What Do You Do When Good Practice Collides with Building Codes?
When new building code requirements, like those found in the 2015 IECC, collide with high performance and innovation incentives, such as those found in green building rating systems, significant confusion and some building failure can ensue. This is the current reality being experienced in wall system air barrier design and performance. Overly complex and problematic systems due to a market-driven design emphasis on high performance and innovation inevitably lead to increased risk and liability in all climates, and concern about mold and moisture damage in humid climates.
Code requirements are often based on empirical laboratory analysis, which sometimes does not translate well to field applications. Untested, this codification is then pushed out to contractors, who unfortunately must then face the task of interpreting sometimes puzzling requirements.