Five common failures in curtain wall installation

Curtain wall installation requirements, means, methods, and materials continue to evolve, yet many of the basics remain the same. Most curtain walls have similar installations, but differ on size, location, alignment, and anchorage of components. Here are some of the critical areas to focus on for a successful curtain...
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What lies beyond the veneer?

Water leakage through the exterior wall was reported at a 30-year-old, one-story commercial building in the Midwest. The building had been constructed with concrete masonry unit (CMU) bearing walls clad with brick masonry veneer, and steel open-web joists supporting a steel roof deck. The portion of the building experiencing...
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Dutchman repairs

Dutchman repairs are used to permanently repair cracked, spalled, or deeply eroded stone units. The installation of a dutchman repair begins with the preparation of the substrate by cutting, chipping, and grinding the damaged portion of the parent stone to a squared-off profile.
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Controlling air

In most climate zones within the United States, a dedicated air barrier is required by code as part of the building enclosure to control and manage airflow between the conditioned interior and exterior environments.
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Membrane seepage

Can a waterproofing membrane leak if it has no holes? Unfortunately, yes, under fairly common circumstances. If drainage is absent or impeded, water can slowly migrate directly through the membrane.
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Integrating fenestration with the wall

Selection of fenestration systems for specific wall assemblies is a process in which performance characteristics, such as structural capacity, the resistance to air infiltration, and water penetration, and thermal attributes are evaluated along with aesthetics and cost. However, the integration of the system(s) under consideration with the adjacent exterior...
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What did we get, anyway?

Selection of fenestration assemblies (utilizing both window and storefront systems) can be challenging due to the number of ancillary components/accessories available—materials with different performance characteristics compared to the main fenestration element.
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‘Breathable’ coatings for masonry walls

Coatings used with brick masonry should be breathable, especially in colder climates—they must allow moisture entering the wall system to escape. Failure of brick that has been covered by a non-breathable coating underscores the importance of selecting appropriate repairs when needed. If a coating does need to be applied,...
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