Building Enclosure System
“A system of building components and materials designed and installed in such a manner as to provide a barrier between the interior spaces in the building and exterior environment. A building enclosure system is designed and constructed to provide protection of the interior environment in a building from the effects of weather, the intrusion of noise, pollutants, hazardous or deleterious conditions or materials and unwanted organisms. A building enclosure system also provides structural resistance to both natural and unnatural forces, as well as aesthetic value or qualities for the building.” This summary of building enclosure systems has been issued by the Air Barrier Association of America.
Air Barrier Systems
More and more of today’s new construction guidelines and building specifications are requiring the design and application of high-tech air barrier systems to protect the integrity of the structure and the health of its occupants while helping to lower energy costs.
Both “infiltration,” air leaking into a building, and “exfiltration,” air leaking out of a building, can cause a wide range of problems from building deterioration to mold development.
According to The U.S. Department of Energy, up to 40% of the energy costs needed to heat and cool a building are wasted due to air leakage through the building envelope.
Air Barrier Systems are a collection of building systems connected with air barrier components that provide a continuous system of air tightness for the entire building structure
If the appropriate air barrier system is not installed, moisture-laden air can be allowed entry into the building structure where it then can be cooled to its dew point and transformed into the form of liquid water. Air leakage has the potential to transport more moisture into and through building enclosures than would otherwise occur with conventional direct vapor diffusion.
Common air leaks in buildings can take one of several forms:
- Orifice Air Flow
- Air flow where the air entry point and exit point are in a linear pathway; such as a crack between a window frame and the window opening
- Diffuse Air Flow
- The passage of air through porous building materials such as fiberglass or concrete block
- Channel Air Flow
- Air passing through openings in the building envelope typically found at the interface of dissimilar materials where the air entry and exit points are not in a linear pathway
- Air Barrier Application
The application of an efficient air barrier system is a complex process. Product integration, diverse substrate specifications, temperature monitoring and damage control are integral components.
The cost to repair a damaged or poorly installed air barrier system after installation can cost as much as 50 to 60 times the initial investment.
Superior Waterproofing and Restoration Company has a crew of professional air barrier installers to ensure that your air barrier system is properly installed for maximum results.
The Big Payoff!
Installed correctly, a well-designed, efficient air barrier system will:
- Control the movement of air through the building
- Maintain constant air pressure
- Control Moisture within the building envelope
- Reduce HVAC System overloads
- Reduce building energy consumption
- Lower exterior noise penetration
- Reduce harmful air pollutants
- Prohibit the growth of mold
- Protect the health of building occupants
- Prevent premature deterioration of building structure