An airtight building enclosure is an important part of a modern building. Airtightness is achieved with an effective air barrier system that is carefully designed, detailed, and then built and commissioned in the field. An effective air barrier consists of a continuous system of materials, components, and accessories, not an individual product.
The federal government has stipulated that thermal insulations with hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blowing agents must have a global warming potential (GWP) of 150 or less by the end of this year. It will be important for architects and designers to understand these new requirements and update their master specifications and technical documents accordingly.
Roofs are subject to very extreme physical and environmental conditions. They are, for the most part, the first line of defense against exterior elements, and, in many instances, the most neglected building element. Roof maintenance does not have to be a very complicated and time-consuming endeavour.
Exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) are above-grade, exterior wall claddings used across the country on residential and commercial buildings. It is a popular cladding choice due to benefits such as high thermal efficiency, cost effectiveness, and design versatility.
Proper insulation is crucial in designing efficient building envelopes, especially in Canada, where long winters increase energy use and the need to minimize heat loss. Addressing insulation challenges is crucial in mitigating long-term operating costs for building owners and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Roofs, and particularly flat ones, face unique issues when dealing with sudden downpours. Builders are discovering sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF) can contend with the ‘new normal’ extreme weather that is being witnessed.
At 52 storeys, 3 Civic Plaza is the third tallest building in British Columbia, and an anchor to the fastest growing metro centre in the province. It houses a luxury hotel, an urban campus for Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), meeting rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a rooftop garden, and 348 residential condominium units, all accessed by an expansive central lobby linking the building’s many uses.
While improving energy efficiency is the key goal, the other benefits of air barriers, such as helping control the interior environment, providing a durable design, and creating a high-performing building, should all be closely considered in air barrier material selection.
While energy-efficient buildings are created by insulating from the bottom up, getting the best possible insulation for the project starts by understanding the material from the inside out. Current tests highlight the moisture absorption traits of rigid foam insulation but not the water expulsion traits, and therefore may be misleading.
High-density polyiso cover boards offer compressive strength that protects the low-slope commercial roof system from traffic, puncture, hail damage, and other impacts of weather. These easy-to-install, lightweight boards can also increase the roof system’s durability.