As climate change is anticipated, bringing with it an uncertain future, the construction industry needs to seriously consider the preparedness and the proven performance levels of buildings. It also needs to ensure the “large membrane” that separates the exterior environment from the interior environment, also known as the building envelope, is up to the task.
When modified and/or accessorized properly, the same insulation board providing thermal resistance may serve as an air, weather, and/or vapour barrier. Select foam plastic insulating sheathing (FPIS) products merge all barriers and the wall sheathing into a single layer.
In an exclusive interview, Maxime Duzyk, director of building science and engineering, North America, with Huntsman Building Solutions, spoke to Construction Canada about a new insulation application method that can save building owners both time and money.
Water-resistive barriers (WRBs) play a vital role in the performance of a wall system. Unfortunately, barriers can be undermined even before they clad the walls due to ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Understanding and minimizing the impact of UV on WRB is critical to ensuring the integrity of the wall assembly and building performance for years.
Structural thermal breaks (STBs) address thermal weaknesses in the building envelope by ensuring continuous insulation (ci), thereby improving the overall thermal performance. They are also changing the design philosophy to an “envelope-first approach.”
Detailing parapet and soffit assemblies requires an understanding of structural building movement and, thermal performance requirements, air control, material limitations, and construction technologies, along
with trade co-ordination.
Government institutions are increasingly recognizing the role the Passive House standard can play in effectively reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are beginning to introduce it into their requirements and codes for all types of new buildings. British Columbia is leading the way.
The trend towards higher performing buildings and envelope systems requires a re-doubling of effort towards achieving durable, constructible, and maintainable transition details. There are many ways for these details to fail. Fortunately, there are also many opportunities throughout the design and construction process to focus on getting them right.
RCI, an international association of building envelope consultants, will hold its first Canadian Building Envelope Technology Symposium on September 13 and 14 at the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale in Mississauga, Ontario.
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