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Criterium-Dudka Engineers Blog

New Construction: If It's New, Is It Good?

How good is new construction in the United States and Canada? Generally, it is pretty good, but there are some significant areas of concern.

Our goal is to provide information that will allow quality-oriented builders to improve upon the products they deliver.

The following is based on information and opinions gathered from the more than 70 offices of Criterium Engineers. Criterium Engineers is a network of affiliated offices throughout North America, in 35 states and British Columbia, Canada. The objective was to identify problem areas that have significant impact on the functional performance and quality "feel" of new homes. We asked our engineers just one question – "What problems are you finding?" An item made it to our list if we received the same response from various offices so as to consider it widespread geographically.

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DECKS AND BALCONIES - Source of pleasure and problems

 Pieces of concrete falling from above.  Party goers falling from a failing deck.  Children falling through a railing.  These are any association manager's nightmare.  But they do happen.  We've seen them.

Decks and balconies are architectural features that greatly enhance the enjoyment of single family, multifamily, and town homes, as well as most condominium complexes.  Yet we find that they are often the cause of many expensive problems.  Further, if left to deteriorate, they can be downright dangerous.

What causes the problem?  Most often, as with many building problems, the culprit is moisture.

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Seven Things You Must Know Before Conducting Your Next Reserve Study

CRITERIUM ENGINEERS in Association with Mitchell H. Frumkin, P.E., R.S

One of the primary business duties of Community Associations is maintaining and preserving property values of the Associations common property. To do this properly, Associations must develop funding plans for future repair or replacement of major common-area components. A Reserve Study is a budget planning tool that identifies the current status of the Reserve fund and a establishes a stable and equitable funding plan to offset the anticipated future major common-area expenditures. The Reserve Study consists of two parts: the physical analysis and the financial analysis.

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Building Codes - Myths and Reality

What is a building code? Is it a law? Or a guideline? Or a voluntary standard?

What do building codes mean to my home?

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Mold - Hype or Real Risk?

Increasingly, we are talking about specific kinds of mold, not just old mold. Is this a new problem or just one that our technology is now allowing us to detect more effectively?

Are we overreacting or should we be concerned? If we should be concerned, what products or actions are most effective? Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer.

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Stairways and Decks Aren’t Safe Unless their Railings Are Secure

You’re standing in the basement waiting for a friend, who is following you down the stairs.  Missing a step, your friend reaches for the railing, which breaks away from the wall.  This will not end well for your friend, who may be seriously injured or worse; a

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