Saturday, March 23, 2013

Put the Right Floor in the Right Place


Following is a list of various types of floors and where you can install them.

  • Solid wood floors can be installed above grade (ground level), but not below. The preferred subfloor is 3/4-inch CD grade exterior (CDZ) plywood. You can also use 3/4-inch Oriented Strand Board (OSB) underlayment, 5/8-inch CDX, or tongue-and-groove subflooring.
  • Parquet floors can be installed above grade, but not below. The preferred subfloors are 3/4-inch CDX plywood or 3/4-inch OSB. You can also apply parquet over 5/8-inch CDX or existing solid wood flooring.
  • Engineered wood can be installed above or below grade. Recommendations on use in bathrooms varies by manufacturer. This cannot be installed on moist or damp floors. If it is applied over a crawlspace, there must be at least 24 inches between the bottom of the joists and the ground.
  • Laminate floors can be installed above or below grade and over radiant heat. Recommendations on use in bathrooms varies by manufacturer. Laminate can go over almost any subfloor, including concrete slabs, ceramic tile, stone, vinyl sheet and tile, chipboard, particleboard, and terrazzo. If installed over a crawlspace, there must be at least 24 inches between the bottom of the joists and the ground.
  • Sheet vinyl can be installed above or below grade over existing sheet vinyl, linoleum, tile, new plywood, concrete, ceramic tile, or marble. Do not apply over lauan. Some plywoods are made especially to be used as underlayments for vinyl.
  • Vinyl tile is not recommended below grade. Install over smooth, single-layer vinyl floors that are firmly attached, dry concrete, and wood floors with a plywood overlay. Do not apply over lauan.
  • Ceramic and stone can be installed above or below grade and over radiant heat. Suitable subfloors include cement backerboard, or concrete. They cannot be installed over moist or damp floors.
  • Carpeting can go over almost any subfloor. If planning to use it below grade, make sure the carpet you have in mind is suitable.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Some Considerations of Sustainability...

 





... in Steel Frame 

Construction








Manufacture
  • The raw materials for steel are iron ore, coal, limestone, air, and water. The ore, coal, and limestone are minerals whose mining and quarrying cause disruption of land and loss of wildlife habitat, often coupled with pollution of streams and rivers. Coal, limestone, and low-grade iron ore are plentiful, but high-grade iron ore has been depleted in many areas of the earth.
  • Supplies of some alloying metals, such as manganese, chromium, and nickel, are becoming depleted.
  • The manufacture of a ton of steel from iron ore by the basic oxygen process consumes 3170 pounds of ore, 300 pounds of limestone, 900 pounds of coke (made from coal), 80 pounds of oxygen, and 2575 pounds of air. In the process, 4550 pounds of gaseous emissions are given off, and 600 pounds of slag and 50 pounds of dust are generated. Further emissions emanate from the process of converting coal to coke.
  • The steel industry has worked hard to reduce pollution of air, water, and soil, but much work remains to be done.
  • The embodied energy of steel produced from ore is about 19,200 BTU/pound.
  • Most structural steel in North America is made from recycled scrap; its embodied energy is only about 39 percent of that of steel made from ore.
  • Sixty-six percent of all steel in eventually recycled, which is a very high rate. In a recent 10-year period, 1.2 trillion tons of steel were recycled worldwide. 
 Construction
  • Steel fabrication and erection are relatively clean, efficient processes, although the paints and oils used on steel members can cause air pollution.
  • Steel frames are light in weight as compared to concrete and masonry frames that would do the same job. This means that a steel building generally has smaller foundations and requires less excavation work.
  • Some spray-on fireproofing materials can pollute the air with stray fibers.
  In Service
  • Steel framing, if protected from water and fire, will last for many generations with little or no maintenance.
  • Steel exposed to weather needs to be repainted periodically unless it is galvanized or given a long-lasting polymer coating.
  • Steel framing members in building walls and roofs should be thermally broken or insulated in such a way that they do not conduct heat between indoors and outdoors.
  • When a steel building frame is demolished, its material is almost always recycled.
  • Steel seldom causes indoor air quality problems, although surface oils and protective coating sometimes outgas and cause occupant discomfort.