Building Enclosure: Five Common Areas That Need Your Attention

When it Comes to Leaking Roofs, It’s Not Just About Water – Air Leaks Too!

The building enclosure includes all walls, windows, doors and roofs that are exposed to the exterior, as well as slabs and basement walls. Details must clearly indicate materials or components providing critical condition functions. Recent and proposed revisions to building codes and performance standards, as well as publications authored by independent research groups are expected to have a major impact on the importance of the building envelope.

For many years, the problems associated with uncontrolled air leakage in buildings have often been misdiagnosed or unaddressed, and the concept of the air barrier has been met with skepticism. The crux of this problem was a lack of verified third-party research that showed the performance difference provided by an energy-efficiency retrofit targeting air leakage.

In addition to wasting energy, uncontrolled air leakage can have many other serious consequences. Two conditions are needed for air to leak. First, there must be a hole, gap or crack from one side of the envelope to the other. Second, there must be an air-pressure differential for which there are three causes: wind, stack effect and the HVAC system.

There are several methods used to assess where and how air migrates through a building envelope, but most importantly is interviewing the occupants and field testing. While the inclusion of an approved, continuous air system in the design of all new buildings is the best way to eliminate uncontrolled air barriers, the following are five critical areas that commonly need attention and must be sealed in the following order:

  1. Top of the Building
  2. Bottom of the Building
  3. Vertical Shafts
  4. Outside Walls and Openings
  5. Compartmentalization

Retrofitting and Commissioning is the best possible solution in scenarios where energy efficiencies are being sought to improve a building’s performance.

Your Building Enclosure is Your Barrier for Protecting Your Interior Environments.

At SEA, we provide the highest quality evaluations from licensed and credentialed professionals. We recommend the most sustainable and resilient supplies and methods to maximize your long-term investment. The result is reduced maintenance costs and future cost avoidance from the elimination and prevention of roof leaks, protection of interiors and increased productivity from displaced occupants during potential remediation.

Contact us today to learn how we can assist you with your building enclosure needs to gain the biggest return on your investment from your greatest asset. We ensure quality building enclosure services for both new construction and existing buildings.