Air barriers create airtightness and help protect against energy loss, water infiltration, and other hazards impacting the durability and resiliency of a building and the comfort and health of its occupants. Climate conditions, temperature, location, and intended use of a building all are factors to consider for the specification and selection of air barriers.
A primary design goal for any building enclosure should be to minimize the infiltration of bulk water into the intended dry zone of the various enclosure assemblies for the duration of their anticipated service life. Significant and/or recurring water infiltration can adversely affect moisture-sensitive materials and the overall performance of the enclosure. However, an often-overlooked aspect of achieving this goal is the control and management of bulk water during the project’s construction phase.
While floor preparation and moisture testing (including ASTM F1869-16a, ASTM F2170-19a, and ASTM F710-19e1) have become standard practice, these critical steps can be overlooked due to tight timelines, limited budgets, inexperienced contractors, uninformed architects, designers, specifiers, or installation subcontractors who lack adequate knowledge or training.
Ranging from metal and brick to stone, exterior insulation finish system (EIFS), and fiber cement, architects and building owners can align their aesthetic visions in several ways to create beautiful buildings finished with a mix of cladding types.
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