Commercial low-slope rooftops are an attractive platform for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity-producing systems. Nevertheless, a roof’s function is, first and foremost, to protect the building’s contents and people from the elements. In this regard, design professionals need to anticipate the potential risks associated with the installation of roof-mounted PV arrays. This sort of due diligence is particularly important when installing PV systems on existing warranted roofs.
When properly applied, tests can yield valuable insight into the installed performance of systems, aid investigators in determining the cause of a failure, or help to determine if a product is performing to its intended level. However, when improperly applied, many tests and standards can produce misleading results, improper conclusions, and lead to unnecessary repairs or remediation efforts. Within this context, the article takes an in-depth look at roofing assemblies, along with glazing, masonry, and air barrier assemblies.
This article describes the air barrier performance requirements for the desired wind load design specifications. The performance level is not determined by the type of air barrier material, but by the installation details. Examples of how these details can impact the performance level for a given air barrier system are provided, with special emphasis on mechanically fastened air barriers.
There are two main field testing methods used for water repellency of concrete masonry units (CMUs), for quality assurance before being placed in a wall: droplet and RILEM tube testing. Completed assemblies can also be tested with RILEM tubes or other standard water spray tests such as ASTM E514, Standard Test Method for Water Penetration and Leakage Through Masonry.