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March 14, 2024
The THING About Data

In a pivotal scene from The Thing from Another World (1951), a team tracks a mysterious aircraft across Polar ice. They fan out, standing over anomalies in the ice, and connect the “dots” of their positions to form a circle, revealing that the craft in question is actually…a flying saucer.

The science in this Science Fiction story (fanciful as it is) echoes the methods SUPERSTRUCTURES uses to diagnose defects in building envelopes. Like the crew from The Thing, we collect data points that form a hypothesis, and that hypothesis leads to a restoration solution.

Unlike the crew from the film, we have sophisticated tools to collect data—tools that allow us to see beyond the surface of a facade, roof, or plaza. Conventional probes can yield some of the same information, but they’re more invasive to the building envelope and one of our main mantras is “First, do no harm.”

Electrical impedance (EI) meters can help detect water trapped within walls, ceilings, floors, and roof assemblies. Ground-penetrating radar antennas can be used to locate steel members embedded in concrete. And advanced imaging and software allow us to create a detailed map of a facade for further analysis.

While we don’t expect to find any flying saucers in the course of our investigations, we do rely on sophisticated means of data collection to diagnose—and ultimately remedy—issues in building envelopes. And we do find “unidentified objects” occasionally…

SUPERSTRUCTURES Engineers + Architects

14 Wall Street, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10005
(212) 505 1133


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