Despite advances in air barrier understanding within the design and construction industry, several aspects about air barriers are still not well understood and, as a result, are leading to moisture and mold problems, especially in hot, humid climates.
In response to this issue, Liberty Building Forensics Group (LBFG) has produced a complimentary e-book that speaks directly to the common air barrier-related factors causing mold and moisture problems in hot and humid climates. Click here to download.
The industry is experiencing a divorce between facade performance requirements and HVAC system performance requirements. For example, driven by energy savings objectives, HVAC designers are using certain systems (such as heat recovery units, or HRUs) on a regular basis, virtually requiring the facade to perform in such a way that it becomes the primary differentiator between the building either experiencing or avoiding mold and moisture problems.
“This reality is complicated by the fact that both facade and HVAC designers are carrying out their respective roles within a vacuum of each other,” says LBFG President George DuBose, CGC. “In a hotel that employs an HRU system as its make-up and exhaust air systems, this can be catastrophic.”
One solution adopted by the industry is to conduct testing of components, systems, or even the whole building in order to gain some degree of confidence that air leakage into a building complies with a certain standard. Unfortunately, for the designer, various testing standards can seem to compete with one another and are usually complicated or ambiguous for the day-to-day practitioner. If a building leaks air at or below the level currently designated in standards, especially if it is located in a hot and humid climate, it will inevitably have mold and moisture problems.
True air leakage criteria is difficult to test for and often does not represent how a building will actually operate. Because this industry crisis is avoidable, LBFG has developed a free webinar explaining how to mitigate against this risk on your current and future projects. Click here to register.
Learn what you need to do right now to avoid an air barrier-related mold and moisture problem down the road.