Issue #66  Building Envelope & Rainscreen May 9, 2007

Contents: Issue #66 Building Envelope & Rainscreen

  1. Basics: Envelope, Wall Evolution, Facts & Fiction, Codes
  2. Design: Enclosure, Rain, Water, Vancouver, Guide, Details
  3. Install: Sequence, Windows, Joints, Ventilation, Vinyl Siding
  4. Maintain: Commission, Maintenance, Repair, Improvement
  5. Services: Professionals, Researchers, Testing, Experts
  6. Resources: News, Documents, Presentations, Guide, Book
  7. Directories Of Links: BC, Canadian, United States
  8. Ken’s Top Pick: If you have time to surf only one site

1. Basics: Envelope, Evolution, Facts & Fiction, Codes

What Is A Building Envelope
This fact sheet from Homeowner Protection Office explains what a building envelope is, purposes, problems, inspection, maintenance, rain penetration, and a rainscreen intro. (PDF)

Evolution Of Wall Design For Rain Penetration
The evolution of walls from massive masonry construction, to pressure-equalized curtain-wall assemblies, to development of rainscreen walls is covered in this IRC bulletin of 1997.

Facts & Fictions Of Rainscreen Walls
IRC article on rainscreen walls describes misunderstood principles, cavity walls, pressure equalized rainscreen, air barriers, compartmentalization, venting, and wind loading. 

Criteria For Invoking Mandatory Rainscreen In Code
NRC paper of 2001 states then-current code requirements, the need to prescribe rainscreen, parameters and criteria to define mandatory protection, and issues to consider. (PDF)

Cladding Provisions In New 2005 National Building Code
Building Envelope Forum explains cladding provisions of new National Code Part 9, acceptable system configurations, and assessment of alternative cladding materials and systems.

2. Design: Enclosure, Rain, Water, Vancouver, Details, BC

Building Enclosure Components & Functions 
Building enclosure components, exterior & interior loadings, functions, performance attributes, design, and sources of reference materials are detailed on the Building Science site.

Principles Of Rain Control  
Dr Straube covers rain control including basic moisture control principles, driving rain as a moisture load, classification of rain control strategies, and good design practices for walls. (PDF)

Water Managed Wall Systems
Building Science Consulting explains how to show water to the exit with well-detailed drainage plane and flashings for walls with wood, vinyl, brick, and stucco cladding. (PDF)

Walls In Vancouver 
This online presentation from Dr. John Straube outlines wall design & function in Vancouver, weather conditions, moisture control, durable enclosures, and the Coquitlam test hut. (PDF)

Best Practice For Moisture Resistant Homes
US Housing & Urban Development guide covers designing, building, and maintaining the various building envelope components of houses to manage moisture effectively. (PDF)

Construction Details  
Building envelope construction details for glass & metal curtain walls, EIFS, precast concrete, brick veneer, flashings, and wood frame envelopes are provided here by CMHC.

New BC Building Envelope Guide From HPO  
BC Homeowner Protection Office’s new Building Envelope Guide for Houses – Part 9, is based on the 2006 BC Building Code and the 2007 Vancouver Building Bylaw. Cost is $55.                  

3. Install: Sequence, Windows, Joints, Ventilation, Vinyl

Sequence Of Installation Of Envelope Components 
RDH shows installation sequence of air barriers, balcony & wall interface, windows into EIFS, rainscreen & brick, face seal to stucco, and wood window into wood siding rainscreen.

Window Design, Selection & Commissioning
Architect’s window guide by CMHC describes performance, rating systems, design parameters, specifying, and on-site methods to test, and commission window assemblies. (PDF)

Durable Joints Between Windows & Walls 
Durable window/wall joint problems, rain barrier, perimeter joint, expansion, choosing mastic, sizing joints, shims & anchors, and insulation are discussed here by CMHC. 

Does Rainscreen Wall Need Ventilation
If you are wondering whether ventilation is required for a rainscreen wall in our wet coastal climates, this question and answer from Canadian Dr. John Straube might be of value. 

Vinyl Siding & New BC Building Code 
BC Building Policy Branch bulletin of February 2007 states that vinyl siding is an acceptable cladding product that meets the new code requirements for rain screen cladding. (PDF)                      

4. Maintain: Commission, Maintenance, Repair, Improve

Commissioning Protocol For Rainscreen Wall
CMHC gives performance criteria for design & commissioning a rainscreen wall, protocol for onsite compliance verification, and a case study of a precast and limestone exterior wall. 

Building Envelope Maintenance
This RDH presentation to the Condominium Homeowners Association of BC has maintenance fundamentals, renewals planning for buildings in general and building envelope. (PDF)

Multi Family Building Envelope Repairs 
Fact sheets with information and resources for owners and strata councils on the repair of multi family building envelopes are offered here, courtesy of Homeowner Protection Office.

Home Envelope Improvements
US Rocky Mountain Institute home energy brief explains how to improve the building envelope of a home including heat loss & gain, insulation, sealing air leaks, and windows. (PDF)                   

5. Services: Professionals, Research, Testing, Experts

Building Envelope Professional Practice 
BC architect and engineer associations describe terminology, roles, scope, and application of Enhanced Building Envelope Services and Building Envelope Practice Principles. (PDF) 

BC Building Envelope Consultants 
Our BC Building Envelope Council lists their members who provide consulting services, product manufacturers, owners, contractors, government, member associations, and others.

Canadian Research On Building Envelope 
The Institute for Research in Construction oversees the Building Envelope and Structure Program, with research in design, construction, and operation of envelope systems. 

Research On Moisture Management for Exterior Walls 
Canadian research project goal is to develop performance and durability guidelines for moisture management in wall systems for the wide range of North America climate zones.

Vancouver Field Exposure Test Facility 
BC’s Gauvin 2000 Construction, Building Science Corporation and Balanced Solutions built the Coquitlam Test Facility, to investigate wall moisture problems and propose solutions.

Canadian Experts In Building Envelopes
The Canadian National Research Council lists, along with their contact information, staff members who have expertise in various fields of building envelope research and technology.                    

6. Resources: News, Docs, Presentations, Guides, Book

E-mail Newsletter On Building Envelopes
Building Envelope Forum, from Canadian Jacques Rousseau, is free, quarterly on-line publication on design, construction, retrofit, maintenance, and products for the building envelope. 

Documents On Moisture Control In Frame Walls
These 2003 IRC seminar documents cover management of moisture in light-frame walls of low-rise buildings, with a focus on building science principles and applications in practice.

Seminar Presentations 
From the BC Building Envelope Council, these past seminar presentations and documents address a number of building envelope problems, technology, products, and procedures.

Education Articles For Architects 
CMHC offers online education articles, written for architects, on design considerations and principles for more durable building envelops. Links to more resources are at the bottom.

Book On Building Science For Building Enclosures 
This book by Dr. John Straube and Eric Burnett is an advanced text for understanding and predicting and the heat, air, and moisture response of building enclosures. $75 USD.

7. Directories Of Links: BC, Canadian, United States

BC Bibliography Of The Building Envelope 
The BC Homeowner Protection Office bibliography contains a list of over 170 books, publications, articles, and reference materials on the building envelope, all applicable to BC. 

Canadian Directory Of Building Envelope Research 
Canadian Concordia University directory of building envelope & technology links to organizations, institutes, associations, publications, research, articles, and informative Web sites.

US Links To Resources On Building Envelopes 
Energy Ideas Clearinghouse gives links to building envelope Q&A, articles, fact sheets, case studies, codes & standards, organizations, periodicals, programs, software, and more.                      

8. Ken’s Top Pick: The Building Science Seminars Site

The Building Science Seminars Site
Here are Dr’s Lstiburek & Straube seminar handouts on rain & air control, building enclosures, history, pressure & IAQ, walls, roofs, foundations, HVAC, flooring, windows, and more.   

Dittie For Today:

On Your Children

Your children are not your children. They come through you, but not from you. And though they are with you, they belong not to you. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. - 
    - Khalil Gibran

 © Copyright 2007               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved
ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada
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