Confusion between air barriers and vapor barriers is common. We’ve simplified the differences between the types of barriers to clarify some misconceptions.
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.
The famous architect Louis Kahn was on to something big when he said, “The sun never knew how great it was until it hit the side of a building.” Once the plans have been envisioned, drafted, approved and finally realized, an architects best friend or worst enemy is the sun, especially when it comes to […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
New Report Emphasizes the Importance of Air Sealing It’s no surprise that a leaky house causes higher energy bills among other things. A new report released by an insulation trade group highlights the importance of air sealing. It says that one type of wall insulation will perform just as well as another as long as […]
(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 […]
Sometimes the additional knowledge an architect brings to a project can serve the project in completely unanticipated ways. Air and moisture control is a critical component of building design. It is important for the health and comfort of the inhabitants, as well as for structural durability. Architects understand what air and moisture barriers do and […]
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 […]
Wall designs are one of the most time consuming projects for an architect. As you design buildings that are energy-efficient and compliant with code changes, the wall details become more detail-oriented and evermore critical to the performance of the building. Dörken, in collaboration with Roxul, has generated BIM files for wall sections, including air and water-resistive barrier details. […]
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 […]