Performanced based graphic
Performance Based Analysis:

  • What is the environment within which the component performs?
  • What has been the past performance of the component, what maintenance has been done?
  • What options are there for the materials and system that will enhance performance?
  • What are the comparative costs for replacing the present material in kind vs. the option(s)?
  • What is the return on investment of the options?

"Round up the usual suspects!" 
Police chief Claude Rains instructs his men in a memorable scene of the movie classic ,Casablanca.
The overall topography of a site is virtually impossible to change without extreme cost. However, it is possible to divert surface water runoff such that ponding on pavement surfaces and near buildings is eliminated. Roof runoff collecting adjacent to buildings leading to basement water entry is a special, and invariably, a correctable issue. Bottom line: unwanted water is the number one usual suspect in building  and site damage. It needs to be dealt with effectively.Adequate site drainage is one of the requirements for FHA approved condos.
Long life bituminous concrete pavement surfaces come about as a result of stable compacted  sub-grades. Poor surface drainage that penetrates into the sub-grade causing its erosion will then trigger off cracking and settlement. Overlayment with more bitumen is not always the better option since reflective cracking up through the overlayment will negate the  condominium association's investment. Complete re-building of the pavement may be needed. Best practice: correction of any drainage issues and prompt crack sealing and patching; that followed by designs that address specific site issues.
The condition of a residential building's siding can be considered the chief ambassador of curb appeal.The failure of its paint film might be attributed to poor surface prep, low quality paint and inept application, or an unhappy combination of all three It can also be caused by bulk water penetration or by movement of high levels of interior moisture vapor driven by pressure differential out through the exterior envelope, lifting the paint film. Field measurements during condition surveys of a reserve study, followed by analysis, usually yield effective solutions that defeat costly short paint cycles for condominium associations.
Both organic and inorganic shingles have service lives that can run from twenty years for entry level three tab shingles to products with thirty plus years as represented by their manufacturer. Given identical environments, service life is a function of the thickness (weight) of the shingle, the nature of the core material and the type of surface granule that reflect sunlight. Best practice is to specify materials and installation that conform to the specific roof configuration using accurate measurement of roof surfaces for apples-to-apples bid comparisons. The future service life assigned during reserve study analyses will reflect the conditions observed during a roof survey.
Besides being a perennial maintenance issue, deck failures account for a significant number of personal injuries. The primary failure mode is detachment of the deck ledger, the horizontal member that holds the deck to the building. Water penetration into the ledger joint over time initiates rot.The International Building Code, augmented by local municipal codes, sets structural design standards. Recent introduction of materials such as composites, PVC and the hardwoods holds the promise of reduced maintenance costs but at higher initial cost. However, site specific analysis may often conclude that lower first cost pressure treated wood, given attentive care, may often be the better economic choice for condo decks, long term.
for the Condominium Community.
Water is unquestionably first in line of any round up of those suspected of causing structural damage to buildings and their sites. It can come in the guise of bulk water (exterior) or moisture laden vapor (interior). It's well known that our New England climate makes harsh demands on condominium and HOA properties. Experience helps in knowing where to look for the suspects and in creating innovative cost effective solutions to defeat them. Usual (and unusual) suspects will not elude us. 

What we do.
Roof shingle replacement
Condo deck design
condo siding repairs
Water collecting in pavement subgrade
Site drainage for condos
How we do it.
Considering investigating an issue with a specific component for your property?  Contact Us 

Movie Casablanca
Movie Casablanca
Burns Associates-Engineers
PO Box 395  Rye Beach, NH 03871
Innovation led by experience.
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