Category: Above Grade

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Water-Resistive Barriers: When and Why Does Vapor Permeance Matter?

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, […]

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 Pros Know: Dr. Straube chooses an airtight, vapor permeable barrier for his coach house

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 […]

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 […]

Sheathing Membranes: Air Barrier Building Code Requirements

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

The Damaging Effects of UV on Air and Moisture Membranes Left Exposed During Construction

Air and moisture membranes are as much a part of modern building construction as doors and windows. These membranes are wrapped around the building within the wall structure, and they’re meant to help prevent mold, mildew, and other unwanted conditions that can damage the structure and lead to health problems for those who use it. […]

Builders Beware: High-Payout Lawsuits Over Mold and Moisture Damage

Though it seems like homebuyers might sue over even the smallest detail, lawsuits brought against architects, builders and contractors that cite faulty moisture control are definitely justified. Exposure to mold and mildew can have detrimental effects on the health of the occupants, as well as causing large amounts of structural damage to the building. Common […]

Boulder Wildland Fire Station – Solutions for a Demanding Environment

When the Boulder Wildland Fire Station was being built, DELTA®-VENT S was chosen for its high standards of durability. The building, designed by Allred & Associates, was added to an existing Firefighting Regional Training Facility. Boulder Wildland Fire Station will become the command center for all Boulder Wildland firefighting needs. Facing the Rocky Mountains, the facility sits between the Sixmile and Boulder […]

Construction Defect Laws and Housewrap

Complaints of poor or defective construction are largely subject to a back and forth of civil actions that result in expensive suits and countersuits. The suits are usually over enforcement of builder’s warranties which may cover defects poorly. While these suits can cover a wide range of defects, moisture damage is a frequent and expensive […]

Creative Building Design Requires High Performance Water-Resistive Barrier Solutions

The Science Pyramid at Denver Botanic Gardens invites visitors to explore the relationship between people and plants, and to examine the role of biomimicry in our lives – the way the features of nature inspire ideas and actions in people. It’s not surprising then that the building has a great relationship with its surroundings. Rising to a comfortable height among the […]

Net-Zero Energy Building and Building Envelope

The detrimental effects of carbon fuel consumption on the environment have stimulated development of a ‘net-zero’ energy measurement for public and private buildings. A ‘Net-Zero’ building is defined as one that creates as much energy as it consumes on an annually averaged basis. Currently, energy production is not incorporated into the construction of most commercial […]

Mold Lawsuits Against Landlords

There are so many stories about lawsuits for mold and moisture damage in buildings that a special blog called MoldBlogger: Fight Mold and Win has now surfaced online. This blog is evidence of the seriousness of the issue. Many of the cases described originate during construction when important steps to prevent leakage and moisture seepage were skipped, resulting in […]

Air and Moisture Control in Buildings

Air and moisture control in buildings is a fundamental function for any commercial project involving conditioned space. Unfortunately moisture problems are common in many buildings and people often consider them inevitable. Moisture accumulation is the scourge of buildings throughout the United States, from tropical Hawaii to arctic Alaska and from the hot, humid Gulf Coast to the hot, dry Sonoran Desert. Between […]

Proper Air and Moisture Control in Homes, According to the US Department of Energy

Air and moisture control in homes, says the US Department of Energy, begins with a discussion of what used to be called “vapor barriers,” but are now referred to as “vapor diffusion retarders.” Vapor diffusion retarders can aid in controlling moisture within “basements, ceilings, crawlspaces, floors, slab-on-grade foundations and walls,” and accomplish this by cutting […]

Stunning Open Joint Cabin Requires Specialized Protection

(Photography by Adrien Williams) Tucked away in the woods just outside Montreal sits a modern, stunning cabin overlooking Grenier Lake. Large windows take in the expansive forest and surrounding views. Local architect Paul Bernier understands this environment, and chose materials to complement it. Clad in cedar panels, and topped with a garden roof, the cabin […]

A Solution for the Construction Labor Shortage

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 […]

Air and Moisture Barriers Important to Net Zero Homes

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 […]

5 Things Holding Back Green Buildings

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 […]

House Buying Goes Green with Fannie Mae Energy Mortgages

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 […]

Premium Metal Cladding Systems and Roofing Benefits

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 […]

Challenging Open Joint Cladding Design

  The pyramid is one of the earliest forms of structure for human occupation, spanning the ages of the megalithic tombs of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia all the way to today where visitors can see an aesthetically gorgeous confluence of design, form, and function. The Denver Botanic Gardens’ new Science Pyramid is now open to the public. Though […]

Building Envelope Code Changes and Builders

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 […]