“Till Death Do Us Part”: Preventing a Facade and HVAC Divorce When It Comes to Air Barrier Performance

Avoid Catastrophic Mold and Moisture Problems in Hot, Humid Climates
Due to Air Barrier Standard Confusion

By George DuBose, CGC; Richard Scott, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP; and Donald B. Snell, PE, Cert. Mech. Contractor, CIEC

Strange Bedfellows: Common Ground for Takata Airbags and Moldy Buildings

Airbag maker Takata made headlines recently as a seventh airbag-related fatality forced the Japanese company to announce the largest auto recall in history.

Takata had initially recalled faulty airbags in 18 million vehicles, believing the malfunctions to be linked to cars in hot, humid climates. Although the airbags were failing in other climates as well, they interestingly had higher failure rates when humidity and moisture were involved, drawing a remarkable parallel with the root cause of many building failures.

Building forensics experts have long known that specific climates require a specific approach to building design and construction in order to avoid failure. […]