Building Performance Contractors Association

Building Science Workshop
Session Outline and Objectives
 

Registration and Continental Breakfast: 7:00 - 8:00 a.m.
8:00 - 9:00 Historical Perspective
  • Understanding the evolution of building systems, enclosures, assemblies and materials.
  • Understanding the role of disaster and failure in the evolution of building design.
  • Understanding why codes and regulations are reactive, not proactive.

Questions:

  • Are the buildings of today significantly more efficient than in the past?
  • What is the key component of sustainability?
  • What is the major issue affecting durability?
  • How does energy conservation affect durability?
  • What is durability guidance based on?
  • What is the largest source of water affecting durability?

Background Reading:

9:00 - 10:00 Rain Control
  • Understanding rain as a design load.
  • Understanding rain control strategies.
  • Understanding the consequences of failure to control problems with brick, stucco, EIFS, manufactured stone veneer and curtain walls.

Questions

  • What types of claddings should be installed using the rain screen method?
  • What is the single most important factor in the design and construction of durable buildings?
  • What exterior claddings pass rainwater?
  • What element controls penetrating rainwater?
  • What is the key characteristic of a drainage plane?
  • What is the most common drainage plane?

Background Reading:

Break 10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 11:15 Air Control
  • Understanding airflow control in terms of smoke, energy, durability, health, and comfort.
  • Understanding buildings as 3-D airflow networks.
  • Understanding and controlling pathways and pressures.

Questions

  • What three things power unplanned airflow in buildings?
  • What is an air barrier?
  • Where can an air barrier be located?
  • How are air barriers tested?
  • What is an air retarder?
  • How do you test a big building for air leakage?

Background Reading:

11:15 - 12:15 Heat, Air and Moisture Movement
  • Understanding the mechanisms of heat, air, and moisture movement.
  • Understanding the role of heat, air and moisture in building failure.
  • Understanding integrated design for the control of heat, air and moisture.

Questions

  • Is water vapor migration through assemblies typically greater by airflow through gaps and holes or by diffusion?
  • What are the three major strategies for reducing the risk of moisture damage?
  • What are the environmental loads that affect moisture control?
  • What is the key relative humidity level at a surface to control mold?
  • What is the most important source of moisture that should be controlled?
  • What is the key to rainwater control?

Background Reading:

Lunch 12:15 - 1:15 pm
1:15 - 2:15 Roofs
  • Understanding how to select appropriate roof systems for different climates and occupancies.
  • How to identify critical elements.
  • Learning from past successes and failures.

Questions

  • In a roof assembly, where should the air barrier be in relationship to the rain control barrier and the thermal layer?
  • What is the primary purpose of attic or roof ventilation in a cold climate?
  • What is the primary purpose of attic or roof ventilation in a hot climate?
  • What environment should vented attics be coupled to?
  • Where should ductwork be located?
  • What is the most effective way to control ice dams?

Background Reading:

2:15 - 3:15 Foundations
  • Understanding how to keep ground water and soil gas out of building foundations.
  • Environmental control for building assemblies.
  • Understanding the conflict between structural engineering approaches and environmental control approaches.

Questions

  • In what direction does a basement wall dry?
  • What is the fundamental principle of groundwater control?
  • Where should a perimeter drain be located?
  • What is the function of crushed stone under a slab?
  • What is the function sheet polyethylene under a slab?
  • What is the function of a vent stack?

Background Reading:

Break 3:15 - 3:30 pm
3:30 - 4:30 Repair and Retrofit
  • Insulating mass wall buildings and freeze-thaw damage.
  • Foundation retrofits.
  • Interior and exterior enclosure repair approaches.

Questions

  • What type of insulations and how thick should they be on mass walls?
  • What is the problem associated with porous materials?
  • What is rising damp?
  • What leads to large hydrostatic pressures in porous materials?
  • What was historically the material of choice to address leaking walls?
  • Where are drained walls typically found?

Background Reading:

4:30 - 5:30 HVAC
  • Understanding the primary function of HVAC.
  • Understanding the effect of climate on HVAC design and operation.
  • Understanding and managing the conflict between green architecture, IAQ and energy efficiency.

Questions

  • What impact does it have on energy use, equipment and duct size if the heating system is oversized?
  • What impact does it have on the energy use, equipment and duct size if the air conditioning system is oversized?
  • What is the function of a space conditioning system?
  • What temperature defines comfort?
  • What is the best HVAC system?
  • What is the most difficult to control HVAC system?
  • What can an ERV never do?

Background Reading:


For more information about the workshop, contact: info@home-performance.org.