talking about when we use this term? From paint color names to defining spaces, what do we mean? ... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 23, 2011 | 3 COMMENTS

Decision Time…Cooking with Color, with or without a Recipe
By Barbara Jacobs

Ready to cook with color? Don’t start yet! Here are some questions to answer before using color recipes... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 11, 2011 | 10 COMMENTS

D+D Asks: Do You Pin?
By Jill M. Speegle

Favorites, bookmarks, traditional scrapbooks or storyboards may soon be “old news” when it comes to design inspiration.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 8, 2011 | 0 COMMENTS

Between a Rock and a Really Cool Place
By Pamela Simmons

“Pop, someday I’m going to build a house with three walls and the fourth one is going to be a rock wall like that one.”... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 24, 2011 | 3 COMMENTS

Mail Pouch Tobacco: Hitting the Broad Side of 20,000+ Barns
By Pamela Simmons

Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, my family rarely took a trip when I didn’t spy at least one barn painted with a Mail Pouch Tobacco advertisement: “CHEW MAIL POUCH TOBACCO TREAT YOURSELF TO THE BES... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 3, 2011 | 2 COMMENTS

Specifying Mediocrity? Without a Technical Foundation, Design is on Shaky Ground
By Walter Scarborough

The architectural profession has settled for specification mediocrity. Allow me to explain. My thesis is this: if the architectural profession treated the creative design process in the same way as sp... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 | 8 COMMENTS

Graffiti: It’s Not Just for Criminals Anymore…at the ‘Pintura Project
By Pamela Simmons

Graffiti has long struggled with its position in the world, striving for recognition as a legitimate art form, all the while landing its spray-can-wielding creators in jail for defacing private proper... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 23, 2011 | 1 COMMENT

Hey West Coast, Don’t Fault Us for Being All Shook up
By Jill M. Speegle

Traditionally this space in our Friday e-newsletter is reserved for “Off the Wall” stories of the decidedly offbeat variety, but considering Mother Nature’s recent rattling of the East Coast, I felt c... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 25, 2011 | 0 COMMENTS

The Mystery of Color Perception, and the Variables at Work
By Barbara Jacobs

What’s important when the subject is the science and perception of color? I suppose that could be the working title for every post I do.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 12, 2011 | 3 COMMENTS

Batman, Architecture and a Detour Drama
By Jill M. Speegle

Well, my usual morning commute was interrupted last week for the filming of a movie. Not just any movie: the third and supposedly final Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 11, 2011 | 1 COMMENT

Power of Architecture? Minus Building Knowledge, There’s a Serious Outage
By Walter Scarborough

We’ve all heard the saying that “Knowledge is Power,” but have you ever thought about its significance and the magnitude of its importance?... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 26, 2011 | 5 COMMENTS

Perspectives on Project Photography, from the Experts
By Barbara Jacobs

If you want to know more about the properties of paint, you go to the experts—the paint-store manager or a painting professional, right?... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 13, 2011 | 1 COMMENT

The Complaint Dept.: The Agony of ‘Blocking’ and Other Tales of Woe
By Burt Olhiser

The recent endless whining and posturing by our political “leadership” on one side of the aisle or another, complaining that they haven’t gotten “enough” from the “other side” and thus are not inspire... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 11, 2011 | 3 COMMENTS

Intentional or Incidental? Taking ‘Color’ Seriously
By Barbara Jacobs

Inside or out…why should “color” be the subject of specific, intentional consideration? It’s surprising. Even though color is such a great part of our experience in the responses we have to an object ... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 14, 2011 | 3 COMMENTS

When Is It a Good Idea To Turn Down Work?
By Burt Olhiser

My musings this month have to do with the reasons we turn down work.... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 6, 2011 | 0 COMMENTS

Conventional Wisdom and Unconventional Solutions for Small Spaces
By Barbara Jacobs

“Make More of Less”: Touching on a few thoughts about making the most of your small spaces.... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 31, 2011 | 0 COMMENTS

Conversation Starter: The Myriad Responses to the Colors Around Us
By Barbara Jacobs

Why talk about color? It’s not because subjects pertaining to “color” are among my own personal favorite topics (even though they are), but rather that we all share many common experiences that relate... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 18, 2011 | 3 COMMENTS

Pondering this Matter of the Big-Box Era…or is it Big Headache?
By Burt Olhiser

I recently had occasion to become one of the wandering lost souls in a Big-Box DIY store, leading me to muse as I struggled to find a checkout lane about the “Do It Yourself” phenomenon.... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 17, 2011 | 0 COMMENTS

Two Words that Made this Contractor Tremble with Fear: Color Advice
By Burt Olhiser

During my years of contracting I loved most everything about my career choice, with one exception: Those occasions when I was asked by a client for color advice.... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 2, 2011 | 2 COMMENTS

The RRP Rule Hits Home (or, Why this Homeowner Paid More but Got More)
By Harold Hower

All this debate and discussion about the EPA’s lead-paint Renovate, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule has hit home, you might say, for this corner of blog space.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 25, 2011 | 2 COMMENTS

Artwork and Politics Make for Volatile Mixture in Maine Mural Flap
By Harold Hower

Murals are considered one genre of decorative painting, so we thought it would be interesting to bring to the attention of our decorative painting artisans, as well as to those who might use the servi... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 14, 2011 | 0 COMMENTS

The Blurring of the Once-Sacred Line Between Design and Construction
By Walter Scarborough

My name is Walter, and I am architect. And let me establish from the very beginning that I love being an architect to the depths of my soul—it is who I am. And I love to think critically about things ... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 11, 2011 | 11 COMMENTS

It’s Spring, When a Contractor’s Fancy Turns to Thoughts of…Marketing
By Burt Olhiser

How are you generating new business—by word of mouth? By online advertising? By listings in business directories? By all of these, or by other means?... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 5, 2011 | 1 COMMENT

Solar Paint? There’s a Ton of Energy Going into the Idea
By Harold Hower

In this blog I like to talk technology—the kind that’s on the fringe of practical application, maybe even on the fringe of consciousness. Just think, for instance, about the progression of the compute... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 29, 2011 | 1 COMMENT

Communicating about Quality in Painting Work
By Burt Olhiser

Some paint jobs are recipes for disaster-for both the contractor and the facility owner hiring the contractor. Telltale signs of this kind of set-up (ambush) are vaguely worded requirements describing... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 24, 2011 | 2 COMMENTS

Here’s a Federal Government Activity That May Be Worth Funding
By Harold Hower

Two questions: What aspects of the Federal government should be funded, and is the government capable of contributing to our welfare in a significant way?... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 11, 2011 | 1 COMMENT

A Modest Proposal: Give Compromise a Chance—and Rational Thinking too
By Harold Hower

People today tend to dislike compromise, as seen in headlines about labor disputes and budget battles. While politics was once called “the art of compromise,” today “compromise” is viewed as a dirty w... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 2, 2011 | 0 COMMENTS

Of EPA Bashing, Alternate Approaches to Clean Air, and the Triumph of Human Ingenuity
By Harold Hower

I recently read two projections about the number of electric cars that will be sold in the U.S. in the future. One, from a government agency, said there would be 200,000 by 2015; the other, from a car... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 22, 2011 | 2 COMMENTS

New Micro-climate Destroys Paint
By Harold Hower

Paint chemists from New York to Los Angeles have been buzzing this past week about two massive paint failures, both in Midwest capitol buildings and both reported by the Associated Press on the same d... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 17, 2010 | 0 COMMENTS

The Material Has Become the System
By Harold Hower

An exterior building membrane or skin serves as both a building envelope and a substitute for climate control systems within the building.... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 7, 2010 | 0 COMMENTS

Biological Skin Proposed for Buildings
By Harold Hower

It's not a Grade B horror movie, obviously, but it does have its creepy side, nevertheless. I'm referring to a headline in Popular Science: "Architects and Cell Biologists Team Up to Make Biological ... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 | 0 COMMENTS

Smog-eating Coating Questioned About Durability, Safety
By Harold Hower

The proposed smog-eating purple skyscraper in Hong Kong, with photocatalytically active nanocoatings doing the smog-eating, has elicited a response from Flavio Visioli of Sestriere Vernici, a paint co... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 3, 2010 | 0 COMMENTS

Politics and Paint: More or Less Government in Coatings?
By Harold Hower

... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 26, 2010 | 0 COMMENTS

Smog-Eating Purple Skyscraper
By Harold Hower

Smog-Eating Purple Skyscraper... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 23, 2010 | 2 COMMENTS

Singing the Praises of Coatings
By Harold Hower

At the risk of sounding parochial, or self-promotional, I want to sing the praises of coatings, especially in regard to their capability to extend the functionality of other materials.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 17, 2010 | 0 COMMENTS
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