Posts in Building Envelope
Air Barriers: Expectations vs. Reality
 -- Thawing a Frosty Relationship

When it comes to building performance, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. Humidification to provide medical patient comfort is a good thing. Frost and ice damage due to that same humidification is not so good.

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Climate Considerations to Help You Avoid a Mold & Moisture Problem

Unique challenges presented in all different types of climates (especially hot and humid climates) are often overlooked by the design and construction community.

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Why Buildings Fail

The primary reason we are not coming to grips with this far-reaching problem is simple:  the design professionals entrusted with building performance are not receiving adequate feedback on the performance of their previous buildings.

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The Incredible Predictability of Moisture Problems

Suppose there was a tool that could predict, before a single penny was spent on construction, the likelihood of whether your building would fail. Not only that, but this tool could also provide you with enough information to make significant design changes that would dramatically decrease any risk factors. Would you be interested? Of course you would.

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Design and Construction Amnesia: We Have Lost our Minds and it is Causing Catastrophic Mold and Moisture Building Failures

As the building and construction industry continues to come out of the hibernation that has been the norm since 2009, it unfortunately appears that it’s déjà vu all over again when it comes to water-related building failures. As new buildings are being constructed, the same design and construction deficiencies of the past are being repeated, leading to (often catastrophic) mold and moisture problems.

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Lordy, I KNOW there is tape!

Most of the building trade knows how rainwater can damage buildings. Much less is understood about the role of air infiltration, especially in hot and humid climates. Even small amounts of moisture-laden air infiltration can quickly cause moisture and mold damage.

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Has Coastal Zone Hotel Construction Become the Twilight Zone for Mold & Moisture Control?

Resorts, hotels, and vacation ownership properties that have operated for years without significant mold and moisture problems are suddenly becoming plagued with catastrophic and costly moisture-related issues after building renovations are complete.

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The Hidden Risks Of Green Buildings: Avoiding Moisture & Mold Problems

Some experts have described the green building movement as “the #1 mega-trend that will change the rules of global business.”

The great irony of building green in the Southeast is that the very concepts that are intended to enhance a building’s performance over its entire lifetime are many of the same practices that make a building highly susceptible to catastrophic moisture and mold problems during its first few summers of operation.

While LEED-certified buildings have many positive benefits, there is strong evidence to suggest a direct correlation between new products/innovative design and building failures — especially in Florida’s humid climate. Simply put, departing from the “tried and true” often means increasing the risk of building failure.

This article presents “must-know information” if you’re considering green buildings!

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New Online Course Demonstrates How to Design and Construct High-Performance, Low-Risk Buildings While Avoiding Catastrophic Mold and Moisture Problems

The mission of designing high-performance buildings that promote sustainable objectives has led to new success stories but has also revealed vulnerabilities for potential mold and moisture failures.

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Stucco Myth #3: Direct-applied stucco is easily packed out to meet a finished plane

In our work as forensic architects and engineers, we are regularly involved in litigation over stucco failures, including hotels and high-rise condo complexes. (For this article, ‘stucco’ refers to traditional portland cement plaster direct-applied to a masonry substrate, rather than using lath.)

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Stucco Myths: Myth #2 – Control joints are required every 13.5 m2 (144 sf)

In our work as forensic architects and engineers, we are regularly involved in litigation over stucco failures, including hotels and high-rise condo complexes. (For this article, ‘stucco’ refers to traditional portland cement plaster direct-applied to a masonry substrate, rather than using lath.)

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Stucco Myths: Myth #1 – Stucco on lath over CMU/concrete is superior to direct-applied

Myths abound around stucco cracking. In truth, it is not abnormal to have some cracking with stucco, much of which can be relatively harmless. The key is paying attention to the types of cracks, and minimizing any significant issues that might lead to actual failure, including debonding, water intrusion, and mold problems.

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Mold and Moisture Prevention

Published by NCARB

“An alarming number of buildings suffer from moisture and mold problems. No single document can address all the issues related to moisture intrusion and mold growth. However, we believe this monograph addresses a significant proportion of the problems that architects will encounter in the design and construction of a typical commercial building.”

— J. David Odom, as quoted on NCARB.org

Features:

  • This manual looks at the key issues that can help owners, designers, and contractors work together to improve decision-making. Design professionals will discover what they need to do in order to develop good building performance.

  • The end of the schematic design and design development chapters have sections outlining documents, steps, and criteria that should be completed before the next phase in the process is begun.

  • The final design chapter has a peer review section that includes a checklist to provide designers and builders with independent design reviews and technical guidance to promote technically sound, budget-conscious designs.

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Tropical Resort

The design team had set unrealistically high building envelope air barrier goals for an oceanfront tropical resort.

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