provides construction specification and building code consulting
services for the entire Project Team:
Architects, engineers, interior designers, and specialty
Facility managers, project managers, and space planners.
Construction managers, contractors, and design-builders.
Manufacturers, distributors, and product representatives.
Ronald L. Geren,
FCSI, AIA, CCS, CCCA, SCIP, owner and principal
of RLGA Technical Services,
is committed to providing his clients with clear, concise, correct, and
complete documents, and providing services to enhance the quality of his
Click here to see on what
projects RLGA Technical Services
is currently working.
The Latest Issue of Keynotes -
"Common Specifying Problems" It is not
news that many sets of construction documents contain errors,
whether they are found in the drawings or specifications.
Construction documents are products of humans and are not warranted
to be perfect. Architects and engineers are held to a standard of
care that is consistent with other professions, such as attorneys
and doctors, which means that they have to perform similarly to
other architects or engineers who are located in the same region, at
the same time, under comparable conditions. Although architects and
engineers are not required to provide perfect documents, they should
provide documents that are as clear, concise, complete, and correct
Drawings errors vary, but can consist of something as simple as an
incorrect dimension to something as complex as detailing an assembly
that could not possibly be fabricated as shown. Many of these errors
are unique to drawings, but some can be shared with specifications.
Specifications, like drawings, have their unique common errors—but
what may be considered an error by some may actually be just a
violation of best practice. Therefore, the remainder of this article
will address, in no particular order, errors and best practice
violations (i.e. problems) commonly found in construction
to download this latest article or read the article on the
Keynotes Blog and provide your
comments or questions. You can download past articles in the
archive on the
The Latest Issue of
The Code Corner - "High-Hazard Occupancies"
The TRW plant located in Mesa, Arizona, has
experienced a number of problems: explosions, fires, and medical
emergencies. Hundreds of them in a time span of less than ten
years. An explosion in 1995 cost the life of one worker. The
situation became such a concern that the Mesa Fire Department issued
a cease and desist order to the owner that lasted a couple of
days, but only until TRW agreed to improve conditions. So what was
at the center of all these events? The answer: sodium azide—a
chemical used in the manufacture of automobile airbag devices.
Although sodium azide (NaN3) is not classified as an
explosive (it is a toxic poison), when heated, the chemical reaction
generates an explosive event.
It should be obvious to anyone reading the previous
paragraph that those facilities associated with the TRW plant are
hazardous occupancies. More specifically, the International
Building Code (IBC) considers occupancies such as this as
high-hazard or Group H occupancies. The IBC describes a
high-hazard occupancy as one “that involves the manufacturing,
processing, generation or storage of materials that constitute a
physical or health hazard in quantities in excess of those
allowed[.]” The key to classifying a building as a Group H
occupancy lies within the last few words of that quote: in excess
of those allowed. Without that provision, every building that
has certain cleaning products in a janitorial closet would be
considered a Group H occupancy.
Click here to download this latest article or read the article
The Code Corner Blog and provide your comments or
questions. You can download past articles in the archive on
RLGA Technical Services Launches
Professional Education Services:
To address the demand for continuing education required
by state licensing laws, professional associations, and various
certifications, RLGA Technical Services has launched its
Professional Education Services (PES).
RLGA Technical Services is a Registered Provider for the American
Institute of Architects Continuing Education Systems (AIA/CES).
RLGA-PES will provide continuing education in the areas of building
codes and construction documents for design professionals,
contractors, and owners.