04D

Where Buildings Fail

Building under construction

Call 305-552-5465, If you have a question or would like to discuss your project.  There is no charge for the initial consultation, if you own the Miami-Dade County property and would like to discuss the project you envision in detail.

 

WHERE BUILDINGS FAIL

Where buildings fail

 

The most important element in a new building is the water resistance factor.

 

When a building is new and freshly painted, it's hard to see its flaws.

 

But it is in the months previous to its completion that the assistance of an architect would have been invaluable.  Sun and rain are merciless in the South Florida climate.  Once the building is completed and occupied it is too late to make provisions for the sun and rain.

 

But where could a competent architect been useful?  An architect’s value is in the design and construction documents phases, of course, but also in the construction phase.

 

Of the utmost importance are the flashing and roofing details to keep the water out.  But it does no good if the architect takes the time to design and detail these, if the contractor does not implement these in the construction.   Most buildings fail by not keeping the water out.   And if the architect had an opportunity to look at the flashing as it is being installed, then it is likely that it will be installed correctly.

 

Did the contractor install the windows and doors correctly?  Did he apply sealant around all of the windows, doors, and thresholds? 

 

Where houses fail

 

What about hurricanes?  What damage is the most prevalent?

 

  • Unbraced gable ends cause gable ends of buildings to fall

  • If the building is not reinforced masonry construction, which is the predominant construction method in Miami today, a lack of tie-downs or concrete columns at the corners could cause the entire structure to move off the foundations.  In buildings and houses prior to Hurricane Andrew in 1992, this was a very real issue.  In old buildings or houses, this could still be an issue today.

  • Improperly attached roofing shingles, cement tile, or roofing paper could cause it to rain inside the house.

  • Improperly attached windows and doors could detach during a hurricane and allow the wind to come in and cause havoc inside the house.  Our recommendation is to use impact windows and doors which have been wind-tested, but make sure they are properly installed according to the Notice of Acceptance (NOA) of Miami-Dade County.

  • Improper attachment of metal or wood to concrete beams could cause these to detach at high winds and tear off the roof

  • Single-ply roofs are more susceptible to high winds, in my opinion. 

 

Again, an architect hired to review the on-going construction process could go a long way to prevent failures in the building or house after the project is completed.

CALL OR EMAIL

Call 305-552-5465 or Email MLC@UnitedArchs.com to discuss your exciting project ideas.