Building Envelope and Air Barrier Systems Technical Guide

CD New Tech 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 with a section on

Building Envelope and Air Barrier Systems

that explains the basics of building science and enclosures. The point of this section is to educate people who make sweeping decisions about building performance goals, namely architects and specifiers. The technical guide shifts the decision-making process to emphasize designing a complete system rather than focusing on treating the specific products used in a building as afterthoughts.

Architects who are knowledgeable about the specific products that will make their design goals real can decide in an earlier stage of the design process what products they want their building to use. This saves time and money later. It also helps to prevent costly problems with moisture intrusion in the future.

The guide introduces the concept of a building enclosure, which separates the interior environment from the exterior one, and has a diagram that details the different parts of a wall and how each layer functions. It emphasizes the essential characteristics of an air barrier system, starting from its continuity, which it deems the most important, then its strength, stiffness, durability, and impermeability. Then is discusses performance targets and other ways to set standards for and evaluate air barrier systems are included in the discussion.

Finally, it gives recommendations for air control, thermal control, rain penetration control, and vapor control by climate zone, cladding type, exterior insulation, cavity insulation, and interior vapor control standards. This wealth of information, which spells out requirements for an air barrier system in many different circumstances, will be invaluable to architects and others who do not have time to study building science in-depth.

Although the guide does refer to the DELTA-VENT SA product system, there is no reason that the educational information cannot be applied to evaluate other air barrier systems.

It’s a great tool for anyone who wants a primer on building science and building enclosures. According to Alex Lukachko of Building Science Consulting, Inc., the guide “should help architects understand why they are choosing the products they do.” That knowledge will benefit everyone involved in the building process.

For a copy of the technical guide, click here.

Dörken is a leading manufacturer of air and moisture membranes for commercial and residential construction sold under the DELTA® brand name. Dörken is known for delivering innovative premium quality products to the construction market. We back up our high performance DELTA® products with educational programs and full technical support.  To learn more about our air and moisture barriers, visit our website.