WEIRD WEDNESDAY: The Oldest Forklift in America?

"My forklift is so old." "How old is it?" "It's so old I could win a replacement by entering a contest."

Susquehanna Bancshares Discovers Promising Savings Program On The Roof

For any company providing financial advice and investment services, it’s important to demonstrate financial smarts whenever possible to both customers and shareholders. So when Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc. of Lititz, PA found that a Republic Powdered Metals roof coating system could save them hundreds of thousands of dollars on a weathered EPDM roof and extend its life for another 12 years, the company was impressed. After 18 years, the roof of the renovated 19th century mill, now the headquarters for regional financial services company Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc., had been repaired several times within 24 months. “The owners were looking for options,” said Steve Ballentine, who had recently joined the sales/technical staff of Gooding, Simpson & Mackes, Inc. (GSM) of Ephrata, PA, the roofing contractor chosen to work on numerous Susquehanna roofing projects in the south central Pennsylvania area. Ballentine met with Nathaniel Baum, facility help desk supervisor at Susquehanna Bancshares’ headquarters, to discuss those options after walking the roof—not your typical commercial flat EPDM surface. A portion of the building’s roof is flat, but most of its 60,000 square foot roof is made up of a series of steeply sloped sections that abut vertical window walls in a saw tooth design. Each section is approximately 20' deep by 80' long, with a 30 degree to 45 degree slope. “The roof had leaked, and the repairs had to do with open seams and open flashing joints,” Ballentine said. “We evaluated the roof and determined that the main roof needed maintenance, but we didn’t think it needed replacement because the overall condition of the roof was in good shape.” “We walked the roof and talked about every option we had,” Baum said. “We talked about life expectancy versus extended life and the cost of coating versus a complete tear off.” Ballentine recommended a coating system. “We felt that a roof coating was a good fit and the best solution.” He provided costs for roof restoration with Republic’s Geogard system, a monolithic, highly reflective white urethane coating, as well as ballpark costs for replacement. “We chose Geogard because it’s a urethane based system,” Ballentine said. “It’s good for areas where minimal ponding may occur and where slopes connect with flat areas. And we know Republic is an established company with a good reputation. I’ve dealt with Republic for seven years; I introduced GSM to Republic systems when I joined the company.” After weighing the options, Baum said, Susquehanna decided to go with a Republic roof restoration system—the company’s first use of roof coatings. “One thing our management team liked about roof restoration was the huge difference in the cost,” Baum said. “It was approximately one third the cost of a complete roof replacement. We’re talking significant savings.” After an infrared roof scan to detect any areas of wet roof insulation that would need to be replaced, GSM submitted a list of remedial repairs to complete before the roof coating system was applied–items pulled directly from Republic’s thorough pre-installation process specifications. Employees would be working inside throughout the project, so GSM reviewed the potential for routine noise and odor issues ahead of time. The project was implemented in two phases and completed in the spring of 2007. “Now the roof is perpetually maintainable,” Ballentine said. “The project went pretty smoothly,” Baum said. “Because it’s a coating and not a tear off, noise was not much of a problem. It’s a lot less invasive.” As for odor, Ballentine and Baum said they received few comments. On warmer days of the project the crews would routinely shut down the rooftop ac/ventilation units near where they were working. However, both Baum and Ballentine said many occupants did notice that the highly reflective white Geogard surface was affecting the interior space, providing an unexpected and welcome benefit. “Because of the sawtooth design of the roof,” Ballentine said, “the white membrane reflected so much light into the interior that it really brightened up the inside of the building.” Baum explains how Susquehanna is using that outcome to make the building even more energy efficient. “We’re getting more sunlight inside, so we don’t need to have as many lights on, and we’re having a complete lighting upgrade done with automatic light level sensors. So, as we get ample natural light inside, the automatic system will detect the light coming in and shut off lights accordingly.” Baum also is confident that the white reflective membrane will have an impact on heating/cooling costs, even though changes in the number and configuration of employees inside make it impossible to calculate at this point. On a hot day during the installation, crews took thermal readings using an infrared thermometer. The reading for the white, coated surface was 105 degrees. The black, uncoated surface registered 145 degrees–a 40 degree difference. “The white surface reflects the heat back into the atmosphere instead of absorbing the heat into the building where we have to cool it,” Baum said. “Considering that we now have a lot more people drawing power, we know this white roof coating is helping to keep our energy costs lower than they would have been without it.” Ballentine and Baum also agreed that roof restoration’s intrinsically earth friendly nature is especially important for the company and the communities it serves. As Susquehanna works toward developing greener buildings and processes, he said, the company is embracing the earth friendly benefits of roof restoration for numerous facilities, a decision that will keep hundreds of thousands of tons of roofing material out of landfills for years to come. All in all, Ballentine said, the project continues to be a win-win for Susquehanna Bancshares in every way. “Between the elimination of the leakage problem, the long term roofing needs contained, and the additional light in the building, they’re happy on all fronts.” In light of this project’s very positive outcome–both in immediate savings and those projected long term with reduced maintenance and energy costs–Baum and his superiors are looking at coatings for other projects as they develop capital maintenance budgets for other facilities.

AAMA Launches Evaluation Of Hurricane Resistance Specs

American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has begun a 12-month review to evaluate AAMA 520, Voluntary Specification for Rating the Severe Wind-Driven Rain Resistance of Windows, Doors and Unit Skylights. The final document is expected to be published next summer, in advance of the 2009 hurricane season.

According to John Lewis, AAMA’s technical director, once final revisions to the introduction for AAMA 520 are approved by the AAMA Southeast Region Technical Committee, a preliminary copy will be shared with AAMA-accredited testing laboratories and other members to ensure the specifications are clear and the test protocols yield repeatable results.

“The participants’ input will help validate testing equipment and procedures and evaluate a selection of current, hurricane impact-resistant windows,” says Lewis. “Without a doubt, once released, these specifications will represent the most stringent test standards of their kind in the industry today.”

Says AAMA’s president and CEO Rich Walker, “Following the 2004 hurricane season’s destructive power and the property damage of wind-driven rains, the Florida Building Commission sought out AAMA’s Southeast Region organization. At the FBC’s urging, we have assessed current test methods and developed a standard of performance for testing windows to enhance their ability to resist water penetration under hurricane conditions. The resulting document will serve as an elevated performance characterization but is not intended for building code adoption and enforcement.”

Lewis explains that the majority of door and window testing is based on AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440. “This standard relies on static pressure tests for evaluating structural performance and resistance to water penetration. The goal of AAMA 520 is to better replicate hurricane conditions using a rapid pulsating test with computer-controlled cycling of high and low pressures.”

Scott Warner, AAMA Southeast Region president and executive vice president of Architectural Testing, Inc. in York, PA, also notes that AAMA is simultaneously working with ASTM to modify the existing ASTM E 2268 Standard Test Method for Water Penetration of Exterior Windows, Skylights and Doors by Rapid Pulsed Air Pressure Difference, which is referenced in the AAMA 520 voluntary specification.

“AAMA’s ongoing and collaborative efforts are paving the way for products to be better able to withstand the onslaught of a hurricane -- something of interest to code officials, architects, builders, and insurance companies who serve the 53% of Americans (153 million in all) that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) reports as living within coastal regions.” Walker concludes, “With so many people affected by this, it’s critical that we have full confidence in these guidelines.”

To learn more about AAMA 520, Voluntary Specification for Rating the Severe Wind-Driven Rain Resistance of Windows, Doors and Unit Skylights, visit

AAMA is the source of performance standards, product certification, and educational programs for the fenestration industry.(SM)

Miami Marine Stadium Closer To Historic Designation

Miami’s iconic Marine Stadium, admired by architecture enthusiasts around the world, cleared a significant hurdle on the path toward landmark status by the City of Miami’s Historic and Environmental Preservation Board as nomination as a landmark structure was approved.

A dazzling modernist masterpiece designed and built in 1964 by architect Hilario Candela, the 6,566 seat stadium’s cantilevered roof is one of the largest spans of unsupported concrete in the world. Its origami-like patterns of waves and sails jut out like alligator jaws from a water basin designed as a race course in Virginia Key. All seats have a spectacular view of the surging Miami skyline.

Originally built for power boat racing, the stadium’s floating stage hosted legendary performers like Jimmy Buffett , Bonnie Raitt, Mitch Miller, and Jose Luis Rodriguez (El Puma), Sunrise Easter Services, Virgen De La Caridad Flotillas, classical music concerts from the Miami Pops and the Boston Pops, even television shows. Clambake, an Elvis Presley movie was shot there, and Sammy Davis, Jr. hugged President Richard Nixon at a rally. Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the stadium has been shuttered.

Friends of Marine Stadium, working closely with the nonprofit Dade Heritage Trust (DHT), Miami-Dade County’s pre-eminent historic preservation organization, has led the initiative to designate and renovate the Stadium. DHT President Becky Roper Matkov said, “The Marine Stadium is mid-century Miami architecture at its best, embracing the water without obscuring the waterfront.”

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s President Richard Moe notes that the Marine Stadium is of “particular interest” to the Trust and that its design “is considered the finest example of a mid-century sporting venue in the region.”

The stadium’s original architect, Hilario Candela, then a 28 year old Cuban immigrant in 1962, went on to become principal of the firm Spillis Candela. Still active and thriving today, Candela is involved in the movement to revive the stadium. In fact, the Marine Stadium is one of the first major structures in the United States to be designed by a Cuban born architect. According to the designation report prepared by architect, Jorge Hernandez, a University of Miami faculty member and Dade Heritage Trust Board Member, the stadium is the first example of the significant contributions made by generations of Cuban professionals who fled Castro's revolution and came to Miami, starting a new chapter in the city's history.

The Marine Stadium’s universal appeal and cultural significance to an entire generation of Miamians has ignited a passionate drumbeat for the preservation, renovation, and adaptive reuse of a great architectural icon.

BIM Used In Study Of Product Performance

New York-based Turner Construction recently conducted a study with Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC to gauge the scheduling--and therefore financial--benefits of using Dens™ Brand paperless, moisture-resistant gypsum products.

Paperless gypsum panels are designed as a replacement for paper-faced panels in commercial and residential buildings. Dens Brand panels from Georgia-Pacific Gypsum have fiberglass mats front and back that provide superior moisture and mold resistance compared to traditional paper-faced panels.

In the study, Turner used advanced Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to model an assisted living facility in the Northeast to identify and show how significant efficiencies in the sequence and construction process can benefit architects, general contractors and building owners. Model construction of the $90 million commercial project showed that installing moisture- and mold-resistant DensArmor Plus® interior drywall from Georgia-Pacific Gypsum accelerated the construction process by up to 10 weeks. The potential savings in both time and money were a result of being able to install the gypsum panels earlier in the construction cycle before a structure is fully enclosed, allowing crews to work simultaneously and compressing schedules.

“Because of their overall durability and resistance to moisture, using Dens products in specific applications before the building has been dried in has proven to help accelerate the completion time of the project and without the fear of moisture damage that is seen with regular drywall,” said Edward V. McNeill, senior vice president, operations, Turner Construction.

“The results show benefits for all parties involved in the construction process,” said Leo Bissonnette, general manager for Georgia-Pacific Gypsum. “By building from the inside out with these moisture-resistant gypsum products, general contractors potentially can complete projects ahead of schedule, and building owners have an opportunity to generate faster cash flow by moving paying occupants in more quickly.”

“BIM helps everyone involved visualize the value of paperless gypsum products, from the architect to the owner," continues Bissonnette. "Our products can make a difference in the development, construction and the life of a building. That not every project will realize such significant results and costs savings will vary by project.”

Ultimately, the facility will be constructed with two Dens Brand products, including the flagship DensGlass Gold® exterior sheathing, which now features a 12-month weather exposure limited warranty, and DensArmor Plus interior drywall, which has a six-month weather exposure limited warranty.

DensArmor Plus interior drywall is also the only drywall product in the industry to be GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified® and GREENGUARD Children & Schoolssm Certified. These prestigious certifications, from the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, recognize indoor products that have low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). DensArmor Plus is also listed as a GREENGUARD microbial-resistant product.

DENSGLASS GOLD and DENSARMOR PLUS are trademarks of Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC.

Supplier Takes Safety Seriously

Next to the slow economy, the cost and availability of workers compensation and general liability insurance continue to be the roofing contractor’s biggest problems, according to a recent survey of steep and low slope roofing installers. Accidents cost money and increase contractors’ insurance modification factors, making it more difficult and expensive to find coverage. This is one reason why most roofing manufacturers emphasize safety in their application literature and in their production facilities.

For nearly 20 years, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has recognized workplace safety through its prestigious Accident Prevention Contest. Almost 40 roof manufacturing facilities improved their “safety index” from last year. Among the top 11 winners this year, seven facilities are run by GAF Materials Corporation, including the top two winners, according to ARMA’s recently released results for 2007. GAF’s Fontana, CA, facility also managed to repeat its performance from 2006 and held onto its number one ranking again this year.

Dick Nowak, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer at GAF says the company takes safety seriously, “Every single manufacturing facility in the GAF organization puts safety as its number one priority, and the ARMA results acknowledge their efforts.” Regarding the entire organization, Nowak added, “GAF has made a commitment to follow sound safety procedures throughout the entire workforce, and we hope to continue to be at the top of ARMA’s list each and every year.”

ARMA measures its results based on labor hours worked per year, with GAF winning the President’s Awards in Group A and Group B. (The Group A category represents more than 300,000 labor hours worked, with Group B facilities reporting 200,000-300,000 labor hours in 2007.) GAF’s Fontana and Savannah, GA plants—and two facilities run by other manufacturers—achieved a perfect ARMA index score for 2007, which is based on no lost and restricted workdays and no reportable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) incidents.

“GAF’s commitment to safety extends far beyond educating its plant personnel and also includes the entire GAF organization nationwide. In fact, company managers are required to begin each company meeting with a safety message which could, for example, address a safety concern or reiterate a safety practice,” stated Jan Jerger-Stevens, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at GAF. “This shows employees, contractors and visitors that the company truly is serious about safety in the workplace.”

Exhibition on Transforming South Street Seaport To Be Launched by AIA New York

Compelling proposals to change the face of lower Manhattan will be on display at the Center for Architecture in New York. "South Street Seaport: Re-envisioning the Urban Edge", is an exhibition from July 17 through September 20, 2008 that showcases 37 prospective designs resulting from the third Biennial Ideas Competition launched by the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the AIA NY. This competition encouraged participants to envision new connections, both material and metaphoric, to Manhattan’s contemporary urban fabric.

"South Street Seaport: Re-envisioning the Urban Edge" provided a rare opportunity for students and young professionals in the field of design and architecture, and who have completed their education at the undergraduate or graduate level within the past 10 years, to engage the ongoing evolution of the South Street Seaport.

Preserving waterfront history
Continuing its recent tradition of selecting sites tied to New York City’s waterfront, ENYA partnered with the Seaman's Church Institute (SCI), whose headquarters have been in the Seaport neighborhood since 1832. With SCI functioning as a hypothetical client, participants were asked to consider the area’s past before suggesting interventions to its future.

Principal design elements of the contest included a community center for the SCI and gallery space to house their collection of maritime art and artifacts, as well as open space usage that would preserve the neighborhood’s intriguing history. Unlike previous competitions that have asked entrants to consider building on terra firma, this competition required the design of a new pier over the water south of the Brooklyn Bridge.

“ENYA’s Biennial Competition program provides an important opportunity for emerging architects from around the world to proffer their suggestions about what the future face of New York City might look like,” commented Carolyn Sponza, AIA, LEED AP, Vice President for Professional Development with the AIA New York Chapter. “As an ideas competition, many of the selections break the mold of traditional thinking about urbanism and engagement with the city—often resulting in proposals that tread the boundary between the accepted and radical."

Global perspectives on the Seaport
The competition jury included highly influential designers and critics form New York, including Nina Baniahmad, Sara Caples-Jefferson, Kate Kerrigan, Eeva Liisa Pelkonen, Michael Sorkin and Calvin Tsao. The exhibition curators are Anne Leonhardt, Joel Melton, and Sean Rasmussen. Models of the four winning entries will be displayed along with the 37 proposals selected by the jury. More than 200 participants entered the competition, representing a broad spectrum of domestic and international architects, landscape architects, urban designers and planners, and graphic artists from 13 countries.

Opening party, walking tour and more
In addition to the opening on July 17, other events will include a symposium, walking tour, and lecture. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication that contains highlights of the best entries, critical essays by noted architectural writers on architecture Michael Sorkin and Ann Buttonwieser, and proposals by NYC high school students involved in an architectural design studio program.

How Was Your Weekend?

Imagine having one of the biggest events in the history of your facility not hold up well to the forces of nature.

That's what happened to the Qwest Center in Omaha, NE on Friday as it played host to the U.S. Swimming Trials.

Have you had any experiences with your facility not performing at its best when an important function was occurring on site? Please share your stories with us in the comment section or e-mail

Photo by Omaha World Herald

Cambridge Architectural Provides Cost-Effective Cladding Solution

A Cambridge Architectural Parkade™ metal fabric application functions as a cost-effective exterior cladding solution with dramatic visual appeal at the new Home Depot store in Jersey City, NJ.

The well known retailer stands at the edge of the booming town at the base of the Holland Tunnel where over 100,000 cars pass daily. This prominent location led to the desire for a visually appealing, yet durable and cost effective exterior cladding material to wrap the store's adjacent two story, 600 space parking facility.

A Parkade metal fabric treatment from Cambridge Architectural offered a solution, integrating well with other building materials used on the structure, while at the same time offering a distinctive look. Approximately 14,700 square feet of woven metal fabric was used to create the Parkade system, which lends modern, contemporary visual appeal to the parking facility.

"We specified architectural mesh because we wanted to mask the parking garage and improve ventilation", says Joshua Burdick, President, SBLM Architects.

"Cambridge's ability to work within tight deadlines, as with the Home Depot garage, which needed to be ready for the store's grand opening, made Cambridge Parkade metal fabric solutions a practical choice," explains Heather Collins, director of marketing for Cambridge Architectural. "Freedom from requiring embedded supports means Cambridge Parkade mesh applications can dramatically cut down on project costs, making woven metal fabric an attractive yet affordable cladding option."

The Parkade system was created with Cambridge's mid-balance metal fabric pattern and attached in tension with Eclipse™ attachment hardware. Mid-balance features large scaled, flexible open weaves that shade and screen structures including facades, parking garages, and pavilions.

With the Eclipse tension attachment hardware, tailored edges of mesh are provided for expanses of flexible metal fabric in tension. Custom cut apertures receive the metal fabric ends in tubing that is integrated into a bracket and structural support design. Tube sizes may vary to emphasize or de-emphasize the attachment. The hardware is appropriate for lengths of metal fabric held in tension up to 100 feet.

Cambridge maintains a fully staffed engineering department to assist with design-build questions, installation details, framing design, and load characteristics, and is also available for on site installation supervision.

WEIRD WEDNESDAY: Twisting And Turning

Plans for an 80 story building in Dubai reveal a structure designed be in motion. Italian architect Dr. David Fisher announced yesterday the launch of the Dynamic Tower, which he says will be constructed first in Dubai, then Moscow, with other locations planned worldwide.

Rotating Tower Dubai Development Ltd headed by the Dynamic Group, have announced the opening of the reservations list for the first Dynamic Tower in Dubai. The building will contain apartments and larger villas, and the entire building would run on wind energy from turbines sited on each floor.

Said Dr. Fisher, “The Dynamic Tower is environmentally friendly and the first building designed to be self-powered, with the ability to generate its own electricity, as well as for other nearby buildings, it achieves this feat with wind turbines fitted between each rotating floor, An 80-story building will have up to 79 wind turbines, making it a true green power plant.”

The Dynamic Tower would also be the first skyscraper to be built entirely from prefabricated parts that are custom made in a workshop, resulting in cost savings, including fewer workers on the construction site. “Each floor of the building can be completed in only seven days. From now on, buildings will be made in a factory,” Dr. Fisher said.

In terms of how building systems will remain intact as the building twists and turns, Fisher notes at the press conference yesterday that plumbing fixtures, for instance, would be along the lines of the flexible equipment used for aircraft refueling.

Plans Beyond The First Venture
Dr. Fisher also announced that the second Dynamic Tower planned for Moscow is now in the advanced design phase, with preassembling of the units to start soon and completion scheduled for 2010. The developer is the Mirax Group, headed by leading international developer Sergei Polonsky, The Moscow tower, which will have 70 floors and be 1,310 feet tall, will be located in Moscow City area.

“Our intention is to build the third Rotating Skyscraper in New York,” Dr. Fisher stated. “Additional Dynamic Towers will be built around the world, following an expression of interest from developers, governments, and public officials to construct a Dynamic Tower in Canada, Germany, Italy, Korea and Switzerland.

(Photo courtesy of Dynamic Architecture)

Reliant Stadium Achieves Code Compliance

Facing fire and building code challenges that simply did not exist a few years ago with large, open air assembly facilities, Rolf Jensen & Associates (RJA) recently helped reach code compliance in emergency situations for Reliant Stadium, home to the Houston Texans.

"Achieving complete and total code compliance is difficult in these types of facilities," explained Michael Crowley, RJA project manager. "We worked with the City of Houston to gain acceptance for alternative methods of compliance for the smoke control system, exiting, and other features unique to the facility."

RJA considered using the retractable roof as a means to allow smoke to escape in the event of a fire. The roof, which is constructed of steel with a fabric covering, completely opens in about 10 minutes. However, the roof cannot be opened when wind speeds exceed 35 mph. Because wind speeds are typically in the high teens at the roof's peak, the city required RJA to approach the stadium as a smoke protected assembly with the assumption that the roof would not be open.

This kind of solution required pre-planning—a key ingredient in RJA's formula. RJA evaluated models, which determined how much smoke would be generated in a fire and the most favorable ways to control it for the design of the smoke control system. Even more important was conducting exit calculations and timed egress for occupant evacuation.

RJA also negotiated a code variance with the City of Houston to allow 3,000 additional standing room only occupants to be added to the existing configuration on the main concourse, as well as providing for special fire department access to hoses at alternative standpipe locations. The first stadium to have a retractable roof in the National Football League,
Reliant Stadium, which hosted Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, now is the centerpiece of the Reliant Park complex with venues for sports, entertainment, conventions, and other functions.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Rolf Jensen & Associates provides a range of engineering and consulting services for clients on projects around the world. Through its 30 offices, the company is a consulting engineering firm for fire and life safety issues, from designing a fire alarm system for a high rise building or conducting a fire model for smoke control in a new convention center to providing on site management of the life safety construction process or conducting a custom training seminar on performance based design.

Sustainable By Design: Existing Buildings In Cities Focus Of New Program

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As piles of used carpet make their way into the waste stream, facility professionals search for more environmentally sensitive options.

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