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Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

(OP)
Is there an architectural site where I can post questions, similar to this site?

RE: Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

Not that I'm aware of... What are the questions... there maybe someone here that can answer...

RE: Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

Why would you ask the architect, they're just going to turn around and ask their structural engineer...bigsmile

EIT
www.HowToEngineer.com

RE: Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

(OP)
Rfreund - yes I realize that is what they will do for questions that have an engineering content, but I was thinking more for purely architectural questions, as I am on a building committee and I am uncomfortable with a number of things that the architect is promoting for the renovation of a building.

For example, he is proposing a new entranceway sidewalk that would have 3 steps in it part way along its length. The current sidewalk has steps only where it reaches the front of the building. My question is: Is it good practice to put 3 steps part way along an entrance sidewalk. Might that be a tripping hazard, particularly given the the building is used by both children and elderly? Or is it something that is considered safe?

I have a number of other architectural questions along similar lines.

dik - please see above for the type of architectural questions.

RE: Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

Architects, like engineers, can design things per code that still may not make complete common sense. Putting a column in a walkway area, or putting steps in an unusual place in a sidewalk (that will then need handrails), the list goes on and on. Have you checked what he is proposing with your local code? I do not think off the top of my head that you can have steps directly out a door, that is dangerous. Maybe providing a landing area right outside the door is required, which is what the architect is trying to do?

Code or not though, I think it is better to group a few steps together then to have two hear and then two there, from a pure walking and flow standpoint.

As a structural engineer, you don't have any friends or colleagues or clients who are architects??

RE: Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

I'm not saying I know the answer to this question.... but when do you need a railing? I think in my jurisdiction you need a railing when you have more than 3 steps. So, he may be onto something. When I was building the walkway in front of my house, I specifically spaced the steps far apart to avoid requiring a railing. I do worry about people tripping on them, but I built the walkway out of grey concrete pavers and used a granite block for the steps. You can buy them 7" high with a "flamed" top for traction and the granite has a different color than the pavers making them easy to see.

RE: Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

Ajk1:
You shouldn’t need an architectural forum to discuss architectural issues. Make a list of your concerns and present them to the bldg. committee and have the architect explain why what he wants to do is such a good idea, meets the codes or is superior to your suggestion. You are his client, after all. Without seeing the details, I would tend to agree with you, that several steps in the middle of nowhere could be a hazard, maybe unexpected, not easily seen, etc. While the steps at the start or end of the walkway might be more likely expected, or seen. I would phrase your question to the committee and the arch. essentially as you have above. What are the other questions/issues. You have a copy of the bldg. code and can read it as well as an arch. can, on any particular issue. You can probably interpret it as common-scenically also.

As for the expense of new windows, make him prove that need and its payback too. You should be able to test the windows for rot, and to see that they are weather tight. There is considerable material floating around on this subject at the moment. Some of it is not unbiased, as it is written by window manufacturers, resellers and installers; all hoping to gain by installing new windows, whether you really need them or not. You said they were already double pane windows. Are these sealed thermo-panes, or are you talking about single pane inner sash with storm windows? Some insulation around window frames, some air sealing and caulking will Go to a college library and get a couple books on the general theories and practice of architectural design and practice. Things like the general theory and concepts of safe stair design and building should be covered in these texts. Get some consulting engineer familiar with bldg. energy matters, who has no ax to grind one way or another to report on the condition of the current window system.

RE: Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

SteelPE- you may be onto something, the architect may be trying to avoid the cost of handrails by spacing the steps apart. I don't know off the top of my head but 3 steps seems like a pretty logical cutoff and what I am used to seeing.

RE: Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

Since when is an architect worried about cost? I would say eliminating the railing is more for aesthetics.... having a railing is just ugly.

RE: Is there an architectural site where I can post questions?

(OP)
Most architects worry about structural costs. For example, if we want to add more durability to a parking garage by additional corrosion protection measures, that add cost, that would be compeletly unacceptable to the architect. However it is a fundamental principle of architectural practice that cost must not be allowed to affect or overide the appearance and concept that the architect needs to achieve. Most architects will explain the need for the expensive architectural design in terms that seem to make sense to those who want to believe in it, but to engineers is the sort of stuff that we would rake in among the rose bushes.

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