Building Failure

Quotes: Recipe for Disaster

Recipe for Disaster Take one owner with capital budget; separate operating budget and ignore. Add one architect and heat until steamed. Expose three or more tenders, exchange parts, and trim extraneous portions. Select thinnest and discard remainder. Remove architect, save essence. Assemble subtrades, compare and trim extraneous portions. Select thinnest. Store subtrades in dark. Collect…

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Quotes: Dew Point Analysis vs. Hygrothermal Simulation

On Steady State/Dew Point Assessment (Glaser Method): BS EN ISO 13788:2002 Section 6.1 This standard gives calculation methods for: a) The internal surface temperature of a building component or building element below which mould growth is likely, given the internal temperature and relative humidity – the method can also be used to assess the risk…

climate model

Climate Data for Building Simulations

Computer simulations rely on a variety of datasets when assessing the effects of climate on building performance.  These data, and the models they power, provide an important basis for planning, design, and cost analysis.  Below I describe some of the major types of climate datasets used in energy and hygrothermal modeling. Weather Years Datasets described…

Mositure Management 2

Improved Moisture Management With Plan Reviews

In an earlier article, we outlined some general aspects of plan reviews and the benefits gained relative to costs (article link).  Here, we focus on plan reviews related specifically to the building enclosure, including roof, wall, foundation, and floor assemblies.  As with all plan reviews, the purpose is focused squarely on minimizing errors and omissions. However, building enclosure…

Construction Documents

Quotes: Construction Documents

“It may be set as the glory of an architect’s specification, that it shall be so clear, that the builders who from it are estimating the probable cost of the intended work, may have to ask no questions; that the specification, shall contain and exact comprehensive and proper description of the work, as it really…

Plan Review

Plan Reviews: Small Investment, Big Gains

Plan reviews are an important quality assurance and quality control initiative.  They offer significant benefits for building owners, designers, and contractors.  They minimize errors and omissions, reduce risks for the designer and contractor, and minimize change orders assisting in controlled project costs.  Other not-so-obvious benefits include: Minimizing requests for information (RFI) thereby improving project workflow Improved…

Wood Wall No Labels-3

Moisture Performance Of An All-Wood R-30 Wall

Natural alternatives to foam insulation are highly desirable for high-performing wood-framed buildings.  But lignocellulosic materials can be highly bio-nutritive and moisture absorptive, increasing their vulnerability to degradation and reduced thermal performance.  Designers are often faced with the dilemma of selecting materials that are less environmentally safe for much improved performance.  In this article, I describe a…