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 coach house in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

DELTA-VENT SA being applied to entire couch house


If you’re unfamiliar with Dr. John Straube – Ph.D., P.Eng., and noted building scientist – allow us to introduce you. Dr. Straube is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo, as well as a principal and Senior Building Science Specialist at RDH Building Science Labs. As an international expert in moisture-related durability issues, Straube has published over 100 technical papers (and two books) on high-performance building enclosures. His contributions to the field have earned him multiple awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in Building Science Education from the National Consortium of Housing Research Centers (NCHRC).

Needless to say, this is a professional who knows what he’s doing.

Back to the coach house. While Dr. Straube was looking to create a space where he could store a couple of cars and give his dogs a bath, he also wanted to ensure his coach house could easily convert into living space in the future.

More to the point, Dr. Straube wanted to use the coach house as a demonstration of how to build a durable, comfortable, energy-efficient building. The roof and walls were designed similarly, with lots of exterior insulation over a highly insulated framed structure. So a vapor permeable air and water barrier fully adhered to the exterior sheathing was an ideal choice. This design ensures that air leakage condensation is eliminated and the ability to dry is maximized.


DELTA-VENT SA applied to substrate

To meet the specific requirements of his design, he chose DELTA®-VENT SA for the air and water barrier.

Cutting membrane to accommodate window

DELTA®-VENT SA is a continuous air- and water-resistive barrier. Because it fully adheres to the substrate – with the most tightly sealed and secure side laps in the industry – air and water that may penetrate through flaws or perforations can’t travel between it and the substrate. As well, the sheathing is fully engaged to add strength and stiffness to the membrane.


Proper window installation

Dr. Straube also used several DELTA accessories, benefiting from their compatibility with each other and with DELTA VENT-SA. Systems that work together mean you don’t have to worry about whether your tape will stick. Designing an effective building enclosure needs a holistic approach.

Find out more about DELTA®-VENT SA here. Or watch our latest webinar by Dr. John Straube to find out how you can build high-performance enclosures with the perfect wall here.

Watch Dr. John Straube discuss the importance of airtightness and how it’s critical for maintaining a building’s performance.