Building Envelope Consulting & Testing

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Building Envelope Consulting & Testing

Moisture related problems in newly constructed buildings are the most prevalent and costly problem in today’s construction industry. Controlling water, vapor, and air movement is essential to building envelope performance, and requires a high level of collaboration among designers and construction trades. WDP & Associates assists clients in preventing and resolving water leakage, excessive air infiltration and exfiltration, uncomfortably hot and cold spaces, condensation, mold growth, corrosion of structural members, and inefficient heating and cooling related to the building envelope.

 

Design and Constructability Reviews

WDP’s review services (commonly called peer reviews) are intended to reduce the potential for post occupancy failures and improve the performance of the building envelope.  Our extensive forensic experience gives us keen insight to the causes of failures allowing us to use this experience to better evaluate the compatibility, durability, and longevity of building envelope components.   We appreciate the constraints of project budgets, and seek balanced, value-added solutions that address performance requirements, limit RFI’s and change orders, and minimize post-occupancy failures.

Construction Phase Services

During construction, WDP provides assistance with both project administration and installation challenges that arise during construction.  Our services include periodic site observation, advisory review of submittals and RFIs, support during the development and evaluation of change orders, and quality assurance testing. As a project team member, our goal is to improve the performance and durability of the building envelope.

Air, Temperature, and Moisture Migration Modeling

In today’s increasingly airtight and thermally resistant buildings, the improper selection and placement of insulating materials and air, water, and vapor barriers can result in long-term moisture accumulation, mold growth, corrosion, increased propensity for freeze/thaw damage, and various other moisture related problems.   To ensure these problems do not arise, it is imperative to select and position materials with the proper vapor and thermal resistance.  WDP utilizes WUFI 5.2 Pro, a transient hygrothermal analysis software package, to analyze wall assemblies in accordance with ASHRAE 160-09 “Criteria for Moisture-Control Design Analysis in Buildings.”

Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx)

WDP acts as the Building Enclosure Commissioning agent for a variety of building types.  We work with mechanical and whole building commissioning agents as well as commercial and institutional clients to reduce post-occupancy failures, conserve energy, and operate / maintain buildings efficiently. Our staff has been instrumental in the development of Building Envelope Commissioning guides and standards as evidenced by staff involvement in the organizations and technical committees responsible for their formation.  These include:

  • NIBS Guideline 3-2012 - Building Enclosure Commissioning Process
  • ASTM E2813 – 12, “Standard Practice for Building Enclosure Commissioning”
  • Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) –Technical Committee, Terminations And Flashings Committee, Whole Building Air Leakage Testing Committee, ABAA USACE Air Testing Protocol Review Committee
  • Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC)
  • Building Enclosure Commissioning Collaborative (BECx C)
  • ASHRAE – Standard 90.1, “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings”
  • ASTM Committees: C 24 – Building Seals and Sealants, E05 – Fire Standards, E06 – Performance of Buildings, E 58 – Forensic Engineering and E 60 – Sustainability

Building Envelope Testing Services

WDP performs laboratory and field quality assurance and diagnostic testing. Our field testing equipment can be mobilized quickly on project sites to perform compliance testing for windows, curtain walls, masonry, stucco and other exterior wall systems.  Our services can also be used to evaluate performance problems associated with water leakage, excessive air infiltration or exfiltration or other common post occupancy-related failures in window, wall, waterproofing and roof systems.

WDP’s field testing services routinely include:

  • AAMA 501.2  - “Quality Assurance and Diagnostic Water Leakage Field Check of Installed Storefronts, Curtain Walls, and Sloped Glazing Systems”
  • AAMA 502 - “Voluntary Specification for Field Testing of Newly Installed Fenestration Products”
  • AAMA 503 – “Voluntary Specification for Field Testing of Newly Installed Storefronts, Curtain Walls and Sloped Glazing Systems”
  • ASTM C1060  - “Standard Practice for Thermographic Inspection of Insulation Installations in Envelope Cavities of Frame Buildings”
  • ASTM C1153  - “Standard Practice for Location of Wet Insulation in Roofing Systems Using Infrared Imaging”
  • ASTM C1601 – “Standard Test Method for Field Determination of Water Penetration of Masonry Wall Surfaces”
  • ASTM C1715 – “Standard Test Method for Evaluation of Water Leakage Performance of Masonry Wall Drainage Systems”
  • ASTM E283 - “Test Method for Determining Rate of Air Leakage Through Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, and Doors Under Specified Pressure Differences Across the Specimen”
  • ASTM E576 – “Standard Test Method for Frost Dew Point of Sealed Insulating Glass Units in Vertical Positions”
  • ASTM E783 – “Standard Test Method for Field Measurement of Air Leakage through Installed Exterior Windows and Doors”
  • ASTM E1105 – “Standard Test Method for Field Testing Water Penetration”
  • ASTM E2128 – “Standard Guide for Evaluating Water Leakage of Building Walls”
  • Nuclear Moisture Testing for Roofing
  • Low Voltage Leak Detection for Roof Systems

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