Building Technology Incorporated (BTI) is one of the oldest firms in the United States continuously active in building-related applied research. BTI excels at analyzing building-related problems, providing clearly documented findings, and producing sound, usable products. Its work in the field of applied building research has spanned a wide range of subjects including those described below. BTI combines its long-time expertise with the application of sophisticated engineering economics, engineering statistics, and parametric building modeling tools to develop practical answers to complex building industry issues.


U.S. Russia - Building Technology & Information Center.BTI, as a consultant to the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, facilitated a two-day round-table meeting between selected representatives of the U.S. homebuilding and building products industries and asimilar group of Russian representatives. The intent of this project is to establish a self-sufficient information center providing technical and other information-related services aimed at stimulating and accelerating the delivery of high quality affordable housing suited to the requirements and lifestyle of the Russian market.

HUD Guidebook on Building Accessibility in Housing Rehabilitation. BTI, as a subcontractor to the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, is a key participant in the development of this guidebook on methods to enhance accessibility of single-family and multifamily housing that are undergoing various stages of rehabilitation. Emphasis is being placed on marginal adjustments that can be made to typical rehabilitation plans without substantially increasing cost.

Innovative Rehabilitation Technologies - A State of the Art Overview. BTI, as a subcontractor to the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, researched the material and product manu- facturing industry, trade associations, and architectural and engineering societies to identify candidate technologies. In addition, selected trade publications were also reviewed. Candidate technologies were assessed on the basis of their in-use performance for improved quality, cost reduction, and time savings; and the selected technologies were described in a report to be published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD Study of Cost of Meeting Accessibility Requirements. BTI, as a subcontractor to Steven Winter Associates, examined the costs associated with compliance with the HUD multifamily accessibility requirements.

National Park Service Replacement Housing Study. BTI, under contract with Logistics Management Institute, conducted condition surveys of existing housing units, provided modular and manufactured housing systems evaluations, and assisted in the preparation of design/build procurement packages for the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. These services were initially related to a demonstration phase, and if successful, will be applied in a number of National Parks.

HUD Building Inspector's Guide for One and Two Family Dwellings. Under contract to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, BTI developed a guide for use by field inspectors during the construction of one and two family dwellings. The One and Two Family Dwelling Inspection Guide was released by HUD in 1985, and reprinted in 1986 for private sector sales by the Home Owners Warranty Corporation.

HUD Residential Building Systems Inspection Guide. Under contract to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, BTI prepared a 150 page Guidebook for Residential Building Systems Inspection for evaluating the rehabilitation potential of existing one- to four-family resi- dential buildings. Containing information on the assessment of site conditions, exterior and interior building components, and structural, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, the guideline was released in 1985 as Volume 11 of the HUD Rehabilitation Guidelines series and reprinted in 1986 under the same title for private-sector sales.

HUD Structural Assessment Guideline. For the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, BTI prepared a Structural Assessment Guideline for evaluating the structural condition and capacity of small- to medium-sized buildings. Issued in 1983 as part of the HUD Rehabilitation Guidelines series, it was reprinted under the same title in 1986 for private sector sales.

Rehabilitation Technology: A State of the Art Overview. This project was completed for the U.S. Department of HUD in 1987 and provided findings on the use of new technology in rehab. Included in this overview were CADD and non-CADD computer applications as well as condition assessment instrumentation.

HUD Section 8 Program Evaluation. In a combined project with Westat Incorporated, Real Estate Research Corporation, and the Peat, Marwick, and Mitchell Company, BTI provided building-related data analyses for a comprehensive evaluation of HUD's Section 8 Housing Assistance Program.Final products included a summary report and six topical reports.

Air Force Housing Study. Under contract to the Air Force Civil Engineering Center, BTI conducted a study to evaluate Air Force family housing criteria; identify areas that contribute to excessive con- struction or maintenance costs; survey current commercial construction practices; identify and evaluate materials, products, and systems that could be used to improve family housing and reduce life cycle costs; and investigate improved sound attenuation and insulation techniques. The Air Force has since adopted many of the study's recommendations.

Impact of Operation Breakthrough. As a subcontractor to Real Estate Research Corporation, BTI helped determine the impact of Operation Breakthrough Guide Criteria on federal, state, and local building codes and standards. BTI also assessed the effects of Operation Breakthrough on industrialized housing costs.


Performance Standards for Housing. BTI is providing technical support to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of NIST in the development of a comprehensive set of performance standards for single family detached and attached housing. The standards will be organized by performance attributes. The work is being carried out nationally at ASTM (Committee E6) and internationally at ISO (Technical Committee 59). In carrying out this work BTI developed the draft Resource Document for Performance Standards for One- and Two-Family Dwellings which is providing the basis for both efforts. BTI has also completed a Guide Document for the Preparation of Performance Statements to be used by the task groups working on specific performance attributes. BTI will be responsible for the drafting of several of the attribute standards, and will provide coordination and support throughout the project.

Army Performance Procurement Guidebook. Under contract to the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, BTI developed a guidebook for preparing performance-oriented procurement documents for military construction. The guidebook is intended for use throughout the Army for all performance-type building procurements.

Embassy of the Future Project. BTI provided services to the Building Research Board, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, in support of its study "The Embassy of the Future: Research for the Security of Future U.S. Embassy Buildings." The project was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Office of Foreign Building Operations. Using a performance specification type format, BTI assisted the Board in its analysis of the potential use of off-site fabricated systems and components for the construction of new embassies.

Fort Leavenworth UOQ Performance Specification. BTI prepared a performance specification for the design and procurement of a 616-man Unaccompanied Officers' Quarters complex at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The project involved the production of architectural, civil, landscape, structural, and mechanical performance documents that were later converted to conventional plans and specifications (see Architectural Services).

Performance Specification for Iranian Housing. Through an affiliated company under contract to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Imperial Government of Iran, BTI prepared an in-depth performance specification for the design and procurement of all types and levels of housing in the region of Tehran, Iran. The specification was based in part on the cultural patterns, existing physical infrastructure, and climatic and topographical conditions in Tehran. Other work under the contract included training Ministry personnel and local officials in the use of performance specifications for evaluating housing proposals and supervising housing construction. BTI also reviewed performance specifications for the design and procurement of components for several hundred telecommunication facilities throughout Iran. Although BTI's work ended with the revolution, much of the Tehran housing has since been built.

GSA Performance Specification for Office Buildings. Using a performance specification, life-cycle costing procedures, and innovative contracting and construction methods developed by BTI's David Hattis and Thomas Ware, the General Services Administration realized significant savings in the construction, operation, and maintenance of its Social Security Administration program centers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; and Richmond, California. Known as the "Peach Book," the Performance Specifications for Office Buildings remains a pioneering document in the building industry.


DOE General Design Criteria Manual. BTI completed work under a subcontract to the American Consulting Engineers Council/Research and Management Foundation to modify and update the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) General Design Criteria Manual. This document sets the design criteria for all DOE facilities construction projects from simple storage facilities to complex nuclear reactor sites. BTI is participating in the continued maintenance of this document.

Energy Conservation Standards. Under subcontract to the firm of Booze, Allen, and Hamilton, BTI assisted in the development of a comprehensive energy conservation standard for the design and construction of federal office buildings. The performance-type standard incorporates both economic and design requirements and includes BTI-designed graph representations of building thermal performance profiles, the first such design aids of their kind.


Development of a Voluntary Consensus Standard for Seismic Evaluation of Buildings (Update of FEMA 178). The American Society of Civil Engineers is the contractor to FEMA for the update of FEMA 178. BTI is part of the ASCE project team, with responsibility for providing overall review, coordination and editorial support for the standard development.

Seismic Mitigation Strategies for Existing School Buildings Which Are Subject to Earthquake Risk throughout the United States. BTI received a grant from the National Science Foundation aimed at assisting school jurisdictions located in recognized earthquake zones to increase the seismic safety of existing school buildings. The project is divided into three component parts. The first examines the status of seismic exposure and current maintenance and retrofit procedures of school facilities in eight selected jurisdictions in Seismic Zones 2 and 3. The second is a review and analysis of the California experience of seismic hazard reduction in schools over the past 50-plus years to better understand the economic, political, and administrative factors which facilitated program completion. The third component of the project is based on the analysis of current maintenance and retrofit procedures and the specialized California experience to develop proposals for economically feasible and socially acceptable strategies for seismic hazard reduction in existing schools.

FEMA Financial Incentives for Seismic Rehabilitation of Hazardous Buildings. BTI conducted a research project for the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency reporting on and providing technical assistance regarding existing and potential financial incentives that can reasonably be used to lessen the risks posed by existing buildings in an earthquake. The work included Federal, State, County, and local incentives. A series of workshops was conducted to disseminate the information and methods of application developed.

FEMA Technology Transfer on Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings. As a follow-on activity related to the above contract, BTI is presently providing technology transfer and information dissemination services for FEMA. This work includes the development, promotion, and presentation of a variety of workshops; the preparation of video tapes for broad distribution by FEMA; the conduct of a speakers bureau; and the receipt and processing of requests for FEMA publications on the existing buildings component of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.

BSSC Technical Support Services. The Building Seismic Safety Council is the lead organization in the development of the Guidelines for Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings. BSSC retained BTI to assist with the coordination of efforts provided by the Applied Technology Council (ATC) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Included in this work was the development of the final work plan for the program and the technical support of the activities leading to the creation of the Guidelines and supporting Commentary.

NIST Technical Support Services. The National Institute of Standards and Technology was responsible to FEMA for the preparation of the Plan for Development of Seismic Design and Construction Standards for Lifelines. BTI was under contract to NIST to prepare the Final Draft Plan to be submitted to FEMA for review and approval prior to submission to the U.S. Congress.

IMI Seismic Retrofit of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings. BTI, in partnership with the International Masonry Institute, conducted a series of seminars across the nation presenting technical information on the problems and solutions associated with unreinforced masonry buildings in areas of seismic concern.


LSGA Design Guide for Laminated Glass. BTI, under contract to the Laminators Safety Glass Association, prepared a new design guide for architects, engineers, and glass fabricators. The Design Guide describes in detail the various attributes, applications, and design considerations for the use of laminated architectural glass.

Glass-Clad-Polycarbonate Standard. BTI, under contract to the Laminated Safety Glass Association, prepared a new standard for glass-clad-polycarbonate security products. This effort included participants who represent manufacturers of polycarbonate, urethane interlayer, polyvinyl buteral interlayer, as well as glass fabricators. The document is intended for ultimate adoption by the ASTM.

Coincidence of High Wind and High Temperature in the Continental United States. BTI completed a study for the laminated glass industry on the probabilities of occurrence of both high winds and high temperatures in the continental United States. This work was done in support of BTI's work as part of the ASTM E06.51.03 Task Group on Structural Strength of Glass.


GSA Manpower Planning Computer Model. Working for the Office of Real Property Development of the U.S. General Services Administration, BTI developed a computer based manpower planning model that is being used successfully throughout GSA for projecting the real estate staffing levels necessary to meet anticipated workloads in all Regional Offices.

USPS Management Instruction--Building and Site Design Safety Requirements. BTI has revised and updated the standards referenced in this document which is used for the design and construction of all U.S. Postal Service facilities.

USPS Support Services. BTI provided consulting services on a variety of special subjects including Re-design of Lookout Galleries and a Study for Selecting Roofing Consultants and Contractors.

Army/Navy Firestopping Manual. Working for the U.S. Army Engineer Division, Huntsville, Alabama, BTI authored Technical Manual TM-5-812-2, Firestopping. This document describes a variety of solutions for maintaining the fire resistive rating of building assemblies (walls, floors/ceilings, roofs/ceilings) when their fireproof integrity is violated by mechanical, electrical, and other penetrations. The manual is a required construction reference for both the Army and the Navy (its Navy designa- tion is NAVFAC DM-8.01). to be suitable for use by State and local jurisdictions or model code organizations with a minimum of adaptation.

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