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Built to Last

by sean O’keefe

Construction that stands the test of time is a combination of the right products, preparation, and installation; finding the exact sequence of each is often driven by the building site’s particular challenges. Such was the case for the Town of Jean Lafitte, La., in September 2008 when Hurricane Ike destroyed the town auditorium while flooding thousands of homes and businesses in Jefferson Parrish. The auditorium’s central location adjacent to Lafitte Library, plus elementary and middle schools, was critical to its success as a community landmark. The town was determined to rebuild in place, and resolving site flood plain issues was an obvious concern.

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Cathedral Stone bridges past and future for preservationists

Hanover, Md.-based Cathedral Stone Products, Inc. has developed a full line of masonry restoration systems, backed by technical support, laboratory testing and color matching services. As an industry pioneer, the company offers proven systems for preservation projects including surface preparation products, mineral coatings and masonry staining systems.

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The longest haul

One of the key suppliers to Switzerland’s Gotthard base tunnel bills the structure as both novelty and “remarkable achievement in engineering.” At 57 meters or 35 miles, it is the world’s longest rail tunnel; passes through one of the highest Alpine massifs; and, will reduce the time that massive freight and modern high-speed trains need to travel from Zurich to Milan by around one hour.

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Structural, thermal mass add up to data center protection

St. Louis-based Ascent LLC, a builder and operator of highly secure data centers is promoting its latest facility on the strength of mass, reinforced concrete: 15-in. walls and a 13.5-in. roof enclosing 42,600 sq. ft. of space. Dubbed DAL1 for its Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex proximity, the new Plano, Texas, facility is built to withstand exposure to 360-mph winds, well above the National Weather Service’s 200-mph threshold for (Enhanced Fujita Scale) EF5 tornadoes.

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