Donald E. Smith, CCS
January 2009It seems like questions about stucco never go away. This month we’ll take a look at how some folks are applying stucco in the great Lone Star state. My contact in Texas stated that many applicators were installing casing beads and control joints on the brown coat. Needless to say this is causing failures by the truckload. He wanted to know why C1063, Standard Specification for Installation of Lathing and Furring to Receive Interior and Exterior Portland Cement-Based Plaster, is mute on this point, and he wanted to know if changes could be made to the document that would eliminate this practice—a practice that he feels will do harm to the stucco industry.
In reviewing C1063, the document is, in fact, not mute on the subject of placement of accessories. According to C1063, anything that is not metal lath or wire lath is classified as an accessory.
Paragraph 6.2.1 states: "6.2.1 General – All accessories shall have a perforated or expanded flanges or clips shaped to permit complete embedment in the plaster, to provide means for accurate alignment, and to secure attachment to the underlying surface. Accessories shall be designed to receive application of the specified plaster thickness.”
Paragraph 7.11 governs the application of accessories and in paragraph 7.11.1 states the following: "7.11.1 General – All metal accessories shall be installed in such a manner that flanges and clips provided for their attachment are completely embedded in the plaster.
"7.11.1 Accessories shall be attached to substrate in such a manner as to ensure proper alignment during application of plaster. Flanges of accessories shall be secured at not more than 7 in. (178 mm) intervals along supports.”
Both of these paragraphs clearly state that the accessories are to be installed on the substrate. The substrate is the supporting foundation of any exterior wall finish system, regardless of the system being installed. Looking at the current practice of providing a drainable exterior wall system, it only makes sense that the accessories would be placed on the water barrier and not on the base coat of a stucco system.
Apparently this practice has been going on for some time. This is just another of those local practices that defies national consensus standards that are by reference included in the International Building Code and the International Residential Code. Just because the practice has been going on for years does not make it right. By all accounts, this method of installing accessories has caused and is causing failures in a proven exterior cladding system.
Green Building Update
Through the newly formed Green Buildings Certification Institute, the United States Green Building Council is developing a tiered approach to the credentialing of LEED professionals.
Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach for each exam track, there is now going to be a flexible hierarchy of LEED accreditation. A frequent complaint of the AP system is that it requires people to learn a lot of details that don’t necessarily apply to their everyday job. While it may be important for an architect to have detailed knowledge of every credit in the system, a contractor shouldn’t be forced to memorize information about referenced standards for energy modeling or calculations for water efficiency. As a result, there is now a three tiered system:
Tier One: Green Associate. Many CEOs, marketing representatives, students and other non-technical professionals are going to love this. The "LEED Green Associate” credential will test you only on the broad strokes of LEED: How does the LEED process work? Who needs to be involved at each stage? How do I know which rating system to use? This credential applies to all LEED systems. Once you earn this level of accreditation you can move on to the next stage.
Tier Two: LEED Accredited Professional. What was previously the only LEED AP designation is now the second tier. The basic idea is that this is where you would earn a specialized accreditation for each system. As a spokesman for GBCI put it, "Homes are different. Neighborhood Development is really, really different.” There will be different tests for each LEED rating system.
Omitted in the presentation but listed on the Web site is a requirement that to become a LEED AP you must now also have some form of "professional experience on at least one LEED project.” This will frustrate some people, but it’s a good step forward.
Tier Three: LEED-AP Fellow. "We’re going to take our time with this through the year”—this was about the only information provided about the highest credential. GBCI wants to take its time to develop an appropriately rigorous standard for fellowship.
In addition to the tiered system there is going to be a LEED AP Code of Ethics that all current and future LEED APs will have to abide by. Most interesting about this announcement was that there was a hint at some sort of peer enforcement system. Apparently there will be some avenue for people to tattle on their peers who aren’t promoting sustainable design as they should.
Another item involves the maintenance of credentials that is new to our industry. It involves continuing education units. Every two years, a Tier 1 Green Associate needs 15 hours or credit, with three LEED specific hours required. A Tier 2 LEED AP needs 30 hours, six of which are LEED specific.
In addition to the continuing education, you must also now pay a bi-annual maintenance fee of $50. Current LEED APs pay no fee for the first two years, but they will have to pay the maintenance fee when the two years expire.
Donald E. Smith, CCS, is AWCI’s director of technical services. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (703) 538.1611.