Author: Peter Barrett

Peter Barrett is the Product Manager for Dörken Systems, and has been with the company for over 12 years. His involvement with the design community and building materials industry spans over 25 years. Peter holds a BA (Hons.) from Queen’s University and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) and on the Audit Committee. Peter has also contributed to The Construction Specifier, Construct Canada, Tunnel Business, and Masonry Magazine.

Energy Efficiency Adds Value to Your Property

  Insulation Requires a High Performance Air and Moisture Barrier to be Effective In the past, buildings had drafts, allowing air and moisture vapor to flow relatively freely through the exterior walls, keeping the wall cavity moisture-free. Increasing levels of insulation kept buildings more comfortable, but insulation can create a dew point inside the wall […]

DELTA®-MS Receives Declare Red List Free Status

  Finally, a below-grade dimpled membrane that contributes to high-performance building compliance.   Demonstrating market leadership in the growing movement towards product transparency and health in the built environment, DELTA®-MS is the first, and only, below-grade dimpled membrane to obtain a Red List Free Declare label with the Living Building Challenge (LBC) International Living Future […]

Meet Dörken’s Technical Service Manager

Krzysztof Apriasz, Dörken’s Technical Service Manager, solves everyday challenges for every type of project Skilled in engineering, AutoCAD, Revit, strategic planning, building codes, and on-site training, Krzysztof Apriasz, Dörken’s Technical Service Manager, is the go-to individual when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of DELTA® products. In this role, he is responsible for providing […]

Protecting One of Toronto’s Architectural Gems

The Integral House is arguably one of Toronto’s most unusual and spectacular residences. Its name reflects the summa symbol (∫) used to represent the integral in calculus; though it is known more simply to many as the Toronto Mansion. The 17,000-sq.-ft. Rosedale home was designed and built in 2009 for esteemed mathematician and calculus textbook author Dr. James […]

LEED Certification and Air Infiltration

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is an independent verification method that recognizes green building performance. LEED certified buildings are generally assumed to be more energy-efficient than standard structures. LEED® certification can enhance a building’s value, generate higher commercial lease rates and reduce utility costs. By 2018, it is estimated that LEED-certified buildings will contribute almost $30 […]

Standardizing Rainscreens

One of the most reliable ways of keeping walls dry and allowing them to dry out if they do get wet, is to construct the wall with an outer shell – also known as a rainscreen. A rainscreen is defined as an assembly applied to an exterior wall which consists of, at minimum, an out […]

Foundation Protection Solutions. Step 1: Ditch the Sprays

When it comes to foundation protection and wall waterproofing, some builders only factor in code compliance. They simply spray a tar/asphalt coating on the concrete foundation and proceed with backfilling. Problem is, this approach is short-sighted, leading to spray-on foundation protection issues. Easily damaged spray-on coatings may create vulnerabilities on numerous levels, including moisture leading to mold […]

Construction Defects Laws

Construction quality is a hot issue, gaining national attention due to enormous class-action lawsuits brought against architects and contractors in states all across the U.S. The size and number of these lawsuits with their large payouts is crippling to the commercial construction industry in their states. Construction Defects Laws enacted in the 1990’s and 2000’s […]

How Blower Door Testing Can Help Homebuilders

As more and more homeowners and homebuilders seek energy efficient structures, residential codes are responding. As we’ve seen from the standards set in the 2012 and 2015 versions of the International Energy Conservation Code, air tightness standards are significantly higher in order to address energy efficiency. Though currently only nine states have adopted the 2012 IECC and […]

Choosing Appropriate Materials for Net Zero Buildings

When prominent people in building design and innovation showcase the energy savings of their Net Zero buildings, they raise public awareness and enthusiasm.  For many, Net Zero in a functioning building looks easy; however, the task of incorporating all the design and physical elements is a complex undertaking.  Homebuilders who want to participate in the growing […]

Nail Sealability ASTM D1970

How well are your membranes sealing around your nails? A test called ASTM D1970, Section 8.9, is conducted by manufacturers to confirm that their membranes meet a waterproofing standard. The test is administered by covering a piece of plywood with membrane, driving two nails into it, and backing them up a quarter of an inch. […]

Benefits of Mineral Wool Insulation

These days, many traditional materials are being phased out in favor of materials that are more natural and sustainable. The world of insulation is no exception. Traditional insulation materials such as fiberglass batting, polyisocyanurate insulation, and extruded polystyrene are stepping aside to make way for the benefits of mineral wool insulation. Mineral wool is also […]

How to Properly Design a Garden Roof

Also called a living roof, a green roof garden partially or fully covers a building’s roof with vegetation, usually a succulent such as Sedum. Besides adding another dimension of green space, roof gardens have other benefits including extending roof life, slowing thermal transfer, providing cooling in the summer, attenuating noise level, improving surrounding air quality, […]

Why You Should Use Air and Moisture Barrier with Foam Sheathing

There are a number of reasons why you need an air and moisture barrier over foam sheathing. Airtight exterior wall systems are critical to maximizing energy efficiency and gaining LEED points. However, certain characteristics of foam sheathing conspire to compromise airtight construction. The solution? Use foam sheathing together with a high-performing, moisture-resistive air barrier. As building codes […]

Common Problems that Reduce the Effectiveness of Your House Wrap

High-quality house wrap is most often made of spun, high-density polyethylene fibers. It is a vapor-permeable material designed to simultaneously block the passage of liquid. Properly installed, it’s a WRB with the ability to resist moisture while allowing humidity to escape from exterior wall cavities, which is of particular importance in humid climates. However, unforeseen […]

How to Choose the Best Housewrap

Building tighter, energy-efficient homes has come with both benefits and risks. As we’ve seen over time, increased airtightness improves energy efficiency, but it also risked producing mold and rot without the proper control of moisture vapor. The key to solving this issue is to allow moisture to dry out. A housewrap (also known as a […]

New DELTA®-PROTEC Subfloor System Introduced at Surfaces Show

Dörken introduced their new DELTA®-PROTEC Subfloor System for Concrete Floors at The International Surface Event in Las Vegas. The show features the most extensive display of floor covering, natural & engineered stone, tile products and educational offerings in the world. Flooring Dealers Were Impressed Flooring dealers frequently have customers who install laminate flooring over concrete only […]

Airtightness: On the Path to High Performance

Dr. John Straube is a highly regarded building science expert, well-known for his research, his consulting work, and his leadership as an educator. He is a Principal at RDH Building Science and a faculty member at the University of Waterloo. This past year, Dr. Straube discussed key building enclosure concepts (including moisture control, airtightness, and […]

The Build Show Tours German Facility

When Matt Risinger was in Germany for the BAU 2019 trade fair, we invited The Build Show for an exclusive tour of our nearby high-tech Dörken production plant for a close look at how DELTA® air and moisture barriers come together. In 1995, Dörken brought its technological advancements to North America, though the state-of-the-art facility […]

Energy Efficiency Starts with Airtightness

Building for sustainability, safety, and comfort requires the combined effort of engineers, architects, sub-contractors, and builders who understand how to design and specify an energy-efficient building envelope. This begins with the design concept and carries through to pricing, design review, construction, and building envelope commissioning. The preferred method for significant reduction in energy use and […]

How Airtightness Testing Improves Building Performance

Air Tightness and Building Performance High performing buildings are durable, comfortable, healthy and low-energy users.  An essential component of the high performance building is minimized air leakage.  Commercial air tightness testing is a quality control tool providing data for the mechanical engineer’s load and energy calculations so he/she can design the appropriate mechanical system. As […]

Airtightness and Window Design: Is the Solar Design Obsolete?

Engineers are now coming to the conclusion that air-tightness is more important than window design in the conception of an energy-saving house.   According to the website for the Air Barrier Association of America, airtightness is gauged by measuring the building envelope’s effectiveness. But what exactly does air-tightness mean? Its technical meaning, unlike some terms […]

High-performing Air Barriers: The Unsung Hero of Construction

Air barriers are no longer just a passing consideration. They are not only federally mandated, but also demanded by code-conscious and sustainability-oriented building owners and occupants who are in the know. For good reason, too. A high-performing air barrier means greater comfort at a lesser cost. Based on simulations, the National Institute of Standards and […]

More than meets the eye: what’s happening behind your stucco and manufactured stone

Stucco and manufactured stone have been used in the building industry for ages. These claddings are well known, and well used for their leading properties in fire resistance, durability, and aesthetics. In fact, according to the Census Bureau’s recent Survey of Construction, 25% of homes built in the US in 2017 used stucco cladding; second […]

How Can Builders Avoid the Detrimental Effects of Wind-Driven Rain?

When it comes to maintaining a building’s integrity and longevity, protecting the building from factors that contribute to moisture-related issues is key. How do moisture-related issues materialize to begin with? According to research, wind-driven rain on a building’s façade is considered one of the largest sources of moisture2 and, most commonly, moisture is the number […]

5 Reasons Why Basements Can Be Uncomfortable

Basements are known to have particular problems: they are often found to be damp, humid, and even occasionally flooded. Once moisture has intruded, it can be difficult to treat the problem. Moreover, these conditions make basements vulnerable to mold. Even common solutions, such as using a dehumidifier, can increase foundation issues and prolong the problem […]

Continuous Insulation Addresses Problem of Thermal Bridging

Inevitably, thermal bridging is an adversary in the quest for energy-efficient buildings. Continuous insulation bolstered by a moisture barrier is a powerful weapon in the battle. Rising energy costs and a definite move toward green building accentuate the need to corral the problem of thermal bridging. Thermal bridging typically occurs in 3 ways One material […]

A stunningly comfortable first impression

Clark University, located in Worcester, MA, is a widely respected research institution, particularly for its excellent science program. To reflect the cutting-edge research that is happening inside its buildings every day, the university is committed to investing in its campus exteriors, in hopes of attracting top students and faculty. That’s why, after three decades, it […]

The Art of Proper Moisture Protection

The multi-award-winning Audain Art Museum is quintessentially Canadian – from the eclectic art housed inside to the unassuming yet masterfully planned and executed hockey-stick-shaped building itself. Yet, despite all the beauty on display for visitors, it’s the unseen elements that make this building truly amazing. The 56,000 sq. ft. private museum sits nestled amidst the […]

3 Ways to Control Heat Loss in Buildings

Heat flow affects a building’s durability, efficiency, and comfort levels. Condensation that builds up or does not dissipate can lead to mold, health problems, and structural decay. Leaks and heat loss have an impact on human comfort and health and contribute to energy waste as the building has to use more energy to regulate its […]

The 5 Criteria for Evaluating Air Barrier Systems in Buildings

Air barrier systems in buildings are marketed as systems because many different types of materials must combine to make an airtight plane that controls airflow. The critical areas for any airtight plane are a building’s material transitions, penetrations, and joints. 5 important criteria to use when judging or comparing air barrier systems: 1) Continuity. Air […]

Air Barrier Testing Considerations in Your Design

Designers should be thinking about air barrier system testing in the design phase to ensure that the barrier can be installed correctly. Contractors need to follow installation procedures and guidelines to make sure that the system works as intended. However, because air barriers are crucial, whole-building systems, air tightness testing is normally required to prove […]

Comparing the Three Systems for Rain Penetration Control: Storage, Drained Rainscreen, and Perfect Barrier

Rain control is the most important function of an enclosure, since it directly correlates to a building’s longevity. The number one factor for effective rain penetration control is good building design. Most rainwater can be deflected off of a building through use of architectural features or landscaping. However, rainwater management features are still vital in […]

The Perfect Wall; Applying Science to the Building Enclosure

In High Performance Building Enclosures, Dr. John Straube outlines the ‘ideal’ wall for the purpose of helping designers conceptualize how a building enclosure’s components should work together as a system. The sequence of layers represents a conceptual, climate-neutral approach with a scientific placement of the control layers that shows designers clearly how they interact and […]

The Architect’s Guide to Air Barrier Systems

Architects are busy. Not only do they have to design buildings, envision their performance, and specify products that help them meet their design goals, they also have to keep up with building industry developments. Architects must also take classes, workshops, and seminars in order to maintain their professional license. Even a layperson can see that […]

Building Envelope and Air Barrier Systems Technical Guide

Most people think of technical guides as just information about products. However, the new air barrier systems technical guide, from Dörken, is full of educational information about air barrier systems that can be used by anyone. It is a valuable educational tool for people in the industry, including architects, contractors, and specifiers. The guide starts […]

Avoiding Moisture Barrier Problems

With all of the different risks and dangers that come with building commercial structures, moisture problems often get overlooked until it’s too late. While it’s possible to fix problems with the moisture barrier once construction is completed, it’s always better to prevent these problems from happening in the first place. Moisture Barrier Problems in Commercial […]

Energy Efficient Design and Construction Continues to Grow

The buzz about going green is a trend that requires attention. Embracing the changes in commercial and industrial buildings that are being demanded  for energy efficient design and construction is key to making building owners and tenants satisfied. Since commercial buildings consume seventeen percent of the nation’s energy, valued at more than $100 billion according to EnergyStar.gov, business and industry […]

5 Things to Consider with Air & Moisture Barriers

As many people are aware, energy-saving designs in construction have been made increasingly mandatory. With these changes in mind, the use of air barriers, vapor barriers, water-resistive barriers, (fluid applied and sheet/membrane) can aid in the proper performance of buildings and help to reduce maintenance efforts later down the line. Air Moisture Barrier Considerations 1.    Such design […]

Modern Building Techniques

Ever wondered how ancient structures such as the pyramids, the Roman Coliseum, Stonehenge, and more stood the test of time, while many of our modern structures fail due to rot? Simple. Ancient builders used plain stone for their structures. Who cared if the stones got wet, or battered with wind or hail? Today, our structures […]

Overcoming House Wrap Issues With Self-adhered Membranes

Many businesses might not be in the habit of sharing the benefits of a competitor’s product. Occasionally, however, they offer information of which one should consider. We’ve been lauding the benefits of using self-adhered air barriers as opposed to mechanically-attached house wraps for some time now. We’d like to refer you to an infographic posted by Grace Construction Products, […]

Ashrae 90.1 Standard for Building Envelopes

First appearing in 1975, an updated Ashrae 90.1 energy standard for all but low-rise residential buildings comes out every 3 years. Taking into account current technology and life cycle cost, Ashrae 90.1 establishes minimum energy efficiency requirements for building design and operation including building envelopes (as of 2007). Ashrae 90.1 Currently, the Ashrae 90.1 uses the 8 […]

Solutions for Air Leakage in Buildings

With more people than ever concerned about implementing green building practices in commercial construction, making sure there are no air leaks in buildings (air leakage) is an important factor in construction planning. Here are some ways to make sure a building is tighter and more energy efficient. When Air Leakage in Buildings Is Most Likely to […]

Next Page »