Tag Archives: Building Envelope

Effective Insulation R-Values in Steel vs. Wood Framing Types

Green Building

Effective Insulation R-Values in Steel vs. Wood Framing Types

Also published on May 29, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. . The value of continuous insulation is a source of contention among some building design and construction professionals. Increasingly stringent energy code requirements are calling for minimal amounts of continuous insulation that some claim are prohibitively expensive, structurally complicated, or marginally impactful versus increased cavity insulation. Professionals are generally aware of the potential for thermal bridging in construction assemblies – the phenomenon by which heat conducts….

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BECx is Coming to a Project Near You

Green Building

BECx is Coming to a Project Near You

Originally published on January 11, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. . In recent years, a growing demand for high-performance building envelope solutions has been evidenced by the increased attention paid to this topic throughout the building design and construction industry. Building Envelope Council (BEC) initiative Seeing this emerging priority, in 2004 the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Building Enclosure Technology and Environmental Council (BETEC) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) signed an agreement to….

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Is a Vapor Retarder Necessary in a Low-Slope Roof Assembly?

Green Building

Is a Vapor Retarder Necessary in a Low-Slope Roof Assembly?

Originally published on October 7, 2016 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. . If you have designed or built a low-slope roof with a single-ply membrane, at some point you will be confronted with this simple question: Is the vapor retarder necessary? With considerable costs at stake, the prospect of omitting a vapor retarder is always a precarious notion and one that merits careful consideration of the project-specific dynamics at play. Consider the Entire Assembly In order to….

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The Difference Between Permeance and Permeability

Green Building

The Difference Between Permeance and Permeability

Originally published on April 18, 2016 by BNP Media through the Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing Blog. All information presented in imperial (I-P) units. Water vapor transmission is a rather confusing issue. The difference in vapor pressure between two sides of a building envelope assembly is the driving force behind vapor transmission. (Although by comparison, gaps in the envelope account for vastly greater amounts moisture migration due to vapor-laden air infiltration.) Vapor = Latent Heat; Air Temperature = Sensible Heat The….

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Defining Mass Walls through Heat Capacity

Green Building

Defining Mass Walls through Heat Capacity

Originally published on February 12, 2015 by BNP Media through the Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing Blog. There are significant differences in the prescriptive requirements of mass walls versus other above-grade walls. Using ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as example, above-grade walls for a steel-framed nonresidential building in Climate Zone 5 will need a minimum of R-13 insulation AND a continuous insulation layer of at least R-7.5. However, the building’s mass wall assemblies would only be required to exhibit a continuous layer of R-11.4….

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Analog Analysis

Green Building

Analog Analysis

Lam Partners Principal Keith Yancey demonstrates model testing on the heliodon with students at the Boston Architectural College during the Fall 2015 Intensive Week. Photograph by Daniel Overbey. Originally published on August 25, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. Digital tools are vital (I rely on them virtually everyday), but sometimes in order to really understand a phenomena we have to get a bit closer. That’s where analog analysis tools come in handy. Something special happens when….

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Comparing Solar Heat Gain Coefficients (SHGC) and Shading Coefficients (SC)

Green Building

Comparing Solar Heat Gain Coefficients (SHGC) and Shading Coefficients (SC)

Originally published on May 18, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. I was recently discussing glazing properties with a mechanical engineer for an energy model of a corporate headquarters we are working on. We discussed U-factors first and then moved on to shading properties. We had this awkward moment where he asked me what the shading coefficients were. “You mean the solar heat gain coefficients?” “No, the shading coefficients,” he responded. This caught me off guard…..

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Basics of Bulk Water Management through Rainscreens

Green Building

Basics of Bulk Water Management through Rainscreens

Originally published on April 22, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. The building envelope must face a number of damage functions: bulk and capillary water, air-born water, vapor, radiation (ultraviolet degradation), pests, and people. But even in dry climates, water in all its forms perhaps poses the greatest challenge to building performance and longevity – and bulk water is public enemy number one. In general, there are four basic approaches to bulk water management in a….

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Preserving an Icon: The Indiana State Fair Coliseum

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Preserving an Icon: The Indiana State Fair Coliseum

Opened to great fanfare in 1939, the Pepsi Coliseum was the premier public assembly venue in the state of Indiana for decades. It has hosted countless events for more than 70 years, including the only performances ever held in Indiana by the Beatles. While the past seven decades have given the Coliseum a rich and diverse history, they have also seen the facility descend into a state of disrepair and unable to meet the demands of a sports and entertainment….

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Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)

Green Building

Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)

  Four years ago, I co-authored a white paper with my colleague Nick Worden at Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf (BDMD) Architects and William Brown, currently the Director of Sustainability at Indiana University. The white paper was published at 2010 International High Performance Buildings Conference at Purdue University and it presented a full-year of energy consumption and on-site renewable energy production data for the Chrisney Library (a branch of the Lincoln Heritage Public Library), verifying the project as the first non-residential net-zero (site) energy facility in Indiana….

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