Buildings Are Systems
(Click on above links for more info)
What We Mean By A System
Just to be clear, a System is “an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole,” according to Dictionary.com. We see a building project this way because that’s exactly what a building is, even in its most basic form.
What You Know That We Don’t
Obviously we don’t know about your projects yet. Still, we figure you’re a professional. As you peruse this overview of our systems we won’t be starting with the basics. We’ll presume you have relatively stable site conditions, know what your foundation type needs to be (slab on grade, basement, crawl-space), you’re familiar with steel and/or wood frame structures and trusses, mechanical (HVAC) systems, and you understand the concepts of a passive… anything.
About This Site
If you’re not sure and you want more answers, you can try a search from the top right corner of any page and the page with the most popular answer will appear.
You might also want to take a virtual stroll through our Ecolific Wikiport; there’s a link at the top of every page.
We know this all new stuff to most everyone, and we’re always happy to answer your questions directly. Just click on the Contact box in the lower right corner or any of the links around the site (and at the very bottom of every page) to send us a quick query. Finally, if you would rather just chat with one of our Client Alliance liaisons, click here to open a chat box:
Each section touches on scopes of work related to our systems. For instance, in ”Foundations” we refer to the importance of subterranean drainage, insulation and waterproofing, passive air handling as it relates to the foundation etc.
Look for “Structurals” to deliver a plethora of information about the Posiframe™ advanced framing system, MRS lumber, LGS light gauge steel, roof and floor trusses, etc. The same is true with Insulation; exterior insulating finish systems (EIFS) and our Passivecore™ elements. The Mechanical section talks about ultra-high efficiency SDHV systems, passive heating and fresh air purification and circulation technologies.
The Environmental Automation section has plenty of info about controlling your building’s environment.. with a solar powered computer system and a Smartphone app!
Most general contractors, construction managers and other builders have to juggle numerous issues on a job site. As each step in the process leads to the next, when (not if) one party stumbles a domino effect ensues – affecting the progress of the entire project.
Each subcontractor’s work is subject to the quality of the work of the preceding trade. When things go awry, it can get ugly in a hurry and have an impact on a sub-trade that may seem unlikely connected to the trade where the issues began to arise.
It may boggle the mind to ponder how the excavating contractor’s work can affect the finish carpentry (if you’re wondering, please don’t hesitate to ask how). More likely, the trades that work in succession to each other are going to be more affected by the previous trade. For instance, the foundation contractor is more affected by the excavating contractor, and the building’s structural contractor is going to be more affected by the foundation contractor’s work, etc. That’s not always the case, yet it is more often than not.
The Perfect Job
No job EVER goes perfectly smooth. Every builder knows that because a building is a thoroughly complex system containing thousands of stationary and moving parts, usually there are at least a dozen different subcontractors putting it all together. It’s truly amazing when a builder is able to program all the possible pitfalls into the scheduling and deliver the project on time and on budget.
Regardless of what many builders may claim, because of the “human factor,” with all these interconnecting parts and the time it takes to assemble everything, it almost never works out the way it’s planned. That’s why the best planning is mandatory, even before the first shovel hits the ground.
A Word About Structural Systems
Structurally Speaking: Posiframe™
For one thing, we build more efficiently to achieve a higher performing, enormously less costly to operate building. While we’ll stick-frame a building on site using our advanced structural designs, we’ll do it with less lumber in a wood frame and less steel in a light gauge steel frame building.
Because we employ highly skilled master-craftsmen, journeymen and qualified apprentices who use our unique systems and methods, together with best practices and field applied super-insulation materials, our buildings are stronger and more solid, yet more flexible, than ever before.
For more on how our structures are engineered and constructed, see here: Posiframe™
Insulation, Air Sealing and Moisture Proofing
Both fiberglass or cellulose insulation products have inherent issues with respect to air infiltration, can convey harmful particulates into the building envelope, and are less compatible our small-duct-high-velocity (SDHV) air handling systems, so we don’t use them.
We do use advanced waterproofing, insulation materials and techniques, which in addition to air sealing and creating effective moisture barriers, actually in-essence “glue” the entire structure together. We use open and closed cell foam products strategically in the system; when placed correctly the foam has enough flexibility to “give” without breaking as the building settles (all buildings settle).
These remarkable products don’t off-gas, have no volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and are guaranteed by the manufacturer for the life of the building – transferable with the title, of course. Buildings are more solid, and by integrating our Passivecore™ patent-pending technology with integrated channels, conduits and ductwork for all the other building systems; electrical, passive air-handling, mechanical and plumbing systems, the trade’s following us have easier jobs and should be able to perform more cost effectively.
Also see: Mechanicals / HVAC and ERV Systems
(inc. Domestic Water Heating, Solar Heating & Passive Air Handling Systems)
*Please note that related trades (for scopes of work not performed by ABCS) must strictly adhere to the specifications we provide in order for minimum compliance with our warranty programs. Alternate systems, products and methods by other contractors which affect ABCS performance and efficiency warranties must be approved by our engineers prior to commencement of construction, and will need to be verified as being in conformance with approved specifications prior to issuing applicable warranty documents.