The Building Enclosure Core

The Building Enclosure Core reflects a very different perspective in enclosure design.  The ‘Core’ refers to all elements of the enclosure with the exception of its exterior cladding system.  It is both physical construct as well as resilience exercise as it embodies the most critical elements of air, moisture, and thermal management. Traditionally the industry…

Open EIFS: A Resilient 100 Year Wall

Open EIFS is an Exterior Insulation and Finish System that achieves high moisture resilience through increased drying capacity and redundant, yet practical, safeguards.  When implemented holistically, this assembly is both durable and high-performing. The concept builds upon research originally conducted by DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which demonstrated high moisture performance in EIFS configured with…

Extreme Climatic Events

Extreme Climatic Events Provide Important Insights For Resilient Design

Extreme climatic conditions are those falling in the upper or lower tenth percentile of the local period of record. North American hygrothermal datasets rely on such extremes in simulating climatic effects on building performance. Prior to 2012, WUFI employed customized 30-year hourly data provided by the U.S. Department of Energy for the 1961-1990 period of…

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…

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…

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…

Making It Green Does Not Make It Right

The principles and practices of green building have had a transforming effect on the way we build, work, and live. By ‘green’ I refer to a collective of high-performing objectives in sustainability, energy-efficiency, healthy building, and resiliency.  Inherent to its mission are claims of improved building performance – that is, perceived betterments in resource use,…