Government regulations requiring co-ordinated changes to manufacturing, design, and construction practices with a single regulation are difficult for the industry to assimilate successfully. The banning of solvent-based adhesives was one such example.
There are many products on the construction market aimed at moisture management, from traditional felt paper, rainscreen systems, and caulks to sealants and self-adhered flashing membranes. However, as design/construction professionals race to keep walls dry, they may be inadvertently making it easier for moisture-related issues to fester.
Successful independent field-testing and code compliance analysis in British Columbia has resulted in the compilation of the first comprehensive set of residential construction details for insulating concrete forms (ICFs) in North America.
Marinas face some of the most demanding environmental conditions of any type of structure. High moisture, sun, salt, freeze/thaw cycles, fungal decay, and insects all work together to degrade decked surfaces.
Flashings are critical to ensuring moisture does not have an opportunity to enter wall assemblies. However, many designers cannot agree on flashings because what constitutes the products themselves is poorly defined. A flashing is a material put in place to prevent water penetration, or to direct the water flow away from the building.
The road to energy independence is paved with conservation. In spite of new methods of producing ‘clean’ energy, nothing beats conservation as the most cost-effective solution. This is why recent changes to building codes—such as the new National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB)—have emphasized the requirements for airtight building envelopes and continuous insulation (ci).
Moisture vapour is a hot topic in any type of construction where there is concrete on, above, or below grade. Moisture vapour emissions through a concrete slab in any building can contribute to costly floorcovering failures and down time. Over the past 20 years, the frequency of moisture vapour emission issues has increased. Several contributing factors include:
Over the years, this author’s firm has been involved in several cases of water damage problems that turned out to be mismanaged water management. Anyone who has ever walked by a building during or just after a rainstorm knows a person can get more wet from rooftop runoff than the rain itself.
Both gravity and temperature can create misunderstandings resulting in improper or inadequate moisture management design for the exterior building envelope. The lowest point of a building envelope is the wettest because of gravity’s influence (Figure 1). The low point of a building’s exterior wall system does not necessarily have to be the top of the footing (Figure 2) or the top of the stem wall (Figure 3).
Moisture rising from concrete slabs can come from numerous sources, including concrete, drainage, burst pipes, condensation, aggregate above a membrane, and the ground itself. Although the problem appears in different forms, the outcome is always the same—the flooring will fail.