Point and Counterpoint

by Don Friedman on December 3, 2017

In the recent discussion of wood skyscrapers (full disclosure: I think they’re a terrible idea) I have noticed any discussion of the extent of exterior maintenance necessary to prevent wood from acting like the biological material it is. A masonry curtain wall can go thirty years with no maintenance and not fail: a lot of the facade repairs we are involved with are on buildings that went fifty years or more with zero or minimal exterior maintenance. A glass curtain wall can go fifteen years before its sealants completely fall apart. How often will we be painting wood curtain walls?

Brick Repetition

July 7, 2017

Some twenty years ago I described New York as the world’s largest laboratory for the destruction of brick. This view of midtown Manhattan gives a sense of why I said that. Except for a small amount of terra cotta and cast stone trim, and a stone balustrade off to the right, every inch of every […]

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December 15, 2016

That’s the view out my window in the new office. The facade of the building across the street is dirty. No big surprise, right? New York has many fine qualities, but cleanliness is not among them. But that facade dirt is a little more complicated than that. First, different materials show dirt differently. In this […]

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