Building Management Hawaii June/July 2013 - (Page 26)

Safe Railings, With Style When restoring or replacing building railings, consider designs that will modernize your look. By Damien J. Enright rAilings M uch of our local architecture is aging or just plain aged. Once a building has reached the 30- to 40-year-old mark, the deterioration becomes quite evident on its exterior. This deterioration frequently also translates into safety and liability issues that become priority concerns for building managers and owners. Upgrading the safety of your railing system should be at the top of your list; another consideration is railing models that add a new look to the overall aesthetic of your property. Safety First As a concrete restoration and guardrail replacement contractor, it worries us that many associations and building owners will set aside reserve funds for concrete spall repairs but have nothing allotted for a critically needed railing retrofit project. We occasionally see this even on buildings with significant safety concerns, such as loose or missing guardrail pickets or rail systems that are not code compliant. Although applicable codes mandate Damaged railing 26 June-July 2014 BMH that a 4-inch sphere must not be able to pass through any openings in railing systems, which ensures that a young child can't fall through the openings, some rails have gaps of 5 to 6 inches. Failing guardrails can, in fact, be a greater safety concern with Upgrading the safety of your railing system should be at the top of your list; another consideration is railing models that add a new look to the overall aesthetic of your property. Replacing metal railing with glass panels construction and corrosion-proof finishes are a must in Hawaii's chloride-rich environment. You should also expect long-term warranties from your railing contractor and manufacturer, an extensive resume of local projects with current contact information and a job-specific engineered design to ensure your railing systems meet all required codes. From our perspective, these are mandatory minimums that should not be an issue for any good railing manufacturer or installer. Achieving A Modern Look greater liability exposure than spalled concrete falling off a building. You need to do your homework when considering a railing replacement system. Robust Modern railing systems are designed with significant consideration placed on aesthetic and architectural issues in addition to safety concerns. This multifaceted approach allows building owners and managers to use guardrails as a stylized architectural focal point for buildings, frequently setting or accentuating the tone for a consistent theme throughout the common areas. Across Hawaii you can find older buildings with a mix of different finish types around their common areas. Perhaps various aluminum and steel rails and gates were initially installed, eventually followed by wooden partition walls; then, finally, a chain-link fencing system was constructed around the perimeter. This hodgepodge of systems and finishes does nothing but leave a building looking dated and disorganized. A recent trend and frequent course of action for associations and owners is to not only replace a failing guardrail system with a corrosionproof and durable aluminum system,

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii June/July 2013

The Age Of IREM
On Site: Life Of A Property Manager

Building Management Hawaii June/July 2013