With changing climates and client expectations, it’s time for builders and designers to think green. Here are 5 proven sustainable design strategies to implement in your next new build or retrofitting project.
Building above grade is tough enough, but below grade? It is the most difficult space to get right. Not only does a basement hold the building up; it must keep groundwater, soil gas, and water vapor out, while keeping heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
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 […]
Managing moisture in a basement is difficult. We break down and detail the fundamentals of a water-managed basement foundation done right.
When it comes to below-grade moisture protection, cold weather and snow limit the use of any fluid-applied application. This can be avoided by selecting a better below-grade wall waterproofing solution that is designed specifically with cold climates in mind.
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 […]
Dörken’s engineers took on the challenge of designing a better residential rainscreen cladding system – here’s what we came up with.
The major cause of many common foundation problems is water. Waterproofing systems are a critical component for keeping foundations dry. Like air control above grade, it is important to consider water control below grade as a system solution, not as a single component.
Successfully navigating air barrier details, like tricky transitions and interfaces, differentiates a reliable, high-performance air barrier from an ineffective one.
Brick, stone, and stucco are proven claddings…except when they are not. They used to be, but not anymore. What changed? A bunch of things – one of which was/is the effect of inward vapor drive. Inward vapor drive is an issue where a “reservoir” cladding is located on the exterior of a wall assembly. What […]
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 […]
The fundamental principles of groundwater control are to keep rainwater away from the foundation wall perimeter and to drain groundwater with sub-grade drainage and perimeter drains before it gets to the foundation wall. Nothing has changed in several millennia. Let’s look at the groundwater part. For groundwater, there are two things that need to happen […]
For several weeks, construction sites all over the world have had to practice social distancing between their workers in order to comply with government guidelines. Are you adjusting or still struggling with where to begin? This is a guide to help you ensure the safety of all workers, no matter the size of your jobsite.
Weather protection is a concern for any type of building, but professionals using stucco or manufactured stone cladding should be taking even greater care to ensure projects are well prepared for the road ahead.
Building a custom home comes with high expectations from clients. It requires quality craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail, and professionals with relentless passion.
Gavin Semrow, founder of Ai Restoration, is partnering with Dörken to help aid in the remediation process and educate building professionals on the dangers of improper stucco and manufactured stone cladding installation.
As the new year gets underway, we thought we’d take a moment to look back at 2019 to see who caught our attention and stood out for their impact on the building community.
Fifty+ years ago when we built homes, the only way we could protect them was to use “tar paper,” which is basically a version of tar-impregnated paper that contained asphalt. While these did the trick at the time, they were used mainly to prevent wind from getting through the home. What’s funny is that nostalgia […]
Dörken has been developing products that set new standards for more than 125 years. Sustaining this level of success and growth depends on an innovation culture that we are consciously fostering and translating into practice at every level.
When builders think of ultraviolet (UV) rays, they don’t just consider the effects sun exposure has on their skin. They’re also thinking about the effect UV rays have on the homes they build.
With the significant failures associated with stucco and the related litigation, the model building codes are being pressured to make changes.
With growing concern over climate change and severe weather incidents, seen across 150 countries during Climate Strike Fridays, building efficiency is in the spotlight.
Fall is always a good time to connect with colleagues and learn something new – likely a feeling left over from our school days. The upcoming CONSTRUCT AEC Education & Expo event in October provides the perfect opportunity to do both.
Revolutionary building design shouldn’t trump basic building science. These 5 open-joint cladding projects are pioneering design & high-performance protection.
Open-joint cladding design elements are being applied by the world’s most advanced building professionals designing some of the most cutting-edge buildings. However, they require extra attention to manage the infiltration of exterior weather.
More than 80 per cent of premature building deterioration is the result of moisture damage resulting from the dissolution of materials, reduction in effectiveness of insulation, and more. For this reason, building industry professionals know the importance of moisture control methods.
Running behind schedule has an impact on more than your bottom line: it exposes building materials to harsh environmental conditions for longer than they are engineered to withstand. UV damage is a real issue with real consequences – yet it’s an issue that often gets overlooked
Open-joint cladding systems are unique – not just in aesthetics, but in what’s required to correctly protect the exposed structural components within the wall.
It’s not easy staying on top of industry trends and new products, but 19 buildings filled with the industry’s brightest minds certainly makes it easier. The BAU trade show, held every two years in Munich, Germany, brings together every branch of the construction industry from across the world to exchange, share and build new ideas.
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 […]
If you haven’t experienced the gross inconvenience and expense of a leaky basement, count yourself lucky. If you have, you know it is not something that can just be ignored in hopes it will go unnoticed or perhaps “fix itself.” Basement leaks can either be slow and steady, gradually seeping into a dwelling over days, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
“Code is a four-letter word for the worst building you can build without going to jail.” Building science engineer Dr. John Straube called it like it is at the latest DELTA® Academy Seminar Series in Washington, DC. His message was loud and clear: merely meeting code does not and should not cut it in an […]
Today, many builders are increasingly leaning towards green construction. According to Canadian study World Green Building Trends 2018, 35% of Canadian firms who participated in the study report that more than 60% of their projects are green, and by 2021 the number of firms to achieve this is expected to rise to 48%. What’s interesting is […]
Today, net-zero energy initiatives are taking the building industry by storm. These are homes designed and built to generate as much energy as they consume, once all renewable energy systems are fully installed—with the goal of reducing the energy needed to maintain them. According to a standard set by the NZEC, net-zero energy structures are […]
Builder Emily Press used a peel and stick house wrap for the first time, and shares her experience with The Build Show’s Matt Risinger.
In a previous article, we discussed the North American building code requirements for sheathing membranes and their function as water-resistive barriers (WRB). This third and last article of the blog series will uncover the additional, critical role of sheathing membranes as air barriers. Sheathing membranes that act as air barriers are typically of the polymeric […]
In Part 1 of this two-part blog series, we looked at what sheathing membranes are and how they are used in exterior wall assemblies. To recap, these membranes typically consist of thin sheet materials placed on the exterior side of the sheathing board in exterior wall assemblies. The function of the membranes is to resist […]
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 […]
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, […]
Choosing a sheathing membrane can be challenging. But as Graham Finch explains, they’re necessary as they play a key role in exterior wall assemblies.
Today, people think about basements a little bit differently than in the past. While the idea of turning a basement into a livable and comfortable space seems like a necessity, it used to be the opposite. In the past, basements were merely used for storage purposes or were simply left unfinished. Now, the expectation among […]
Experienced home builders understand how much work goes into building a good reputation, getting referrals, and growing their business. They also know just how quickly a bad experience for the homeowner can undo all of that hard work. One particularly bad experience that has many homeowners seeking retribution is the discovery of mold in […]
You would think that after a half century the physics of wall design would be obvious, straightforward and non-controversial. Apparently not. Folks latch onto concepts that are partially true…true in a limited sense…without appreciation of the range of applicability. As Dirty Harry Callahan would say…a wall has got to know its limitations. There has been […]
When I first started doing blower door tests 15 years ago, I was full of bravado, thinking I had a pretty tight house. I was using a good house wrap and taping the seams, and I was paying my insulation and drywall contractor extra to include “air-sealing measures.” I thought “No problem. I should be […]
The best way to protect high-risk moisture environments – for walls and roofs It does not get any riskier than constructing an enclosure over an indoor swimming pool. Except maybe an enclosure over a pressurized and humidified hospital. Or, how about an enclosure over a conditioned museum designed by a famous architect who is incapable […]
Save the Stucco! Stucco has been around a very long time – since the time of the Sumerians about 4,500 years ago… give or take a century. Good luck finding a Sumerian today to ask about the finishing plaster coat they applied over brick that became stucco. You think after 4 or 5 millennia we […]
In the past 20 years, Boston’s population has grown faster than the construction industry has been able to keep up. Finding a place to live is not easy, and affording ownership costs is even harder, with a cost of living that is almost 40% above the U.S. average. Available rental units are likewise rare – […]
If there’s anything that will convince people of a building product’s worthiness, it’s when the pros use it in their own homes – where they’re free to make unilateral decisions, based on their own expertise and preferences. So you can imagine our excitement when Dr. John Straube chose our air- and water-resistive barrier for his new […]
How to fix a leaky basement without digging a hole, adding an exterior drain, or re-landscaping One of the most difficult issues to deal with as a landlord or a homeowner is a leaking foundation or basement wall. You go through a whole bunch of stages, much like grief counseling. First is denial that it […]
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 […]
Tall buildings require a robust air barrier design strategy to withstand higher air pressures from wind, stack effect, and mechanical systems.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The Build Show’s Matt Risinger shares some of his stucco failures, and how you can avoid the same fate with his proven step-by-step stucco installation method.
Architects who use Building Information Modeling (BIM) on a regular basis agree it leads to better-designed projects. We believe BIM fundamentally alters and enhances the design process and here’s why. Saving Time BIM’s drawing tools are faster than those used for 2D or CAD. Because each object is connected to a database, updates are […]
You choose a dimple mat based on decent specs, and it appears to be of good quality – but how can you know if the product you’ve chosen is truly up for the job?
Confusion between air barriers and vapor barriers is common. We’ve simplified the differences between the types of barriers to clarify some misconceptions.
If you’re thinking, “How can an air- and water-resistive barrier be a health product?” first, let’s establish what a Health Product Declaration® (HPD) means. What is it? The HPD is a set of stringent regulations, set by the HPD Collaborative, used to document and report the material contents of building products and the health effects […]
The Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) principles aren’t exactly new. But that doesn’t take away from their importance. In fact, if you head over to the PHIUS website, you will see that “buildings designed and built to the PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standard consume 86% less energy for heating and 46% less energy for cooling […]
One of the philosophies we subscribe to here is wrapped up in the idea of doing something because we should, not just because we have to. Do we work hard to ensure our products meet code? Of course. But do we stop there? Of course not. The latest example of both our commitment to the […]
Wet basements aren’t only bad for homeowners, they’re bad for business. From occupant discomfort and health risks due to mould and mildew to expensive material damage, foundation moisture has become one of the biggest headaches in homebuilding. When moisture makes an unwanted appearance in a foundation, people automatically look to their contractors to correct it […]
[easy-tweet tweet=”The Role of Air Barriers and Continuous Insulation in an Age of Green Construction ” user=”PeterBarrett_” hashtags=”#greenbuilding” url=”http://bit.ly/2gD099S”] The role of air barriers and continuous insulation is multi-faceted and increasingly important in an age of green construction. Air/moisture barriers and continuous insulation are now mainstream building systems that address the demands of more stringent building […]
We compare the popular ZIP and DELTA®-VENT SA systems to see which offers more energy efficiency and long-lasting performance.
To improve building air tightness, a continuous air barrier is key. And when it comes to continuity, a self-adhered air barrier is hard to beat.
The dream of constructing a tunnel 1.4 miles beneath Switzerland’s Gotthard mountain range arose shortly after World War II. Now, that dream has become a reality. On June 29, 2016 the inauguration of the Gotthard Base Tunnel invoked thoughts of Hannibal crossing the Swiss Alps 2,200 years ago. Of course, this route runs under, not over, the […]
Only proper capillary breaks on footings, created with the use of a membrane, can stop groundwater from damaging basement foundations.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Because international building codes are regularly updated, it is always important to look at the recent changes to the International Residential Code and what it means to builders. Not surprisingly, the 2012 update of the International Residential Code (IRC) includes more demanding energy performance standards than the 2009 update. Also, it simply references many of […]
On the surface, air barrier sheathing products like the ZIP System® and others, seem like a great product. One product that takes the place of two. The sheathing and taping purportedly eliminates the need for an air/moisture wrap or barrier because it is built-in to the sheathing. However, especially in today’s green building environment, it […]
The aesthetically pleasing nature of zinc and copper cladding attracts architects looking to unite durability, sustainability and creative expression. High-end metal cladding provides a dramatic and eye-catching contrast to other materials, including brick, glass, wood and concrete. High End Metal Cladding and Its Benefits Both metals are popular for use in metal cladding because they […]
The growing interest in green home building is evident on many fronts. Dodge Data and Analytics estimates that 84 percent of home builders will offer green construction options by 2018. In late 2015, the same firm estimated that green building volume will double every three years. Consensus on a National Green Building Standard The ICC 700 National Green […]
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 […]
Housing developers and new home buyers are following a smart path. They are incorporating whole-house energy efficient systems in the planning phase of residential construction and installing energy efficient upgrades when buying older homes that are desirable for their charm and character. A home that has a good home energy score sells faster and increases […]
Sometimes it feels really good to complain, and there is just a bit to complain about when it comes to what’s holding back green construction. But all the complaining in the world won’t fix things; that’s why we’ve identified the five most frustrating parts of this aspect of the construction industry and how some states have dealt […]
Over the past decade, net zero homes have grown in popularity. They are also more viable as solar panels have dramatically decreased in cost while increasing in efficiency, and energy storage systems have become far more cost-effective. Now, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) cites a report from the Net Zero Energy Coalition (NZEC) stating that 6,200 housing units […]
When the United States observed the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, the public was largely unaware of what the human population had begun to do to the planet. The environmental movement was in its infancy, promoted only by a handful of activists, some of whom were even considered radical. Yet, one U.S. senator […]
For years now, the labor shortage in construction has continued. While every firm may have some understanding of the current lack of skilled labor, the problem is likely much deeper than it is often thought to be. To be precise: the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC of America) issued a press release claiming that 83% of contractors report having difficulty finding […]
Although an affordable mortgage payment is the major concern for new homebuyers, people are paying closer attention to what it will cost to heat and cool their new residence. Whether they are in the market for an existing home or building or buying a new house, consumers can use HERS Ratings to make an informed decision before […]
It is an exciting time in a family’s life when they move into a newly constructed home. Unfortunately, when mold also moves in due to faulty construction or faulty product manufacturing, the dream can turn into a litigation nightmare, as they can take legal action against the builder.
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 […]
Homeowners who have a basement would like to be able to use it without it being damp and cold. Homeowners may want to use their basement as a second entertainment room or even a small studio apartment, instead of reserving it as a catch-all storage space. To make a basement a comfortable living area requires […]
A homebuilder’s biggest priority is to create a comfortable and dry home. However, keeping a home dry is not simple: engineers and architects spend much of their building planning on keeping water out, or letting it dry or drain when it comes come in. By focusing on water and its movement, builders can implement a […]
Building tenants are understandably concerned over the quality of the interior space that they occupy. The comfort and integrity of the building will be enhanced if a high performance air barrier is incorporated in the building envelope. A good air barrier provides a separation between the conditioned interior space of the building and the uncontrolled […]
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 […]
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 […]
One of the problems with many interior vapor barriers, such as polyethylene, is that no matter how well the product is installed, it is almost impossible to prevent harmful moisture and radiation from entering your home. Every staple, seam, or penetration creates an opportunity for moisture to get past the vapor barrier and into the […]
While similar in name, there are critical differences builders, architects and designers need to understand between vapor barriers vs. vapor retarders.
Without proper ventilation and drainage, moisture can accumulate between the water-resistive barrier and siding of a building. A rainscreen separates the cladding from the building, allowing drainage and moisture evaporation. Ventilated rainscreens are a support system in the building envelope that separates the cladding from the building, allowing for proper ventilation and drainage. It does […]
If a homeowner’s new construction home is showing moisture-related issues in the basement, it’s a costly mistake to repair. Naturally, it’ll lead back to the builder as the owners will want some form of remediation or coverage.
For many years, the upfront cost of metal roofing was probably the single biggest objection from business owners and building managers when considering what material should top new construction. Within the last decade, however, focus has shifted to sustainability and the lowering of carbon footprints in all types of construction. The many benefits of […]
From the process of evolution from single-cellular organisms to multi-system lifeforms, two things have remained consistent as being the most destructive forces on the planet: water and sunlight. Ironically, the two most destructive forces on Earth are also two essential elements that life needs to exist. On a cellular level, the UV radiation in sunlight […]
There are a number of things you can do when designing and constructing a building to improve building envelope energy efficiency. Here are seven of them. 1. Create a tight building envelope. It is important to create a tight building envelope around all six sides of a building (all four walls, the basement, and the […]
As modern building materials advance, energy efficiency is inescapable. Near-zero energy buildings are becoming increasingly popular in Europe. However, this will not have a great effect on energy consumption as a whole until energy efficient building materials and practices are widespread. Iowa State University Professor Yu Wang states that energy efficiency is relatively inexpensive when […]