What does it take for gymnasiums or buildings with wide-open interior spaces to achieve a platinum certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating program? With a floor area of 700 m2 (7500 sf) and a ceiling height of 7.3 m (24 ft), a typical high school or junior college gym has a vast interior space to heat or cool—approximately 5100 m3 (180,000 cf) of volume—so an ultra-energy-efficient envelope is crucial.1
In the building industry’s ever increasing pursuit of tighter and more waterproof structures, is there a point at which a wall is built too tight? While a watertight assembly is vitally important for wall controlling issues such as mold growth and protecting IAQ, some building practices may be inadvertently making it easier for moisture-related issues to fester.
Prior to the mid-20th century, building walls relied on their thickness and density to resist water penetration. Moisture would mainly deflect from the wall face or be absorbed and later evaporate from the mass wall.
Every professional builder knows about the damaging effects of unwanted moisture, as well as how challenging it is to control water intrusion in certain climates. However, What is not always understood is the role airflow plays in moisture control and how important air barriers are in managing it.
Ancient construction relied exclusively on natural materials such as clay, wood, and stone. The industrial revolution introduced steel, which transformed the architectural world. Our era of rapid technological development is driving massive innovations in building materials and systems.