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.
Category: Design Build
Tall buildings require a robust air barrier design strategy to withstand higher air pressures from wind, stack effect, and mechanical systems.
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.
Building a custom home comes with high expectations from clients. It requires quality craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail, and professionals with relentless passion.
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 […]
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, […]
We interviewed John Straube, PhD, P.Eng, principal at RDH Building Science and professor at the University of Waterloo, to get his insights on a topic that’s critical to the building industry: ensuring the highest quality. In particular, we discussed product substitutions and why they need to be handled with care.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
Your building materials could be getting sunburned this summer, but it’s not visible to the naked eye. And, over time, this unseen damage will continue to get worse.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
Even the most prestigious architects can get it wrong. In 2007, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sued renowned architect, Frank Gehry, for design and construction defects in the $300 million dollar Stata Center on the MIT campus. Three years later, the lawsuit was resolved amicably, but the revelations regarding the failures are still instructive for […]
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 […]
The success of a design build project depends on many elements in order to get the project completed on time. When something has to be redone, it usually means delays, added costs while playing havoc with a carefully designed construction schedule. Design build contractors continue to use lower cost building wraps that have to frequently […]