There are several ways to thicken a sauce, each with its own characteristics. On method, which I have to admit, I under-utilize is to use cornstarch and a little water. Using cornstarch is nice, because unlike say a roux, or other flour based thickeners, you don’t really need to cook out the raw taste of the flour for several minutes – with cornstarch you’re ready to go right away. I'll sometimes use butter, but that method can cause you to break the sauce....which is a mess. Corn starch gives the sauce a glossy look, and mouth feel, which is also very cool. Finally, using cornstarch to thicken a sauce is supper quick and easy. At the last minute, if you find you need it, you can just grab a bit of cornstarch, mix with water, and you’re good to go. Hope you find the technique useful!!
Catrina made it clear that this project was not at all about failure of current spandrel beams. Current slender spandrel beams were actually overly reinforced and, therefore, were not as cost effective as they could be, although they were as safe then as they are now with the new design guidelines in place. She goes on to explain that during the research project, the full-scale spandrel beam specimens were overloaded until they failed so that the failure mechanism could be identified. Spandrels would not be loaded to such an extreme degree in a real-life situation.