Rick Howard

Rick Howard

Rick, AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP, is a graduate of The Ohio State University, a registered architect, and a Certified Construction Specifier with more than 30 years experience in writing specifications for a wide range of projects, including schools, hospitals, high-rise buildings, military projects, preservation of historic landmarks, and sustainable buildings. He is active in the Columbus Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute and has served as a member of the American Institute of Architects' MasterSpec® Architectural Review Committee since 2004.

The Aesthetic of Rust: Weathering Steel

Wed, Feb 03, 2010

Weathering steel, more commonly referred to by the U.S. Steel tradename Cor-Ten™, is a group of steel alloys that develop a stable oxidation requiring no additional coating. Upon exposure to normal environmental stresses, it acquires a dense, dark brown colored barrier layer that protects it from further oxidation.

Many people like the natural appearance and simple maintenance that weathering steel fabrications provide. In addition to being used in structural framing, roofing and siding panels, weathering steel is often used for decorative fabrications, including signage and sculptures.

Investigating The Perfect Wall

Thu, Dec 17, 2009

There are many things an exterior wall should do.  Among the most significant performance requirements is environmental separation; "it needs to keep the outside out and the inside in," according to Joseph Lstiburek, Ph.D., P.Eng. It also must be safe and structurally sound, and it has to look good. Structural engineers do a good job of keeping structures from falling down.  Building codes do a good job of ensuring that buildings are safe.  Architects do a good job of making buildings look good.  Where we most often fail is in the environmental separation.

Granite Countertops - Should You Cook Wearing A Lead Apron?

Fri, Sep 18, 2009

Every few weeks we learn of some new threat to our health and safety.  Many times the danger is genuine and caution is prudent.  But, once in a while, the fear that the announcement generates may be worse than the exposure to the supposed toxin.

We need to examine the source of each study to determine its validity.  Groups with certain words in their names, such as "public" or "earth" or "defense," may not really be what their name implies, and if the only science course their spokesman ever took was political science, then they are more likely to be attempting to advance an agenda than offering a serious scientific study.  Furthermore, some people might be trying to advance a product by creating "public awareness" of some contrived fatal flaw in their competitor's product.