B20−Exterior Vertical Enclosures

Category Archives: B20−Exterior Vertical Enclosures

Wind Load and Air Barrier Performance Levels

Photo courtesy DuPont Building Knowledge Center

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.

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Success in the Balance: Form and function with balanced doors

Photo © Heather Collins Roe Photography

When choosing a marquee entry door system, specifiers need to consider several criteria including traffic, the building’s wind and stack action pressure, accessibility, and obstructing pedestrian traffic. Balanced doors can address these criteria with fluid opening and closing, even when strong external wind pressures and internal stack pressures. Design, frame, and tempered glass options are also discussed.

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Understanding New Accessibility Requirements for Doors

All images courtesy Allegion

The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design has several requirements that continue to surprise architects and specifiers. This article examines changes to door hardware operable force, use of low-energy automatic operators, protrusions into egress, and the need for proper maneuvering clearance.

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Durable Waterproofing for Concrete Masonry Walls: Redundancy Required

All images courtesy Building Diagnostics Inc.

A single-wythe concrete masonry wall may be a cost-effective structural element, but it can present challenges for waterproofing. The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) recommends redundancy to keep concrete masonry walls dry through techniques at the surface of the wall, within the wall, and through adequate drainage systems. Unfortunately, many concrete masonry wall designs rely solely on admixtures in the concrete masonry units (CMUs) and mortar and surface-applied water repellents. However, low absorption values do not guarantee water penetration resistance; this disconnect in the industry is a leading reason for leakage in single-wythe concrete masonry walls.

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Designing Masonry Buildings to the 2012 Energy Code: Thermal Mass Basics

A material’s thermal mass denotes its ability to store heat within a cycle of time. K-values, generally calculated on a 24-hour cycle, are important because they give general references to a material’s capabilities for storing heat. All materials may be considered for use in a thermal mass calculation, but steel, aluminum, and other metal claddings tend to cycle too quickly, while wood tends to cycle too slowly to offer desirable design values.

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