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More stories about Features

  • 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...

  • 2008 Product Guide

    The steady stream of new luminaires and lighting-related products never ceases to amaze, and this year's product offerings are no exception.

  • 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...

  • Gable-End Retrofits

    A couple of decades ago, not much was typically done to secure gable-end trusses: at most, a few toe-nails, perhaps an occasional strap or diagonal brace. But these measures prove insufficient in a high-wind event, where negative pressures are the most likely forces to pull apart an underbuilt...

  • Wild Winds and Rolling Waters

    Despite months of front-page Hurricane Katrina news coverage in 2005, building codes and enforcement practices continue to vary greatly. Moreover, surprisingly little is known about how hurricane winds pull apart and drive rain into homes — and what affordable measures can seal them tight. Plus...

  • Cabin Fever

    A research facility in the smoky mountains utilizes its surroundings to provide a sustainable design.

  • (Un)strictly Ballroom

    Ranked among the 10 largest convention center ballrooms in the nation, Kansas City, Missouri's Bartle Hall Ballroom is, needless to say, enormous, encompassing a vast 46,450 square feet.