Our thoughts, publications, white papers, research and current events.

Complex Roofing Design Earns Interactive Resources an RCI Award

Edward J. Anisman, AIA
When the twenty-two year old built-up roofing system began to fail in 1991, the Navy decided to re-roof Building 680. Totaling 2,260 squares, Building 680 has one big roof! Read More

American Institute of Architects California Chapter Proposes Changes to Certificate of Merit Law

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
American Institute of Architects

American Institute of Architects, CC-ND

The American Institute of Architects California Chapter (AIACC) is pursuing an amendment to either the Senate or Assembly Judiciary Committee Omnibus bills that would modify the process for certificates of merit in litigation involving design professionals. Read More

ASTM Task Group Addresses Challenges of Designing and Constructing Weather-Resistant Frame Buildings

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
ASTM International is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services

ASTM International. CC-ND

ASTM Task Group E06.21.14, chaired by Serge Fedorov, AIA, an architect with the Oakland, CA Housing Authority, is closing in on a national standard that is intended to result in low-rise frame buildings that are resistant to leaks. Read More

The Practice of Architecture in California and Architectural Negligence

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
In litigation, the determination of architectural negligence, or malpractice as it is commonly known, has to be evidenced by testimony of expert witnesses. In assessing whether or not an architect conformed to the "standard of care," an expert witness must consider whether or not the architect used ordinary care and skill, that is, what a reasonably prudent architect would do in the same community and in a given time frame given the same or similar circumstances. Read More

Architect Disciplined for Designing a Flat Deck

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
Although the debate over substrate slope in protected membrane roofs may continue, a recent disciplinary action by the California board of Architectural Examiners seems to have ended any debate over surface slope. Read More

Environmentally Certified Wood Products

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
Forest Stewardship Council

Forest Stewardship Council CC-ND

The Forest Stewardship Council (an independent, non-profit, non-government organization) was created as an international accrediting organization to ensure public credibility and rigorous standards of forest product labels in the marketplace. Without the FSC to evaluate and monitor certifiers, product claims about forest management would eventually lead to a loss of public credibility and trust in the reliability of forest product certification. Read More

Water Testing as a Diagnostic Tool for Building Leaks

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
In the field of construction diagnostics and litigation, water testing is frequently used to find the source of water intrusion, and less frequently, to proof test prototypical repairs. Selecting the type of test and conducting it properly is important, not only so that it will be an effective diagnostic tool, but also so that it will be credible if presented in court in conjunction with expert testimony. Read More

The Search for the Perfect Weather-Resistive Barrier

Don Best of Energy Design Update
Find out what improvements are being proposed in the specification, manufacture and evaluation of weather resistive barriers - commonly known as building papers, house wraps and air barriers. Read More

Local Government Takes Aim at Invasive Exotic Plants

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
The threats posed by Invasive exotic plants are becoming a mainstream issue with billion dollar economic implications for agriculture adding to traditional ecosystem preservation concerns. Read More

Architects Required To Use Written Contracts for Architectural Services

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
Photo by William S. Farrow CC-ND

Photo by William S. Farrow CC-ND

A summary of the California State Law requiring written contracts for architectural services. Read More