It’s About the Water

One could boil down our job as enclosure consultants to this: help people to keep water from accumulating where it shouldn’t.

Water causes all kinds of trouble with many building materials. Wood rots, steel corrodes, masonry spalls and cracks, microbes and fungi grow. Gypsum that once formed solid panels turns to mud.

We call these parts of the building—the ones damaged by water—the “moisture-sensitive” components. The main goal of the building envelope is to protect these moisture-sensitive components from exposure to water. Sounds simple, right?

Unfortunately nature conspires to foil our water control efforts in a variety of ways. In this post we’ll explore some less-than-obvious ways that water ends up where it can cause problems.

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Tie Tuesday at CopelandBEC

Our team was born during COVID so we’ve never known what it’s like to work all together in an office. Being remote from the start has become a strength for us in many ways, but not without its challenges in terms of developing culture and maintaining connection.

We’ve done a few things to address these challenges, but one that has been particularly fun has been honoring Tie Tuesdays with a weekly web meeting. H/t to Ed Farrington for the idea.

Staying connected on Tie Tuesday
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Roof Wind Design with Jennifer Keegan, Jim Kirby and Ben Meyer (Episode #3)

Why do some roofs end up in the parking lot? Learn the answer to that question and much more in this this information-packed episode where I discuss the ins and outs of wind uplift design for low-slope roofing with Jennifer Keegan (LinkedIn), James R. Kirby (LinkedIn) and Benjamin Meyer (LinkedIn) of the GAF Building & Roofing Science team (LinkedIn).

We walked through the process and talked about what each member of the project team is responsible for. There is a ton of great content here for anyone designing or installing low-slope roofing. Even if you are experienced in this area you might learn something new.

#3: Roof Wind Design with Jennifer Keegan, Jim Kirby and Ben Meyer of GAF Pushing the Envelope

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Adrian Lowenstein on High Performance Construction, BERDO, Local Law 97 and Energy Codes (#2)

Adrian Lowenstein, PE, MBA (on LinkedIn) is the National Business Development Manager for Skyline Windows. In this episode we discuss how the AEC industry can move towards higher performance and lower energy use, including a couple of relatively new local ordinances: Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) in Boston and Local Law 97 in New York City. We also touch on topics such as pre-fabricated pre-glazed wall construction techniques, the opportunities for higher performance afforded by advancing technology and project team relationships that lead to better project outcomes.

#2: Adrian Lowenstein of Skyline Windows on High Performance Construction, BERDO, Local Law 97, and Energy Codes Pushing the Envelope

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Why Roof Inspections are Important

Roofs are often ignored until a problem shows up inside the building that can’t be ignored. We posted about this on LinkedIn today.

The issue is that roofs are hard to see. You have to actively decide to go up there and look around, or have someone do it, to know what’s going on. If you wait until water shows up in the office or bedroom downstairs—or part of the roof is in the parking lot because it blew off—then it is too late. Damage from a roof leak that has made its way into the building is often extensive, and far more expensive to fix than just the cost of repairing the roofing alone.

Roof inspections, performed regularly, help to solve this problem. Benefits of annual (at least) roof inspections include:

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7 Tips for a Better Condominium Building Envelope Project

Condominium building envelope projects can be some of the most rewarding work we do. We love connecting directly with residents, the people that live in the spaces every day, and helping them to make their buildings work better.

Condo projects also have their own unique challenges. We wanted to share tips from our experience to make your next condo building envelope project go more smoothly.

1. Communicate with the community.

The importance of communication during condo building envelope projects simply cannot be overstated. The community is the aspect of condominium work that sets it apart from most other construction projects.

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Introducing the Pushing the Envelope Podcast

Since we love building science, building envelope technology, and high performance construction we started a podcast! All the cool kids have a podcast these days so why not us?

The show is about making buildings better. We’ll talk about architecture, engineering and construction as well as building science and how all of this goes into making more durable, comfortable and efficient buildings. It’s hosted by CopelandBEC Principal Matt Copeland and will feature guests from around the industry.

In the first episode Matt talks with Ken Kiefer (on LinkedIn) of SIGA North America. Matt and Ken discuss a variety of topics including Ken’s work on a recent passive house project in Cambridge, MA, what contractors and designers are looking for from manufacturers of high performance building materials, and some of the resources available at SIGA’s High-Performance Construction Academy.

#1: Ken Kiefer, High Performance Construction Academy Director, SIGA North America Pushing the Envelope

All episodes are available to stream from on our podcast page.

Pushing the Envelope is currently available on Apple, Spotify, Google, Anchor and others. Please check it out and leave a review! Contact us for feedback or to suggest a guest.