Reflections on the art and science of restoration, profiles of our projects, and discussions of issues in the profession.

June 13, 2024
Raisin Standards
A mother sends her son to deliver a complaint to the baker: “Mom says there’s a fly in the raisin bread!” Eventually, unable to ignore the boy, the baker looks up and says, “Fine. Bring me the fly and I’ll give you a raisin.” It’s a classic joke, but there are two professional lessons here...
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June 6, 2024
Hold the Phone
Thirty years ago, a contractor said, “Don’t worry. If you find anything not done according to spec, you can call me any time. Here’s my cell phone number.” We replied, “Thanks, we’ll take the number, but don’t want to have to use it. You’re responsible for executing the project in accordance with the drawings and specs and for providing your own quality control.”
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May 30, 2024
Match Game
In our practice, we meticulously match masonry—brick, stone, or terra cotta—to that of an existing facade. Why? In many cases, the repair is only seen by the birds. Well, it matters to us that a masonry repair high on a facade is just as successful as a more prominent one on the ground floor. Just because it’s out of sight doesn’t mean it’s out of mind for us and, often, the building owner.
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May 23, 2024
Horse Power
Medical schools advise students, “When you see hoof prints, think horses, not zebras”—meaning that a physician should first think about the more common—and potentially more likely—diagnosis. In our field of exterior restoration, there’s a crucial caveat: sometimes it is zebras. We’ve found that some conditions require our experts to look beyond the obvious.
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May 16, 2024
The Birth of Digital Twins
Last week, our team gathered for a lunchtime status report and demo of SUPERSTRUCTURES’ drone-based “reality capture." Since our founding, we’ve dreamed of photographically capturing a building’s facade, creating a “digital twin,” and bringing it back to the office for inspection, analysis, and formulation of a restoration strategy. That dream is becoming a reality thanks to the advent of advanced drones.
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May 9, 2024
The Blueprint of Success
Well into the 21st century, construction drawings are still commonly called “blueprints.” The term has even been adopted as shorthand for any kind of detailed plan (e.g. the blueprint for a political campaign). But true blueprints have been antiquated for over 80 years now. We've come a long way since then, and now have powerful digital tools to produce our "gold standard" contract documents.
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May 2, 2024
From Pompeii to PCs: The Open-Source Argument
Closed- source versus open-source systems can be traced back to the Roman Empire (at least). In ill-fated Pompeii, well-preserved chariot tracks demonstrate a closed-source approach. Today, we favor open-source systems for the sake of our contractors and clients.
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April 25, 2024
Lunch & Learn Joint Sealants Seminar
Over 50 members of SUPERSTRUCTURES’ team attended our April “Lunch & Learn” session, “Joint Sealants: Their Design and Use” presented by Michael Winge of Sika Corporation. The presentation focused on best practices for designing and installing joint sealants.
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April 18, 2024
A Deep Bench
In the film Moneyball, Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) has an epiphany: baseball's conventional wisdom of relying on high-profile star players is all wrong. SUPERSTRUCTURES has a deep bench of superstars. But most critically, we’re judged on the results we produce collaboratively as a team.
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April 11, 2024
A Cost-Effective Solution
SUPERSTRUCTURES’ principal, John Galetta, RA contributed a recent article to Habitat magazine offering a prime example of how an independent study on cavity wall conditions yielded a cost-effective solution for the client.
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SUPERSTRUCTURES Engineers + Architects

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