New Openings in Existing Concrete Double T Wall at Evergreen Mercantile

August 21, 2009

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On August 18, the removal of the 2″ concrete flanges of the concrete double T wall began.  EVstudio engineered the front wall to allow for the new openings and provided details to adequately brace the structure with the remaining wall lengths.  When construction is completed you won’t be able to tell this was once a double T wall building with the typical visible flanges.

The Prairie Style Home

August 20, 2009


The Prairie Style is often associated with Frank Lloyd Wright and the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 1900s.  One of his finest examples was the Robie House with its dramatic overhangs, stretches of art glass windows, open floor plan, and sweeping horizontal lines that echoed the prairies of the great Mid-West.  The Prairie style is seen as Wright’s reaction to the overly-ornate Victorian style of the late 19th century. Although it was designed nearly a century ago, the Robie House remains a prime example of modern residential architecture.


Today’s Prairie Style homes include many of the same attributes: shallow-pitched hip roofs, oversized eaves, cantilevered projections, open interior spaces, central chimney massing, minimal exterior ornamentation, and low proportions.  Different geometric shapes are often highlighted through window arrangement, columns, low walls and planters, all which create an aesthetically appealing home.  Transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces are seamless with broad covered porches and large masonry columns.  Large casements as well as rows of clerestory windows are commonly seen in Prairie style homes to provide plenty of daylight for a comfortable interior and also to accentuate its linearity.  Massing generally consists of boxed shapes at varying heights and depths.  Layouts tend to include open common areas with no hallways on the main level, and a modular grid floor plan using only right angles.


Brick is the most common exterior material used in Prairie Style design, but today many of these homes combine it with other materials such as stucco, stone, or concrete block.  The materials were generally light-colored to blend in with the home’s natural surroundings.

How To Read Metric Rebar Marks on Steel Reinforcing

August 20, 2009

In order to identify the basic information about the rebar that is delivered to a jobsite, it is important to know how to read the mill markings that are stamped on every bar. This is especially critical to ensuring that your materials match up with the specifications in the plans.

These mill markings illustrate the “soft metric” system adopted by CRSI member mills in 1997 (see our post about metric and imperial markings):


Grade 420 Mill Markings

Images and bar marking description courtesy of CRSI

The top letter or symbol identifies the producing mill and deformation pattern.

The next marking is the bar size.

The third marking symbol designates the manufacturing material — usually either “S” for carbon-steel (ASTM A615) or “W” for low-alloy steel (ASTM A706).

Finally, there will be a grade marking (4 or 5, for 420 or 520) or by the addition of one line (420) or two lines (520) that must be at least five deformations long.

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Trusses Go Up at Kershenstein’s Honka Log Home

August 19, 2009

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On Sunday I stopped by the Kershenstein residence to see what progress has taken place. Along with the upper floor framing and upper framed walls, the upper level trusses look to be almost all in place. Also on the lower level, temporary bracing is in place until the stone clad concrete masonry columns are built to support the main level deck above.

2009 AIA Denver Design Awards Gala

August 18, 2009

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AIA Denver is hosting its Annual Award Gala on September 11th at the Pepsi Center. Bruce Fowle, FAIA is the jury chair this year.

This is my fourth year as chair of the AIA Denver Awards committee and the eighth year on the committee. I recently attended the awards jury in NYC and we’ve got some great winners.

Photos of Fillmore Spec Home in Denver

August 18, 2009

Fillmore Living Room

Filllmore Kitchen

Fillmore Back Patio

I dropped off a letter to Steve McCreery today at the house on Fillmore. The City and County of Denver generally likes to see a letter at the end of the process detailing the inspections that I did for the house. The project is very close to finished.

Differences in Metric and Imperial Reinforcing Bar (Rebar) Grades and Sizes

August 17, 2009

All Contractors should be intimately familiar with Steel Reinforcing Bar (Rebar) grades and sizes. With materials coming from all over the globe these days, it is ever important to know the comparison between the Imperial and Metric systems for bar grading and sizing. Starting in 1997, CRSI member steel mills have adopted new “soft metric” standards in their grading and sizing. 

The charts below should be used to cross reference imperial grades and sizes with metric grades and sizes. Watch out because if your specs are in metric and your supplier is still using the imperial system, you may wind up with some really huge bar diameters on site. As you can see, the old #4 (1/2″) bars are now being called out as #13, so be very careful here to avoid these kinds of potentially costly mistakes.

Soft Metric Bar Sizes vs. Inch-Pound Bar Sizes:

Metric Bar Sizes Inch-Pound Equivalents


psi* Minimum
Yield Strength
MPa** Minimum
Yield Strength
40 40,000 280 280
50 50,000 350 350
60 60,000 420 420
75 75,000 520 520

* pounds per square inch
** megapascals

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