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…

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…

Stucco Defects 2

Quotes: Stucco Durability

“Stucco has a great deal to recommend it in house construction, but it has also some conspicuous drawbacks. Stucco is much like the little girl who, “when she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid.” When properly made and applied it is durable, inexpensive to maintain, a…

SyntheticStucco-5

Failures Associated with Synthetic Stucco Over Fiber Cement Panels

Failures have been documented in association with acrylic-based synthetic stucco applied over fiber cement panels.  Depending on local code requirements, the fiber panels are generally installed over an approved sheathing such as OSB or exterior gypsum.  A number of these systems have been patented and marketed as ‘synthetic stucco finish system’ or as high build finishes…

Wood Moisture

Wood Moisture

There is a persistent misconception in the industry regarding acceptable moisture content of wood and wood products.  These assumptions can lead to flawed decisions regarding construction drying times, mold risks, and failure criteria. Dimensional lumber and sheet materials are subject to varied moisture conditions before arriving at the jobsite.  Whether air-dried or kiln-dried, these materials are usually targeted for drying to an average…

Fiber Cement Panels

Unexpected Expansion Of Fiber Cement Panels

Fiber cement panels have become a preferred cladding system for a clean, monolithic aesthetic typically associated with more expensive claddings such as stucco or EIFS.   But the industry is seeing an alarming number of panel failures resulting in costly building repairs.  Many of these failures point to panel joint design and excess movement. Notwithstanding requirements…

Moisture Management

Doctrines For Moisture Control

Problems associated with water-induced failures became more prevalent in the 1980’s as a result of changing paradigms in design and construction practices.   These failures are often attributed to air-tight, energy-efficient designs initiated during the global energy crisis of the 1970’s.  Although applicable, this over-simplification ignores the fact that many energy-efficient buildings of this era have…