The Symbolic Value of Buildings

A visit to venerable European cities Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome imbues the traveler with a sense of history difficult to obtain in urban youngsters like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.   City PlanningHere in Chicago we have only experienced our city’s destruction once – in the great fire. This destruction enabled city planners to re-draw the map into an understandable north-south grid with…

Envision the Wind in a Blizzard

Chicago Ground Hog Day 2011 Blizzard – Envision the Wind     On February 1, 2011 at about 3pm, a somewhat rare occurrence took place in Chicago. A real-life blizzard! It continued for 20 hours. Contrary to the misconceptions of some, a blizzard is not distinguished by a large volume of snow, but rather by an intense and pervasive wind. In order to achieve the…

Testing Leaking Brick Walls

The unfortunate fact is that brick walls leak, concrete block walls leak, mortar joints leak, flashings leak, and we sometimes have forgotten fundamentals of masonry design, making it that much harder to control those leaks.

Choosing a Window Consultant or Exterior Building Consultant

Mark Meshulam is an expert witness and consultant for building exteriors. These days you can pretty much find a consultant for anything. Without trying very hard, you can find: So it stands to reason that you can find a consultant to assist you with your windows or the exterior of your building. As it happens, there are quite a few of us providing construction consultation…

Storm Damage to Windows and Glass

Mark Meshulam is an expert witness and consultant for window & glass storm damage.Although the storm activity of the Windy City can’t even shine the shoes of weather experienced regularly along the coast of the Southern Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico (soon to be converted from an ocean into a Strategic Oil Reserve), we Chicagoans do experience our share of fluky, violent storms. A few…

Bill Baker of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP: Tall Buildings and the Burj Khalifa

Mark Meshulam is an expert witness and consultant for architectural windows, glass, and building facade. Bill Baker is the partner in charge of Structural and Civil Engineering for the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. One of his most recent accomplishments, completion of the world’s tallest building, the 160 story, 2,717 feet, Burj Khalifa (formerly the Burj Dubai) in Dubai, has literally shaken…

Fixing Window Leaks in Tall Buildings

Mark Meshulam is an expert witness and exterior facade consultant for window leaks in tall buildings. As we head into our rainy season, there are many participants in a relatively recent social experiment – life in a high-rise – who will discover that their “building envelope” is not enveloping them as well as it did last season. Just like a bucket or a car tire,…

Wind Loads and Windows for the Very Windy City

Mark Meshulam is an expert witness and consultant for wind damage to buildings. NEW: Download Chicago Window Expert’s Wind Pressure Chart and Calculator Here in the windy city, the pressure of the wind plays a big role in the specification and design of buildings, and especially the part of the envelope we like to lick: the windows and glass. When designing and testing windows, curtainwalls,…

Chicago Energy Conservation Code for Dummies

Mark Meshulam is an expert witness and consultant for windows, glazing and building exteriors. Reading code books is arguably one of the more arduous and boring parts of the construction process. One reason is that the building codes are legal documents, and so they carry a certain ponderous barrier of legalese which can repel the uninitiated. Another reason is that they are documents of governments,…

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