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More stories about Features

  • The Architect’s Bookshelf

    The National Gallery expands its collection of historic architecture books with the support of Leo A Daly.

  • The Elusive Mr. Ambasz

    Despite having had a MoMA curatorship at 25 and a host of acclaimed buildings and products designs, architect Emilio Ambasz remains a mystery.

  • Brick Veneer That Works

    Despite the inherent strength of brick, a brick veneer wall is not invulnerable during a storm. If the wind blows hard enough, poorly secured brick veneer can literally crumble. And because bricks and mortar are porous, they can transmit moisture to the main wall if that wall has not been properly...

  • Outdoor Kitchens for the South Coast

    Outdoor kitchens are a popular amenity in the seaside homes of well-heeled clients. But when designing an outdoor kitchen in the hot and humid Gulf, builders must take care to use durable materials that can take a beating. Pat Curry looks at how to craft these appealing spaces while making sure...

  • Concrete Houses for the Coast

    Hurricane Katrina taught a valuable lesson: the only houses likely to survive the ravages of a major hurricane are made of concrete. Dave Pfanmiller, a custom-home builder in Gulfport, Miss., uses Wall Ties aluminum concrete forms to build these homes on the Gulf Coast. Pfanmiller and his friend...

  • Installing Impact Zone Windows

    A growing number of state and local codes call for impact zone windows in construction near the shore—windows made of shatterproof laminated glass that won't succumb to the flying debris generated by a hurricane. But even the strongest window will fail if not properly installed. Manufacturers'...

  • Practical Green for Coastal Homes

    As green building grabs the attention of otherwise cautious home buyers, so does the potential for "greenwashing" — the efforts of overzealous marketers to label anything and everything "green." Selectively focusing on one feature while ignoring others, or intentionally misleading buyers about the...

  • Raised Floors for the Low Country

    Elevated floors on pier foundations are mandated in V zones and recommended in coastal A zones. But the moisture and energy details can be a head-scratcher. Whether a builder places the floor system on pier supports or on a perimeter stemwall, he has to face interrelated problems of air sealing...

  • Trouble-Free Paint Performance

    As a custom painting contractor in the Boston market, Nigel Costolloe has spent a good part of his lifetime studying the way paint works. Paint problems, he says, most commonly point back to the way the house was built, the substrates prepped, or how the paint was applied, rather than to the paint...

  • Ductwork That Works

    Air distribution is the weak link in many heating and cooling systems. Good ductwork is key to HVAC performance, yet all too often this vital part of the system is underexamined, bringing the energy performance of the home to surprising lows. Ted Cushman describes how the industry pros detail their...