Structure & Site
Spring 2020
KHH Celebrates 70 Years
This year marks Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt’s 70 th year in the A/E/C industry. The firm was founded in March of 1950 by Howard F. Eckerlin as a structural engineering consulting firm. As you know, we have since grown to include landscape architecture and building envelope systems services.

We have seen many highs and lows over these past seven decades. They feel more relevant than ever while we face down a pandemic in a state that has been particularly hard hit. In times like these, we feel truly grateful to have witnessed so much change and growth – the good and the bad – as a team. Though this anniversary reaches us during a difficult time for the global community, the longevity we have had the privilege of experiencing serves as a reminder that this too shall pass. While we push forward from the safety of our homes, we look forward to team reunions, good health, prosperity, and – as always – continuing to serve our clients by collaborating on the creation of solutions for the built and natural environments.

We would like to thank our clients, colleagues, and friends for being an important part of our journey. Whether you or your company have been with KHH since our beginning or our stories have just now connected, we are happy to be sharing this story with you. We are proud to have served this community for 70 years. Here’s to many more.
Covid-19 Pandemic Statement
Like most companies in New York State, KHH has been working remotely during the quarantine. We have remained in contact with our clients and project team members, ensuring the high quality of our work while also being mindful of community health safety. If you would like more information on our COVID-19 policy, please see our website . The last several weeks have been hard on all of us, and we eagerly await the day when we can return to our office and see our colleagues, clients, and friends face to face once more. In the meantime, we hope you and your families can stay healthy and safe. We are wishing you all the best in these troubling times.
Code Updates In May
New York State's Uniform Codes and Energy Code are changing! This year, both code categories are going into effect on the same day. As of 12 May 2020, project documents submitted for a Building Permit will need to comply with the new code, which is based on the ICC 2018 family of code books. Let's take a look at what has changed!
Avoid Problems: Comply with the Energy Code!
Over the past few years, we have taken on several projects that involve new or recently renovated buildings that have experienced severe performance problems with their building envelopes. The problems range from interior condensation to poor thermal comfort to a preponderance of roof edge icicles. These envelope projects start with a review in which we identify causes and develop remediation strategies for deficiencies; insurance loss reviews; and, in some unfortunate cases, litigation.

Figuring out why problems occurred within a building envelope is interesting work. It has given us an appreciation of the importance of a properly designed and detailed thermal envelope. The contributing conditions are most frequently a lack of air barrier continuity (or lack of any air barrier at all), extensive unmitigated thermal bridging, or a combination of the two. In most cases, extensive analysis using Wufi or another hygrometric analysis tool is not necessary; a simple review of the design documents and site observations are all we need to understand what is causing the problems. Often infrared thermography and pressure diagnostics (i.e. blower door testing) have been useful in confirming our theories.

Design professionals should certainly have a working understanding of the principles behind satisfactory thermal envelope performance. However, in every case we have encountered, one simple tactic would have prevented most, if not all, of the detrimental conditions from occurring: compliance with the Energy Code.

The original and primary purpose of the Energy Code is to control the amount of heating and cooling energy that buildings need to maintain indoor comfort. An equally compelling reason for compliance is the avoidance of serious performance problems. This is more relevant than ever with the tightening of code requirements. It is increasingly important to have someone on your project team who knows how to properly detail air barrier systems. For instance, the increased thermal resistance requirements and the introduction of air barriers can result in greater potential condensation if incorrectly executed. The improper use or application of spray foam can cause the material to develop gaps or cracks, creating a channel for air to flow unobstructed. Additionally, while air barriers greatly increase the thermal efficiency of a building in general, depending on the material they can also reduce the drying potential of a wall assembly. Ironically, this is a compelling reason to ensure the full continuity of the air barrier systems. In other words, the Energy Code is an all-or-nothing proposition in that if air barrier systems are detailed or installed incorrectly, they can cause more problems than not having an air barrier at all.

Let us know if we can help ensure your project is Energy Code compliant. We want to help you save energy, reduce carbon, increase indoor comfort, and avoid the numerous problems a deficient or non-existent air barrier can create.

- Jim D'Aloisio

Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt is a subconsultant for the Urban Green Council’s endeavors to provide training for the new 2020 Energy Code to Upstate NY through a NYSERDA contract. Look for events scheduled throughout the year, starting with webinars in this time of socal distancing. We hope be back in our Conference Center for live sessions later in the year.
Who's New at KHH
We are happy to welcome Robert Catalina, P.E. to the KHH team as a senior structural engineer. Rob is a professional engineer with over 10 years of experience in structural design, construction document development, and construction administration. He studied at University at Buffalo, receiving a Bachelor of Applied Science in civil engineering as well as a Master of Science in Engineering in structural and earthquake engineering. In his free time, Rob enjoys spending time with friends and family, golfing, and playing drums and guitar.
What's New and What's Next
Unfortunately, a majority of the upcoming events we planned to participate in have been cancelled or rescheduled due to the quarantine. However, webinars are still going strong! KHH has partnered with NYSSPE for an upcoming webinar series. Jim D'Aloisio will be presenting on a variety of topics throughout the month of May. Each presentation offers PDH credit for your continuing education. You can register for multiple sessions or just one. Learn more about the industry you love and take some time for professional development! For registration and information, please visit the event page.