Exactly how important is the building envelope and what happens when it fails?
Besides aesthetics, the building envelope is the one to thank for four basic yet massively important functions; which are:
In this article, we break down what building envelope systems are, their functions, how they can fail, and what you can do about it, right now.
By definition, a building envelope is what separates the unconditioned and conditioned environment of a building.
It's a collective term for all the layers and components that make up a single design strategy that ensures a building is well-protected, as well as energy efficient and sustainable.
In the simplest sense, it's the "skin" that makes a consistent (and comfortable) inside building climate possible.
That's why the outer shell, the building envelope must be skilfully constructed in order for any new or old building to be able to prevent water, air, heat, noise, and light from affecting the delicate building climate equilibrium.
While the overall function of a building envelope is to maintain an indoor building environment which makes for excellent climate control, we can break this down into four main functions:
1. Weather and Moisture Control. Controlling water (from daily weather conditions, moisture or vapor) is fundamental to a building envelope. Everything from the roof, walls, floors, and even the basement must be designed to repel water (or at least designed to cushion possible water damage) in order to preserve building integrity.When left unchecked, moisture will take every opportunity to seep everywhere and cause numerous problems. Leaks, mold infestations and early structural damage are a few examples.
Airflow is directly linked to energy control, since controlling air movement may account for 10 to 20% of heat loss within the building. On the other hand, air flow also dictates indoor air quality, and condensation, which both contribute to comfort (or discomfort) of inhabitants in a building.
2. Airflow. We have the building envelope to thank when it comes to maintaining good indoor air quality, circulation, and insulation performance. By air flow, we mean not only how the air flows through the building envelope and the interior space—this also involves energy consumption and comfort.
And that's just one example. If you wish to have more information on our building envelope projects, facade restoration or adaptive reuse, feel free to contact one of our building restoration specialists.
When a building envelope works perfectly, people wouldn't notice. However, when built insufficiently, building envelopes can cause a cascade of problems.
According to BDCNetwork.com, 50% of envelope failure may be attributed to moisture intrusion, which further leads to mold growth or eventual degradation of the building's structural integrity. Issues with moisture intrusion may be caused by one or a combination of the factors below:
Let's discuss several reasons why building envelopes can fail.
Because it takes time and considerable investment on your end, the decision to restore or repair your building isn't something you decide on a whim.
Careful strategic planning, especially with the advice of a seasoned building envelope consultant is essential in order to reduce costs and headache in the long run.
For new constructions, it's the consultant's job to collaborate with designers, builders, and owners to create high-performance building envelope systems. As for existing buildings, consultants survey current building envelope performance and address flaws and issues.
A Building Envelope Consultant Helps Reduce Costs by:
And the list goes on.
It's safe to say, building envelope consultants can both help restore and protect your important assets all while saving you the most.
Part of reuse and restoration is making sure the structures are retrofitted with materials that would make the building functional, energy efficient, comfortable and durable even in the years to come.
Reviving existing buildings is becoming a growing option in the reality of limited resources and expanding consumption.
Landmark Restorations is at the forefront of this green movement, whether in retrofitting the simplest of things to massive building envelope repair projects.
With our years of experience and countless satisfied clients, we are confident of the results we bring to the table. Whether it's for energy efficiency, thermal envelopes, soundproofing, and various projects for your commercial property, we're here for you.