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What is the Difference Between Floor Area and Lot Area?

Floor area and lot area are two terms commonly used in zoning analysis. While often used in combination to determine other areas or ratios – such as Floor Area Ratio (FAR), for example – the two have distinct differences and are defined differently by code. …

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What is the Difference Between a Site Plan and a Floor Plan?

Both site plans and floor plans are orthographic projection drawings viewed from above ground looking down. They are essentially complimentary plans which show different details of a proposed or existing building and its surroundings. Site plans detail the exterior portions surrounding a building structure, while …

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Is Blocking Required for Floor Joists?

Skipping the installation of blocking on floor joists can be tempting as the process is somewhat labor-intensive. However, blocking can provide both rigidity and stability to a frame and, depending on the size of the joists, may even be required by code. Is blocking required …

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What is the Purpose of a Bond Beam?

Bond beams, also called lintel blocks, are used in masonry construction to provide continuous horizontal reinforcement. This is typically achieved by filling U-shaped masonry units with grout or concrete and steel reinforcement. The purpose of a bond beam is to provide horizontal structural support above …

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Do Cavity Walls Need Ventilation?

When moisture enters into an exterior wall, it can potentially cause problems with the various materials contained inside the wall cavity. As such, you may be wondering if ventilation is required for cavity wall construction. Traditional cavity walls do not require ventilation. They are designed …

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Do Drywall Seams Have to Be on a Stud?

When installing or detailing drywall, or gypsum board, you may be wondering if you need to dimension the pieces centered on the studs of the wall or ceiling you are working with. Ideally you want to make sure that the drywall seams are centered on …

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Proportion and Scale in Architecture

Proportion and scale are used extensively in architecture to create forms that are both functional and pleasing to the eye. Establishing a balance between the two is what separates great architecture from other types of structures. Designers use scale to create compositions that are appropriate …