Month: January 2016

Timing Is Everything

Marieta pointed out yesterday that as long as I’m talking about crack monitors, I need to discuss their biggest failing: they depend on us to be installed and reviewed. Notice how the crack is much wider than the distance shown on the monitor? If the crack monitors are installed after a severe event (in this …

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Failure Portrait: Bad Neighbors, Broken Mortar

Paint does almost as good a job showing movement as does plaster. Since the top of the building isn’t moving up, we know that we have movement of the bottom of the wall down, and that the movement is worse on the right than the left. In this case, there was no search for the …

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2.5mm X, 0.5mm Y

Uh oh. That’s a non-negligible amount of movement since the crack monitor was installed. The surface itself is gypsum board – the thin filaments visible at the crack are joint tape – but the movement is structural, imposed from outside and made visible by the brittle finishes. This type of crack monitor is as low-tech …

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Best for NYC: Other Companies

It is, honestly, pretty easy to address environmental issues in white-collar businesses. The actual process of our work doesn’t inherently use resources or create much waste. It’s much more impressive when manufacturing businesses can make their work environmentally friendly. Which brings me to Riva Precision Manufacturing, a company competing in the Best for NYC Challenge. …

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Made Visible

Plaster interior finishes are a large topic of interest in historic preservation work. But, as an engineer, I’m not usually involved with that work. On the other hand, plaster is of great use in engineering investigations as a building-wide diagnostic aid. The wall on the right is plaster finish over brick, and is structural supporting …

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