Educational Seminars

Presenting to Clients

Our staff regularly presents to clients and peers at industry conferences throughout the U.S. Gale is a registered American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education Systems (CES) provider and a LEED® Education Provider; therefore, we are able to give credits for our presentations.

We would be happy to provide your staff with an educational seminar of your choice; descriptions of our seminars can be found below:

Building Enclosure Design and Consulting

Building Enclosure Commissioning

When it comes to remaining dry, many new buildings fail to perform as well as expected. According to the Construction Specification Institute, enclosure leaks were the primary cause of lawsuits against design architects in 1999. Building construction has become increasingly complex and the demand for “green” (i.e. water- and air-tight) buildings continues to grow. Once construction starts, the contractor is primarily focused on constructing the building in accordance with the drawings while remaining on schedule and within budget. Oftentimes, mistakes or oversights can take place during the installation and construction, resulting in a building that leaks air and water. Addressing the building enclosure issues in the early stages of a building construction project saves money and time, and reduces liability for the design and construction team.

A Systematic Approach to Evaluating the Building Envelope

A  major responsibility of building owners and managers is to ensure that their buildings are water-tight, energy-efficient, and safe. This often means investigating and evaluating the building envelope (roofs, walls, windows,  waterproofing, and structure) to define and resolve existing problems as well as to avoid future problems. We will present a systematic approach for investigating, evaluating, and repairing building envelope problems including researching a building’s history, performing a field inspection, testing methods, and engineering analysis and material selection.

Roofs as a Resource: Design and Components of Green Roofs

An increasing number of property managers and owners are becoming keen to the idea of utilizing their roof system as more than a means of protecting the interior of their facility from the exterior elements.  Roof systems are evolving into amenity spaces that include exterior occupiable plaza decks and green spaces.  These occupiable plaza decks and green spaces (Green Roofs) can improve the energy efficiency of a building, reduce the ambient temperature of the roof surface, prolong the waterproofing system’s performance by reducing thermal and ultraviolet (UV) stress, and reduce the amount of storm water runoff produced by the facility. Retrofitting existing roof structures with a waterproofing system and Green Roof design can be a challenge due to factors including increased dead and live loads, the need for proper drainage/water retention to support the Green Roof and maintenance.  This presentation will provide an overview of Green Roofs, their design implications on the waterproofing system, types of waterproofing systems and review of case studies.

This presentation will detail the following topics:

  • Applications of green roofs (historic, seaport areas, colleges and universities, plazas and parks)
  • Benefits of green roof systems
  • Green roof system components
  • Types of vegetation
  • Waterproofing systems
  • Waterproofing types
  • Leak detection
  • Design rules of thumb
  • Case study
Wind and the Building Enclosure: Our Windustry

All structures shall be designed and constructed with adequate strength and stiffness to provide structural stability. Wind creates pressures/forces acting on building surfaces (walls and roofs). If the structure or exterior components are not designed to resist these pressures/forces, substantial damage to the facility could occur during a high wind event.

There are several factors to consider when designing a structure to resist wind pressures, these generally include the following:

  • Basic (design) wind speed
  • Building use
  • Wind directionality
  • Exposure rating (ground surface roughness)
  • Building height
  • Surrounding topography
  • Guest-effect
  • Building enclosure classification
  • Internal building pressures
  • Local design standards (e.g. code, insurance requirements, etc.)

The goal for attendees is to gain knowledge of the effects of wind on buildings, and the factors to consider when designing a building to resist wind pressures during high wind events.

Stabilization Methods for Historic Masonry Assemblies

In this presentation we will review masonry stabilization options, including methods used to identify voids within the assembly, types of mechanical anchors, cleaning of masonry cavities, grout selection and constituents, field quality control, and pros and cons of each method. Example projects by Gale, where applicable, will be provided to demonstrate each method, while outside resources will illustrate potential uses of the FRCM system. Destructive and non-destructive testing techniques conducted during evaluation can offer guidance for cost and method of stabilization and during construction can assist in verifying if successful stabilization of masonry assemblies has been achieved.

Helical ties, injection grouting, and stay-in-place port injection grouting anchors can be effective methods for stabilizing or strengthening masonry wall assemblies where restoration / rehabilitation might otherwise require disassembly and rebuilding.  Specification of these stabilization methods is dependent on the type of masonry assembly and extent of deterioration and stabilization required.  Starting with helical ties for stitching and reinforcing and moving on to grouting with or without stay-in-place anchoring, applications will be described for various levels of stabilization and repair.

Injection grouting involves injection of flowable grout into cracks, voids and cavities to restore continuity across the masonry assembly, thereby stabilizing and extending the masonry assembly’s overall service life.  Injection grouting can increase a building’s ability to resist moisture penetration in mass masonry walls and can increase the structural performance of masonry walls.

Fabric reinforced cementitious matrix (FRCM) systems combine fabric reinforcing set in layers of cementitious mortar.  Axial and tensile applications will be described. A brief overview of specification and application requirements will be included, and potential uses of FRCM systems with historic masonry will also be discussed.  Adherence to established materials and processes with qualified engineering and installers is essential.

A Guide to Repointing Masonry

Mortar is a critical component of any masonry structure, which has undergone several refinements throughout the centuries to achieve the peak balance of both strength and pliability. Not only does mortar provide a long-term bond to masonry units, but also needs to be pliable enough to absorb movement. Understanding the age, type, composition, and construction method of mortar is paramount during restoration, repair, and rebuilding of masonry structures to provide adequate structural and waterproofing performance to the masonry. This presentation will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of mortar types used in today’s construction with a focus on mortar repair on outdated or unknown mortar commonly found on historical buildings, as well as mortar evaluation and repair methods.


Translucent Insulated Panels

Current sustainability, energy performance, and interior comfort requirements are critical design considerations for new and renovation fenestration projects. A sustainable design choice can be translucent panel systems used as fenestrations, skylights or facades. In lieu of glass, translucent panels are made up of thermally efficient materials such as polycarbonate and fiberglass, resulting in thermal values approaching requirements for opaque walls. Translucent panels can be an aesthetically pleasing, ergonomic, and cost-effective option; however, with several products and manufacturer’s available, selecting the right product for certain applications can be complicated. Translucent wall panels are sold by many manufacturers including CPI Daylighting, Kalwall Facades, and Major Industries, all offering a multitude of designs with varying performance criteria and appearances.

This presentation will provide an overview of translucent panels available, their benefits and drawbacks, how they can assist with achieving a sustainable building design, and comparisons of the translucent panels with traditional glass. Supplemented with the presentation is a design matrix to assist in choosing practical products for certain applications based on the client’s needs, and a specification created to assist with public bidding of translucent panel systems.

A Guide to Inspecting and Maintaining Various Roofing Systems

This presentation will provide a detailed guide to investigating, evaluating, and repairing problems with many of the most frequently used types of roofs including “sloped” (metal, slate, tile, shingle) and low slope or “flat”  (built-up roofing, modified, single-ply, etc.). The systematic approach outlined in this presentation includes researching the roof’s history, performing a field inspection, testing methods, setting up a database or benchmark for roof management, and reviewing available tracking forms and roof evaluation checklists.

Green Roofs and Plaza Decks

Green roofs and plaza decks are gaining increased usage. This interest is due to declining green space and the ability of such systems to reduce storm water runoff, eliminating the need for retention basins. Improved energy savings, storm water retention, and aesthetic benefits are driving forces behind the growth of green roofs. Significant improvements in the performance of different components including roof repellents, drainage layers, waterproofing membranes, and lightweight growing media and plants have resulted in anticipated service lives of 40 plus years. This presentation will address a variety of sub-grade waterproofing systems including positive and negative side waterproofing, plaza deck assemblies, and green roof technology. We will analyze the following types of materials including pre-manufactured membranes (e.g. thermoplastics, modified bitumens, bentonite panels), spray-on or brush-applied coatings, and expandable and/or injectable waterstops. We will focus on design concepts, detailing, surface preparations, application methods, and troubleshooting for typical below-grade waterproofing problems.

Improving the Flood Resistance of Buildings

Severe flooding can endanger life, but even moderate levels of flooding can lead to extensive damages and disruption of building operations. Water source contamination and inhibited access are significant problems, coupled with damages to structures and interior contents. Contaminated water can destroy electrical infrastructure, mechanical systems, etc. Business interruption can last from a few days to over a year. Due to climate change and revisions to FEMA flood maps in 2016, many buildings not previously categorized as being at risk are now subject to flooding. As a result, insurers are informing their clients of the potential risks and associated increases in flood insurance coverage, if flood mitigation procedures are not enacted. Gale’s presentation will discuss how to identify areas of facilities vulnerable to flooding, and the options and systems available to protect properties from potentially catastrophic damages to structures, building contents, and impacts on building operations. The presentation will focus on addressing potential hazards at existing facilities. It is usually not as easy as building a levee around the property. Oftentimes, a hybrid solution must be developed, incorporating a variety of systems, including barriers, flood gates, deployable flood walls, backflow devices, storage tanks and ejector pumps, upgraded stormwater systems, etc.

The Benefits of Drones for Evaluating the Building Enclosure

Investigating and evaluating the building enclosure can be challenging due to access issues.  Closely observing multi-story buildings, steep sloped roofs, steeples, and spires can be very difficult, and it is often necessary to utilize man lifts, high-reach equipment, scaffolding, adjacent buildings or roofs, and binoculars.  Setting up man lifts and scaffolding equipment is costly, time consuming, and may temporarily block occupants from accessing the building. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently adopted procedures and certifications for use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs)/Drones for hobby and business use. (UAS)/Drones can capture real-time, high-resolution video and photographs, and reduce the time and money it takes to perform a typical evaluation. Drones can quickly elevate and fly to the highest edges of a building in a matter of seconds. The ability to view these heights from the safety of the ground is a huge advantage for the observer. This presentation will detail the pros and cons of drone use on facilities, privacy issues, and FAA Regulations. The presentation will also include sample videos and images.

Up Against the Wall: How to Address Masonry Wall Issues

Facility managers are responsible for maintaining a safe, aesthetic, and “leak-free”  environment for occupants. Masonry walls (both old and new) often present many  challenges for facility managers including:

  • Moisture intrusion (leaks) into building interiors
  • Deterioration  and damage (typically visible on exterior surfaces)
  • Stains on exterior surface
  • Interior air quality problems (mold and mildew)

The presenters will discuss how to recognize the symptoms of masonry wall problems, various causes of the problems, the short and long-term effects of these problems, and remedial options. The presenters will also describe how they investigate wall problems to identify the causes and effects of moisture leaks and other types of damage. The audience will come away with a general knowledge of typical masonry wall issues and some “rule of thumb” dos and don’ts.

The Benefits of a Roof Management Plan

If you are a facility manager of a large campus, you may feel like you’re being stretched thinner than ever before. With so many buildings to oversee and at a time where there are less available personnel, it has become critical to develop organized methods for tracking past, current, and future building repairs. Organization of this magnitude requires the facility manager to keep careful track of detailed repair histories and recommended repairs, all while managing the current and projected costs. A formal roof management plan (RMP) can assist in the day-to-day operations, and in long-term planning. The presenter will review how to properly evaluate an existing roof and associated components, such as rising walls, parapets, roof penetrations and drainage; and detail how to:

  • Prioritize repair/replacement based on visual evaluation and limited destructive testing, utilizing leak histories, age of the roof, repair histories, and interior space usage
  • Develop budget estimates that can be used for yearly planning for roof maintenance many years in advance
  • Easily update the report with new repair histories or new roof warranties
Restoration of Historic Terra Cotta

Terra cotta cladding and decorative elements can be found on many historic buildings.  Its use was most prevalent between the late 1800s and the 1930s. Many building owners and facility managers are faced with deteriorating terra cotta components and need to determine appropriate repair methods or consider replacing the terra cotta with alternate materials. This presentation will discuss the origins and history of terra cotta and its use as a building material. The presenter will detail the causes and symptoms of terra cotta deterioration, and the course of action that building owners and managers should take when restoring terra cotta elements.

Design and Selection of Operable Windows

Selecting the appropriate operation type for windows is critical to the success of a  window replacement project and the satisfaction of the end-user. This presentation will outline the various window operation types that building owners and managers must choose from when replacing windows in their buildings,  including awning, hopper, casement, double- or single-hung, slider, and pivot.  It will address the factors that building owners and managers must take into account, such as building use, occupant restrictions, building code requirements, emergency egress requirements, etc. This presentation will assist building owners and managers in making educated decisions when selecting the most appropriate window operation type for their building and will illustrate the decision-making process with a project case study.

Air/Vapor Barriers

Installation of a continuous air barrier in the exterior building enclosure of new construction has become mandatory in many localities. As with all new things, a  learning curve is expected and opinions on the correct means, methods, and materials vary widely. This presentation intends to clarify design concepts and the installation of air and vapor barriers in the building enclosure. Air barrier technology is not a new science. It has been developed and implemented in Canada with successful results for approximately 20 years. The earliest known air barrier was constructed hundreds of years ago from natural vegetation, bark, and mud.  Today, U.S.  contractors primarily use air and vapor impermeable membranes in the exterior wall cavity. One must understand that this is not the only way to design or construct a properly functioning envelope system. A number of materials can be utilized as air and/or vapor barriers as long as they meet minimum permeability ratings and are located and installed correctly in the enclosure. When reference is made to the building enclosure, the definition is any separation component (walls, windows, doors,  roof, foundation) that separates the controlled interior environment from the exterior environment. Both air and vapor can move through each of these components through diffusion or through open gaps in the system assembly. Controlling the transmission of air and vapor through the enclosure can provide both increased energy conservation and reduce the potential of condensation within the system assemblies.

Waterproofing Below-Grade Structures

This presentation is designed to educate facility managers about the fundamentals of below-grade waterproofing. With high costs, functions are being placed in below-grade locations. Classrooms, laboratories, auditoriums, and other critical occupancies require a completely water-tight environment. This presentation will inform facility managers about the various below-grade waterproofing options available along with recommended materials and installation methods. We will address a variety of sub-grade waterproofing systems including positive and negative side waterproofing, plaza deck assemblies, and garden roof designs. We will analyze the following types of materials including pre-manufactured membranes (e.g. thermoplastics, modified bitumens, bentonite panels), spray-on or brush-applied coatings, and expandable and/or injectable waterstops. We will focus on design concepts, detailing,  surface preparations, application methods, and troubleshooting for typical below-grade waterproofing problems.

Selection and Use of Sealant on the Exterior Building Enclosure

A variety of vertical wall systems common in building construction, including panelized facades, fenestrations, and curtain walls, rely on sealant to provide a secondary, and often the primary, weather resistance barrier for the exterior building enclosure. While sealant is frequently used in building construction and restoration projects, the wide range of sealant materials, as well as the variation in substrate materials and configurations, demand the appropriate selection and use of sealants to achieve long-term weatherproofing and service life. For many projects, where access can be difficult and often costly, long-lasting performance is paramount in reducing maintenance and future renovation expenditures. As such, the designer should be proficient in determining the performance requirements of specific joints as it relates to movement, weathering, installation, and interaction with various substrate types. On sealant replacement projects on existing structures, the designer must be capable of identifying various sealant deficiencies and their causes, aware of the potential presence of hazardous materials (i.e. ACM, PCB), and how they may affect a sealant rehabilitation project.  Furthermore, the designer should be well versed in the various mechanical properties of modern sealant and substrate materials and be knowledgeable of the industry standards which guide the selection, design, and installation of sealant.  This paper will show how and why not all sealant is appropriate for each project, and how a comprehensive and systematic approach will provide solutions to meet the client’s needs.

Designing and Detailing of Air Barrier Connections at Windows, Curtain Walls and Storefronts

The Air Barrier (AB) requirements mandated by the 2012 International Building Code have brought about significant changes to detailing at fenestrations. Currently, insulated glass assemblies are designed based on building design and owner requirements. The corresponding AB transition details are often developed using the basis of design and manufacturer’s suggested detailing. The overall connectivity of the AB at fenestrations must be considered in the design phase as product compatibility and functional constructability of the transitions may dictate different fenestration configurations or air barrier materials.

Combatting Thermal Bridging within the Building Envelope

Thermal bridging is the transfer of thermal energy through connected conductive building materials and those systems, assemblies, or materials that interrupt the exterior thermal envelope. Reducing thermal bridging is required by the International Building Code (IBC), specifically the ASHRAE 90.1 Energy Standard. This standard stipulates that the effective R-value of the wall assembly must consider the effects of thermal bridging to be representative of actual thermal performance. Gale’s presentation will focus on strategic practical measures to mitigate transfer of thermal energy, which occurs through conduction at window fenestration sill pans, fenestration flashings, and cladding attachments.

Rooftop Fall Arrest vs. Fall Restraint Systems

You may have heard people using these the terms “fall arrest” and “fall restraint” interchangeably and wondered if there is a difference, or whether they refer to the same thing. They are both safety measures, but they have their own characteristics and design requirements. The term “arrest”, when in the context of fall protection, refers to a system that prevents a worker who is in the process of falling from an elevated position from impacting a lower level (e.g., a worker’s life is saved when he falls off the edge of a roof and his shock-absorbing lanyard, attached to an appropriate anchorage device, prevents him from contacting the ground while limiting the forces exerted on the body).  This presentation will focus on design and engineering considerations for each type of system as well as look as ways to limit our liabilities when we specify fall arrest or fall restraint systems on projects.

Commissioning Review of Field/Mock-Up Testing and Common Failures

The inclusion of openings within the exterior enclosure to provide daylighting, ventilation, improve occupant comfort, and productivity has inadvertently increased the potential for air and water infiltration into buildings. Detailing and selection of the fenestration assemblies has become critical to the overall performance and longevity of a building. The transition from the fenestration assembly to the moisture management systems have historically been a major contributor of water infiltration and the premature degradation of buildings. In addition to potential manufacturing defects, transporting the assemblies to the site, handling on site, installation sequencing and detailing have a significant impact on the installed performance verses the rated performance of a window assembly. Three-dimensional, project specific details of the window installations are typically not provided in construction documents leading to the need for field interpretations of unforeseen conditions by contractors who may not fully understand the importance of maintaining continuity at system transitions. While fenestration assemblies are laboratory tested as an isolated unit, in reality the unit must be properly tied into multiple air, vapor, thermal and weather barrier system components. Through a quantitative and qualitative evaluation, in-field air and water infiltration resistance testing is frequent practice to confirm that the performance of the fenestration assemblies installed satisfy the performance requirements of the project.

Considerations for Photovoltaics and Their Impact on Roofing Assemblies

As the demand for renewable energy sources is increasing and more energy programs are available, photovoltaic (PV) arrays are being installed on roof areas more frequently. Proper planning when considering installing PV arrays can greatly reduce the potential for roof leaks, voided roof warranties, structural damage, and unnecessary expenses. These considerations should include evaluation of the existing roof system and planning for the installation of a rooftop PV system, selection of the appropriate PV system for the building, design of the PV system attachment to the building and roof, design of roof repairs or roof replacement in conjunction with the PV installation, maintenance of the roof and PV arrays, and evaluation of the costs associated with each phase. Specifically, the owner and designer should review the condition and warranty duration of the existing roof system, the available capacity of the existing structure, options for PV systems and attachments, roof manufacturer limitations, life safety for maintenance, fire safety, and the appropriate coordination of the various tradesmen before, during, and after construction.

Hydro-Active Grout Injection

Hydro-active grout injection is becoming a successful and common waterproofing technique, especially for moisture mitigation in existing concrete and stone and brick masonry. Hydro-active grout injection can be used for new construction, or for existing construction to mitigate moisture intrusion or to improve structural integrity and load bearing capacity of existing structures. This presentation will focus on the waterproofing side of hydro-active grout. It will also provide insight to the project specific use of hydro-active grouting by discussing a case study about a concrete tunnel restoration project.

Design Considerations for Snow Guards

Accumulated snow on sloped roofs, when set into motion, can pose a life-safety concern for building occupants, or can cause significant property damage. With this phenomenon in mind, owners and designers should carefully consider the need for snow guards, which are snow retention devices used to impede the movement of sliding snow, and where to locate them if deemed necessary. Generally, snow guards are used on sloped roofs near ingress/egress points, and where protection of property is desired, such as to prevent excessive snow drift on lower roofs or to shield vehicles or landscaping. Snow guards can be applied to both new construction and retrofit projects. The goal of this presentation is to familiarize owners and designers with the types of available retention devices to a specific project, general design parameters to be considered before installing snow guards, and typical attachment procedures. The presentation will focus on steep-sloped metal, slate, and single-ply (PVC) roof systems. Two case-studies will be presented: failure of a snow rail assembly on a new standing seam metal roof; and the failure of a retrofit snow guard assembly on an existing slate roof.

Historic/Natural Stone Masonry Replacement and Repairs: Identification, Evaluation, Design

Historic buildings (pre-1930s) are recognized as having significance in their community, and as such they frequently involve a high level of qualification for preservation and associated repairs.  Determining underlying causes of stone deterioration and the designing resultant repairs can be complex or relatively simple depending on the level of deterioration being observed.  When equipped with proper knowledge, the path to solutions can result in consistently clear and appropriate, qualified design solutions. The presentation will focus on identifying stone types, sourcing replacement stone and alternative replacement materials, evaluating stone, replacement design, and repair methods. The goal of this presentation is to provide an overview of Gale’s process of evaluating building stone and determining suitable replacement and repair options for deteriorated building stone.

Provisions for Forced Entry Prevention

In lieu of the recent public shooting tragedies in the past several decades (primarily those in schools), there has been a growing demand for increased safety measures to be incorporated into building design. In addition to implementing training for emergency response, many school administrations have begun to institute preventative measures such as controlling building access and providing additional means for emergency egress. Fenestrations (i.e. windows, doors, louvers, vents, etc.) are the most vulnerable components of the building enclosure, and thus are highly susceptible to unauthorized access and/or vandalism if the proper provisions are not incorporated. There are a number of different measures that can be used to increase the safety of the building occupants, each with varying levels of performance and cost. Selection of the most appropriate safety measures must involve consideration of the facility’s occupant load, vulnerability, threat, and risk. This presentation will present an overview of various options with respect to the treatment of the glazing itself, as well as discuss important considerations for access control at building entrances. It will also discuss recommended applications and a summary of applicable building code criteria used in the design. Applicable images, graphics, and accompanying data will be utilized to support the discussions.

Window Design for Blast Hazard Mitigation

Due to increasing terrorist threat and activity in the past several decades, there has been a growing demand for explosive blast resistance to be incorporated into the design of building structures and enclosure components. The performance of building enclosures and cladding components during an explosive blast is more geared towards mitigating the hazards caused by the blast, as it has been found that many of the injuries and fatalities have been a direct result of flying glass and wall debris and not the explosion itself.

Gale’s presentation focuses specifically on blast hazard mitigation design for windows and fenestrations. The presentation gives a brief background and review of relevant theories, as well as the risk assessment process for evaluating demand and identifying vulnerabilities. As blast resistance is typically only a “requirement” in federal facilities, this presentation will also review applicable Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) standards and design processes.

Fundamentals of Green Roofing

Green, or vegetated, roofs have become increasingly popular due to increased energy efficiency, stormwater retention, and aesthetic improvement. A properly installed green roof can provide long-term cost savings while countering climate change. A green roof is most beneficial if the design is properly integrated into the building’s overall function. Each situation is unique and various factors must be considered when selecting the proper green roof assembly. Although design and specification of the roof is the designer’s role, it is important for facility managers to understand the basic green roof design principles. This presentation will discuss various types of green roof assemblies and the design criteria that should be considered.

Design Considerations for Steep Slope Roofing with Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingle roof coverings are commonly used in steep slope roof applications. The design of these roof system types have become familiar and are often overlooked for their relative simplicity; however, ice dams, moisture control and premature deterioration of roofing components are still widespread issues with this type of roof system. Whether designing a new roof or considering replacement options for an existing roof, the consultant evaluating the roof system must be familiar with the system types and material options and have a clear understanding of their design basis, which is typically dependent on climate conditions and building use.  Recent changes in the Building Code have permitted the use of different system options for Commercial and Residential roof design.  The presenter will discuss design considerations relating to vented attic spaces, vented roof nailboard assemblies, and unvented roof assemblies

The selection of the appropriate individual roof system materials for the design can have a direct impact on the performance of the combined system.  The presenter will review material options available when selecting components for the design of the roof system including roof insulation, vapor barriers and vapor retarders, underlayments, and asphalt shingle types.  Development of an evaluation checklist will be discussed to facilitate existing conditions studies of roof systems for considerations related to steep slope roof design with asphalt shingles.

Restoration and Maintenance of Your Slate Roof

Many facility managers are responsible for buildings with slate roofs. These often historic buildings require special maintenance and care. This presentation will explain the history of slate in the U.S. and how it is harvested. The presenter will also detail an approach to evaluating and designing repairs to slate roofs.

Truly Green: A Look at the Advantages of Maintaining Historic Campus Buildings

Most  colleges and universities in the U.S. have taken great strides in  recent years to embrace “being green.” LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency  and Design) certification has taken hold in both public and private  construction. Most institutions pursue some level of LEED when constructing new  buildings and do so with great fanfare. But one often overlooked, or at least  undervalued method of achieving overall resource efficiency is to maintain  and/or adaptively reuse our older building stock. We will explore the idea that  perhaps the truest form of green building on campus is maintaining historic  buildings. Case studies of various historic restoration projects will also be  discussed.

Restoration and Maintenance of Your Slate Roof

Slate  roofing has been used in building construction for centuries and remains the  most durable roofing material available today. With the proper design and  maintenance of a slate roof, one can anticipate a service life in excess of 100  years. Correctly designing a slate roof requires a thorough analysis of  existing conditions. This is particularly important if project scope is limited  to slate and/or flashing repairs. Gale’s presentation will provide a brief  history of slate; and describe accessory materials, types of slate, and how it  is quarried and fabricated into shingles. We will also present evaluation  methods and techniques, describe sampling procedures, discuss recognized  standards for testing of existing and new slate shingles, elaborate on design  considerations and identify potential troubleshooting issues and resolutions.

Renovations to Exterior Building Enclosure to Improve Building Performance (Energy, Comfort, Quality)

Many campuses across the United States have buildings that were built before current energy and building codes required continuous air and vapor barriers, or upgraded insulation thermal values. To improve energy savings and interior air quality, many universities have initiated mandatory energy saving requirements for existing buildings. The challenge faced by facilities groups is to determine the cost/benefit achieved within expanding limited funds on specific building enclosure (roofs, walls, windows) improvements. This presentation will describe unique solutions used to improve overall building performance (energy, comfort, and quality) while dramatically improving aesthetics.

The Use of Vapor Retarders in Low-Slope Membrane Roof Systems

In recent years, the International Energy Conservation Codes increased the R-value required for low-slope roof systems.  By increasing the amount of insulation in the roof system; the temperature and pressure differential between the outside air and the interior, conditioned space is considerably greater and may create the potential for vapor drive or diffusion through the roof system.  In many cases, the dew point temperature is reached within the roof system and condensation forms, which can deteriorate the roofing materials and ultimately fail the system.  To reduce the rate of diffusion and condensation, a vapor retarder can be installed.  However, depending on climate type, building use, and type of roof system installed, a vapor retarder may be an unnecessary added cost.  Whether a project is new construction or renovation, the Building Codes do not clearly illustrate when the use of a vapor retarder is required.  Therefore, the use of vapor retarders is subjective and often not considered.

The presenter will discuss design criteria to consider when determining the necessity of a vapor retarder, the different types and applications of vapor retarders, and the advantages of performing a hygrothermal analysis and dew point analysis during the design phase.  Case studies and typical details will be outlined to provide a clear understanding of the importance of vapor retarders.


Alternative to Replacing Metal Roofs

When it comes to replacing metal roofs, building owners and facility managers typically expect complete removal and replacement of the roofing system.  A new metal roof can cost about three times the cost to repair or restore it. In addition, the costs and challenges of disruptions to the facilities’ operations (e.g., overhead cranes removing panels, exposing interior during demo, etc.) can also be a major factor in the decision of whether or not to completely replace the roof.  It is, therefore, important for owners and facility managers to understand that other options are available. Advanced technology has resulted in the formulation of elastomeric restoration coating systems that provide long-term solutions for metal roof problems. Additionally, retrofit roof systems such as single-ply roofing or another metal roof assembly can be installed over the existing metal roof. Selecting the proper alternative method which utilizes traditional materials and products that will enhance the metal roof’s condition and prevent further difficulties is essential. The presenter will review these alternative approaches to replacing the metal roof. The goal is for attendees to gain knowledge of the various options available and to understand design considerations when selecting an alternative solution.

Commissioning the Air Barrier

The complexity of building envelope designs, the use of new materials, and the high rate of moisture/air infiltration reportedly occurring in new buildings indicates why air barrier commissioning is essential in ensuring that buildings remain water- and air-tight. The presenter will detail the commissioning process as it relates to air barrier systems.

Avoiding Poor Air Barrier Audits

This presentation will review the air barrier installation process, preparation of the substrate, and installation and inspections from the view of an air barrier auditor. The presenter will also review correct and incorrect installations and what steps should be taken to achieve a successful installation. The attendee will learn what the ABAA auditor is looking for during their site visits and what entails a successful audit and project.

Air Barrier, Vapor Barrier and Weather Resistive Barrier Selection; Types and Classifications

A major issue in the construction industry is the universal need for an air barrier product that meets a certain level of performance relating to air transmission, and perform the functions of a drainage plane.  The Energy Code requires that an air barrier be impermeable to air transmission, continuous, durable, structurally supported, and have the capability to transfer loads to the building structure. As we are finding in construction today, some products being used are not equal in their in-field applications.  In some instances, products specified do not match the intended application or details identified in the drawings leading to confusion for contractors.  To lessen the burden on specifiers and contractors, air barriers should be classified by types, because they are not all equal.  The intent of this presentation is to suggest categorizing air barrier types by identifying characteristics that differentiate each product.

Field Methods to Evaluate Existing Curtain Walls and Storefront: Components, Common Deficiencies, and Retrofit Options

Many buildings built in the 20th century that were constructed with curtain walls and storefront assemblies are either approaching the age or have surpassed the age when deterioration of glazing gaskets and seals/sealants have reached their maximum lifespan. In addition to failures in gaskets and sealants, there are several additional components within the assemblies that may be identified and assessed during a field evaluation for potential concerns. Failure with assembly components may cause water infiltration, condensation issues, thermal insufficiencies, air infiltration, and possible structural concerns.  These systems are vital building envelope assemblies that require periodic maintenance and evaluation to identify potential issues prior to failure. This presentation will focus on explaining methods for appropriately evaluating the components of existing curtain walls and storefront assemblies in order to determine the existing conditions and proposed solutions, such as short-term repairs, long-term repairs, and/or replacement. Field evaluation methods will include visual evaluation (both with and without deconstruction of components), review of construction drawings/documents, and methods for air and water testing.

Incorporating Green Roofing Principles at Your Institution

Green roofs are gaining increased usage on college/university campuses. This interest is due to declining green space and the ability of such systems to reduce stormwater runoff, eliminating the need for retention basins. Improved energy savings, stormwater retention, and aesthetic benefits are driving forces behind the growth of green roofs. Significant improvements in the performance of different components including roof repellents, drainage layers,  waterproofing membranes, and lightweight growing media and plants have resulted in anticipated service lives of 40 plus years. We will discuss the history of green roofs, types of systems, functions of key components, design factors to consider, maintenance considerations, costs, and the benefits.  

Roof Asset Management Programs: Valuable Tools or Just More Paperwork?

Roof  Asset Management Programs have been touted to facility managers as the ultimate  tool for efficiently managing property assets with simple keystrokes on a  computer. These programs range from simple inventory spreadsheets to powerful  relational databases with analytical reports that attempt to decide costs and  priorities using various algorithms. Do these programs deliver on their  promises? What are the true costs, both short and long term? How does a  facility manager start the process of implementation? How do these programs  assist with budget planning and procurement of funding? We will attempt to  answer these questions and more. The presentation will review the options and  components of the various engineered Roof Management Programs that are  available to maintenance personnel, facility managers, and planner. We will  encourage discussion of current methods of roof asset management for multiple  facility networks and compare them to the engineered systems that are available.

How to Make Your Roof Generate Income

Building owners and facility managers spend a lot of time, energy, and money installing and maintaining their roofs. This seminar will discuss how to make your roof work for you. If appropriately designed, roofs can generate income and help save on building operational costs by reducing heating and cooling costs and extending the life of your roof. There are many options available and they range from generating electrical power from roof-mounted photovoltaic cells  (photovoltaics are solar cells that produce electricity directly from sunlight)  to coatings (coatings that reflect the sun’s UV rays and infrared radiation will reduce absorbed heat and prolong roofing life) that assist in reducing heating and cooling costs. This seminar will discuss the advantages,  disadvantages, and costs of each option. In addition, we will provide case studies for each option.

Waterproofing, Plaza Decks, Green Roof Technology

This presentation will address a variety of sub-grade waterproofing systems including positive and negative side waterproofing, plaza deck assemblies, and green roof technology. We will analyze the following types of materials including pre-manufactured membranes (e.g. thermoplastics, modified bitumens,  bentonite panels), spray-on or brush-applied coatings, and expandable and/or injectable water stops. We will focus on design concepts, detailing, surface preparations, application methods, and troubleshooting for typical below-grade waterproofing problems.

Athletic Facilities Planning and Design

ADA Accessibility for Outdoor Athletic Facilities

Recreational facilities, including sports facilities, are among the facilities required to comply with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. This presentation will focus on the regulatory requirements for accessibility to outdoor sports-related facilities in newly designed and constructed or altered existing facilities. It will address elements commonly found within a sports facility, such as accessible vehicle parking spaces, exterior accessible routes, sports fields and courts, and spectator seating areas. The emphasis is placed on ensuring that individuals with disabilities can access and use a variety of elements within a sports facility.

Track and Field Facility Requirements and Planning

Knowing the requirements of any given track is one of the most important steps in planning the best facility for a school or University. This seminar compares the rules and regulations of different governing bodies, so that a school can determine what kind of facility they need, depending on the type of meets and events they would like to hold. Some topics discussed are the sizing and lengths of tracks, lane striping, raised curb vs. no curb, track geometry, chute distances, grading, and typical field event logistics. The seminar also gives some insight on optimal track options based on athletic performance and sites with different kinds of restraints.

Running Track and Tennis Court Design and Maintenance Fundamentals

When planning for running track and tennis court construction and renovations, it is important to understand the various alternatives with regard to new construction, repair, renovation, and/or replacement strategies; as well as the numerous material options. Topics include an overview of the fundamentals such as tennis court & running track layout, orientation, fencing, drainage, and surfacing materials options.  Additionally, this seminar discusses other influencing factors such as site constraints, environmental/geotechnical restrictions, budgetary issues, and tennis and track surface maintenance strategies.

Layout and Design of Athletic Facilities

The layout and design of athletic facilities is unique to each site and depends on several factors:

  • Type of use
  • Level of use
  • Site constraints
  • Applicable codes
  • Governing regulation
  • Specific program/site requests

Each project requires an understanding of the existing site, as well as the wants and needs of each of the potential users. The goal of this presentation is to review the impacts of the factors listed above and how they affect the layout and design of the facility. The presentation also focuses on lessons learned from previous project experiences.

Planning and Design of Athletic Complex Amenities Buildings

With the increasing diversity and gender equity in college and secondary school sports, many sports facility owners are undertaking ambitious facility redevelopment projects that include multi-purpose amenities buildings. These facilities can include restrooms, team rooms, concessions, storage, trainer rooms, ticket sales, strength development, etc. Schools have begun to harness the ability of these programs to foster an atmosphere that celebrates spirit and community by enhancing the spectator experience, improving recruitment/retention, and creating gateway entrance statements that transform playing fields into sports venues. This presentation will review the key considerations in planning and designing athletic complex amenities buildings:

  • Plumbing code implications for the planning of public restrooms
  • Specific handicapped access considerations
  • Site development requirements related to viewscapes, queuing, utilities, and landscaping
  • Determining a concessions strategy, equipment schedule, and impacts of health code requirements
  • Including team and locker rooms that accommodate multiple sports, genders, and visiting teams
  • Determining athletic and maintenance storage needs and access
  • Rules regarding officials’ rooms
  • Accommodating scoring, timing, lighting, irrigation, and public address infrastructure
  • Decision implications of seasonal vs. year round operation
  • Material and system selections for aesthetics, durability, cleanliness, maintenance, safety, and initial/life-cycle cost
  • Balancing school imaging and branding with sponsorships and naming opportunities
Life Cycle Cost Based Decision Making for Sports Facility Renovations

When university facility managers start to plan outdoor sports facility renovations, they can often be overwhelmed by the many alternatives with regard to repair, renovation, and/or replacement strategies; as well as the numerous material options. These decisions are frequently made while contending with constrained project budgets.

Facility managers need to look holistically at the cost stream for each strategy and materials alternative as they try to optimize the use of institutional resources to best meet the programmatic needs of the university. This presentation will examine three case studies in which detailed life cycle cost analysis using net present value methodology was employed to facilitate such decisions:

  • Springfield College studied new asphalt tennis courts versus post-tensioned concrete.
  • Hingham High School considered grass versus synthetic turf for the development of a new multi-purpose stadium game field.
  • St. Francis Xavier University assessed the installation of latex track surfacing versus urethane for its new track and field facility.


This presentation addresses the life cycle cost streams for each sports facilities project: from acquisition, through maintenance, to end of life and disposal; and how this methodology provided decision support to institutional decision makers.

A Decade of In-filled Synthetic Turf: What Have We Learned and Where Are We Going?

Many institutions and municipalities are replacing natural turf with “infilled”  tufted polyethylene synthetic turf. In the past, decisions were based on manufacturers’ representations and hearsay; little performance data was available. There are now many “infilled” synthetic turf fields that are over 10  years old, which gives us a performance history regarding maintenance requirements, life-cycle costs, durability, safety, and warranties. Among manufacturers, there are differences in materials, construction, composition,  warranty, and proprietary restrictions. Due to the aggressive nature of the synthetic turf business, there is a lot of misinformation generated by the industry. This presentation will discuss various alternatives and provide a  decision-making approach that will facilitate more cost-effective procurement strategies. Finally, we will examine new product innovations and what we should expect to see in the near future.

The Truth Behind the Health, Safety and Environmental Risk Associated with Infilled Synthetic Turf

Since the 1960s, artificial turf has been installed on athletic fields throughout the U.S. In the past few years, there has been some controversy regarding the health, safety, and environmental risks of synthetic turf. Using recent independent studies, the presenters will address and shed light on some of the perceived risks associated with infilled synthetic turf including sports injury related to the current generation of synthetic turf, water quality impacts, and human health risks (lead, temperature, staph, and toxicity). The presenters will also discuss the various ASTM testing standards related to infill synthetic turf.

Facility Manager-Driven Athletic Campus Master Planning

The quality of athletic campus facilities plays a significant role in attracting potential students; therefore, the vision and shaping of the athletic campus is often performed by administrative and athletic department personnel with little involvement from the facility management professionals. The presenter will discuss the importance of including facility management personnel in the planning process because they ultimately “own, operate, and maintain” the athletic facility. They will illustrate the process by discussing how this was achieved during recent athletic facility improvement projects.

Track and Field Planning for Athletic Performance and Effective Meet Management.

Many university and secondary school track and field facilities constructed in the 60s and 70s have approached the end of their useful life and require reconstruction. This seminar focuses on effective planning for this redevelopment. Topics include determining the appropriate track radius, lane configuration (number and width) and field event number, orientation, safety requirements, and layout within the site. Meet operational considerations such as event queuing areas, event markings and current timing and scoring systems are discussed. Some of the recent changes in longitudinal and cross slope criteria are discussed for the various track and field governing bodies. Additionally, the seminar discusses the planning for track infrastructure such as storm drainage, lighting and irrigation conduit, communications, and data. Finally, the seminar reviews the experience and lessons learned in the development of a new track and field complex at Dartmouth College in 2006.

Athletic Surfacing Decision Making: Natural vs. Synthetic Turf, Latex vs. Urethane Track Surfacing.

Some of the most important decisions made by  athletic facilities managers in any renovation project are related to the type  of athletic surfacing to specify. Typically the overall project budget is  dominated by this particularly costly line item, and it is likely that no other  decision will impact facility performance as much. Unfortunately these  decisions are often complicated by misinformation and misunderstanding. The  intent of this seminar is to provide proven installation methods, cost,  athletic performance, safety, and maintenance data related to the various  surfacing options for both athletic turf and all weather synthetic track  surfacing systems. The seminar provides a thorough review of the advantages and  disadvantages of each surfacing alternative and decision making criteria. If  requested, this seminar can be tailored to focus, and therefore go into more  detail, on either the turf or track surfacing area.