Long known as a cornerstone in the community, the Minneapolis Veterans Home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has completed its Building #22 project. The modernized and updated multi-story structure will provide state-of-the-art care and service to veterans.
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 wall assembly is often overlooked in the selection process.
As manufacturers introduce materials with new properties and attempt to push the boundaries of building envelope construction, it is crucial the industry agrees on terminology for communicating the specific functions and purpose of these materials to avoid confusion and costly errors. In this regard, the term ‘air/vapor barrier’ is misleading and should be replaced with more appropriate terminology.
Building professionals need to not just anticipate failures, but also understand how structures fail. Exterior wall systems designed to recover when exposed to failure must be employed to make the building envelope truly robust.
Guidelines for detailing and testing air and water barriers (AWB) with cladding attachments are limited, and installation practices are not consistent across projects. Each of these penetrations have their own unique attachment method, with varying potential effects on air and water tightness and the building’s overall thermal performance. However, the impact these cladding attachments may have on the effectiveness of the AWB can easily be overlooked.