Archives for January 2016

Relative humidity testing

It has been about 13 years since ASTM approved a “new method” of concrete moisture testing: the relative humidity probe method, also known as the RH test or the “in situ” test. ASTM F 2170, Standard Test Method for Determining Relative Humidity in Concrete Floor Slabs Using In Situ Probes was published in 2002. This […]

E-letter: Outsider trading

Despite last week’s convulsions in the stock market, I resolved to ignore stocks in this note. It’s all people are talking about. So I tried to figure a way to write around the issue, and I can’t. After all, there it is. So…. I like to manipulate the stock market. Everybody does. Several years ago, […]

A day’s work

In Brazil, as in most Latin American countries, the poor are relegated to the steepest, most worthless hillsides surrounding the cities. This yields a building standard that requires part of each “house” (usually the front), be anchored to the hillside, while the back is put up on stilts to provide a level platform. Because of […]

What an appearance

At Cersaie in Bologna, Italy, Fila showcased its new FILAMP90 Eco Plus. It’s a water-based treatment that protects against stains without forming a film or altering appearance. The company says the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions of Eco Plus are very low, and the product is GEV-Emicode EciPlus certified. www.filasolutions.com

True cost of design

When you purchase a product, you are not only buying a material object but the design and innovation that was invested in it. But when you buy a knockoff or counterfeit product, you cheat the creator of the original and devalue the whole creative process. Now, what happens when you are the counterfeiter or copycat? […]

Getting a Bluetooth charge out of it

If you’re an installer who uses DeWalt tools, you may appreciate this new offering. DeWalt has launched its first line of premium 20 V Max 2 A and 4 A lithium ion batteries with Bluetooth capability. You can control these batteries with your Apple or Android smart device using DeWalt’s free Tool Connect app. After […]

Go rustic

For creating a wood look with cork, there is the new Nebraska Rustic Pine from Wicanders. It’s one of 10 new additions to the company’s Artcomfort line. These planks can be used for both residential and commercial projects. They are available with Wicanders’s High Performance Surface protective finish (commercial) and Natural Power Coat (residential). All […]

Then-And-Now: Elementary school jewel

When the existing St. Timothy Catholic Elementary School school in North York, Ont., built in 1954 was to have an addition and renovation to upgrade it to modern standards, Kneider Architects proposed a new school on the same site with full amenities for an additional cost of only 15% above the original renovation proposal. According […]