Reusing details


How does everyone feel about their firm reusing construction details? Do you feel like it destroys creativity and/or prevents interns from learning materials and methods?

Is it worth the time it saves?

Feb 29, 12 8:26 pm

An architect's detail library represents wisdom accumulated, sometimes over many, many years.  Why would you not want to tap into this wisdom? 

Feb 29, 12 8:37 pm  · 
drums please, Fab?

mind if i reuse that detail? (so sexxy!)

Feb 29, 12 10:06 pm  · 
won and done williams

Some details are worth reusing. That one, not so much.

Mar 1, 12 10:39 am  · 
drums please, Fab?

you can't reuse it, it's mine!

Mar 1, 12 10:01 pm  · 

I think that's an interesting question; mostly in the sense that I cannon even begin to think of a good reason why one would not reuse many construction details. 

So like, you think we're limiting our creative potential by not reinventing gravel stop flashing details for an epdm roof?  Is this a Revit question, just since that software is too screwed up to behave properly like AutoCAD?

Mar 2, 12 9:35 am  · 

Kills creativity?


I reuse details all the time - I don't want to sit there and draw that crap again - imagine how many billable hours you are freeing up!


BTW, what the hell is that detail?

Mar 2, 12 9:42 am  · 
drums please, Fab?



Mar 2, 12 4:57 pm  · 

Problem arises when crappy details become de-facto office standards. See it all the time. Biggest offender is when residential theories on thermal and moisture protection end up in a commercial product. Awful. An architect should never use batt insulation in a commercial project (unless used for acoustic applications), for instance.

Every office should periodically do an audit of their standard details.  

Mar 2, 12 5:16 pm  · 
gentle puppies

just curious, why can't batt insulation be used in commercial?

Mar 4, 12 9:41 pm  · 

puppies, batts are typically used in residential construction in established configurations: wood (or sometimes steel) studs, batts filling the cavity, air barrier on the warm side, vapor barrier on the cold side, siding or such on one side, drywall on the other. There's a convoluted history on how this came about. But it's a standard industry detail. This works in residential construction well enough.

In commercial construction, you are dealing with scales much, much grander than a family bungalow. Turns out the air pressures acting on your wall assemblies exponentially increase the bigger your space is (especially with tall structures and the stack effect that sucks at the bottom and blows at the top). Residential assemblies can't handle this. You need commercial solutions, none which use batt insulation.

If you are working on a building taller that (let's say) 5 storys, and you are still talking about vapor and air barriers and cavity insulation, something went horribly wrong.

Mar 4, 12 10:20 pm  · 

Yes, probably better framed in terms of type of construction and building scale rather than occupancy or use...


Mar 4, 12 10:31 pm  · 

go ahead and re - invent the wheel. office standard or not - if it ain't broke why fix it? creativity will be left behind when we do it over n over n over again, so - the trick is to be as creative as you can be using the wisdom of previous details guide you.

Mar 5, 12 11:39 am  · 
Token AE

If you are working on a building taller that (let's say) 5 storys, and you are still talking about vapor and air barriers and cavity insulation, something went horribly wrong.

Forgive me if this is nitpicking semantics, but cavity walls are designed for non-residential buildings/ those over 5 stories quite frequently.

Most of the new ones have an AVW Barrier and cavity insulation, depending on the climate. Sometimes the contractors even put it in the right way!

But yes, we reuse details all the time but alter them slightly to match project-specific conditions.


Mar 5, 12 1:34 pm  · 

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