Webinar or In-Person Seminar Offering
One Hour – One AIA LU HSW

Designing and Constructing
High-Performance, Low-Risk Building Envelopes
That Avoid Catastrophic Mold and Moisture Problems

George DuBose, CGC; Richard Scott, AIA, NCARB; Chuck Allen, AIA; Steve Gleason, PE
Co-authors of the New NCARB Online Mold and Moisture Prevention Monograph

Course Title: Designing and Constructing High-Performance, Low-Risk Building Envelopes That Avoid Catastrophic Mold and Moisture Problems
Course Number: E2841601
Delivery Name: Liberty Building Forensics Group
Curriculum Group Name: AIA Providers
Credit Designation: LU|HSW

teacher-1015630_960_720“The client did not see the value in LEED• certification,” were the words of an architect in a recent talk at a national conference. “But they did want a high-performing building”. These statements shaped the basis for their client’s new national headquarters.

The mission of designing high-performance buildings while also promoting green and sustainable objectives has led to new success stories, yet it has also revealed areas of potential for mold and moisture failures. The interaction between the HVAC system and the envelope creates an unusually high-risk area. Any deficiency in either system can cause dramatic, building-wide moisture and mold problems.

With the emergence of high-performance buildings (including building envelopes) and the use of certain new green products, we have inadvertently designed and constructed high-risk building envelopes when, in fact, the goal should be to develop a high-performance building envelope that has the lowest possible risk of failure.

It is not an exaggeration to assert that there is no building envelope which a creative architect can envision that a poor HVAC system cannot destroy. Conversely, a very well-performing HVAC system can often compensate for a marginally designed (or constructed) building envelope to the point that many mold and moisture problems may never be noticed. However, even an exceptionally well-performing HVAC system cannot compensate for a poorly designed wall system.

A simplification of the above concept can be stated as follows:

  • Bad Envelope Design + Bad HVAC Design = Guaranteed Moisture Problems
  • Good Envelope Design + Bad HVAC Design = Likely Moisture Problems
  • Bad Envelope Design + Good HVAC Design = Likely Moisture Problems
  • Good Envelope Design + Good HVAC Design = Likely Success

Designing and constructing high-performance envelopes has been a significant goal of the green and sustainable building movement. High-performance envelopes have emerged in almost every type of building use. From multi-family, low-rise construction to high-rise office and mixed-use buildings, there has been a dramatic increase in the performance of building envelopes. Most of the improvements have provided higher performance without increasing risk of failure. However, several trends in building envelope design and construction have increased the risk of failure because of decisions made to achieve higher-performing envelopes in an effort to pursue green objectives.

This one-hour seminar will provide case studies that illustrate how to avoid designing and constructing high-performance/high-risk building envelopes, and what tools can be used to achieve high-performance but low-risk results.

Liberty Building Forensics Group has provided problem avoidance and after-problem solutions to owners and contractors for buildings under construction by developers along the South Florida coast, including 50+ story range high-rise condos where moisture and mold problems cost their developers in excess of $15M dollars to resolve.

Recently, LBFG and NCARB have developed a new online course for architects, contractors and developers that teaches how to avoid these kinds of problems.

LBFG staff have extensive expertise in investigating and resolving construction and design deficiencies in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast states, as well as in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and Southeast. Please visit http://www.buildingforensicsgroup.com/who-we-are/ for more information on the firm and the speakers of this seminar.

Copyright 2016 Liberty Building Forensics Group