Does an AVB control water?

The language of building science can be very confusing. Terms often mean something different than what the plain English interpretation would lead you to believe. In this LinkedIn post, we tackle one such term: AVB.

AVB is an acronym for “air and vapor barrier”, but it has a hidden “W'” too. An AVB also controls liquid water in addition to air and water vapor. Check out the full post below for more explanation.

Follow our account on LinkedIn for more updates building science discussion. We’ll see you there!

Don’t Buy Replacement Windows

Protip: Don’t buy “replacement” windows.

If you need new windows, ask your contractor for “new construction” windows.

Yes, it will cost more. That’s because “replacement” windows don’t actually replace your existing window. They get installed inside of it. The old, often failed, window frame is still there (still leaking if it did before). “New construction” windows are actually… wait for it… new windows.

This is especially important advice for condo owners (at least here in MA where unit owners own their windows). Here’s why…

Your association may decide to replace the siding at some point. When that happens it’s going to be really difficult to re-use your new “replacement” windows that you just paid for.

There’s a good chance you’ll be encouraged/required to pony up for new windows all over again, and throw your “replacement” windows into the dumpster.

Using Drones for Building Envelope Inspections

Drones are great tools for building envelope inspections. A lot of what we need to look at is up high on a building, or obstructed from view when we are standing on the ground.

Sometimes binoculars or high powered telephoto zoom lenses on cameras can help. But these only work when there’s a direct line of sight (can’t see low-slope roofs from the ground). Also, for parts of the building far from the ground, the perspective (looking up instead of straight on) can mask some conditions.

When it’s important to see something up close, one option is an elevated work platform like an aerial lift or swing staging. These can be terrific for getting a good view, but also quite expensive, and often cost-prohibitive for many projects.

At Copeland Building Envelope Consulting we’ve found using unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones, to be a powerful part of our toolkit. We regularly employ professional drone pilots and photographers to document work in progress as well as existing conditions for building envelope investigations.

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