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

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

Vinyl Windows May Exacerbate Water Intrusion in Stucco Walls

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
Because of a very high coefficient of thermal expansion, vinyl window installation in stucco walls may result in large joints and water intrusion between the window and the stucco cladding. Read More

ICBO Reports Now Available On-line Free

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
How to obtain up to date ICBO and other evaluation agency reports instantly on line at no cost. Read More

WESTCON Roster Provides List of Bay Area Construction Consultants

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
WESTCON Construction Consultants Association website provides list of Bay Area construction industry consultants specializing in forensic, diagnostic, and repair services. Read More

What Is the California Building Code?

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA
Many people involved in building design, construction, or even construction litigation are under the erroneous impression that the prevailing building code in California is the Uniform Building Code (UBC) and that it is adopted and amended by local cities and counties. Read More