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How Solid Is Your Building Exterior?


A dry building is more durable, healthier and better performing. Water intrusion, condensation, air leaks and uncontrolled airflow typically result from deficiencies in the building envelope—the exterior walls, windows, doors, roofs and foundations comprising a structure’s outer shell. Risks and costs associated with mold remediation, systems replacements and premature structural deterioration—not to mention ever-stricter energy codes and the green movement—are drawing more attention to the importance of constructing tight buildings that perform as intended. Building owners are turning to specialists and qualified general contractors to help them protect their investments by making better—and earlier—decisions about building enclosure systems.

JE Dunn Construction established a national quality assurance/quality control program dedicated to the performance of building envelopes and all things related, from the physics of air and water movement to building materials to roof designs (pictured are regional quality manager Brian Bennight and regional quality coordinator Matt Hagan). Importantly, QA/QC services—including QA/QC budgeting, building forensics, air and moisture infiltration testing, and warranty process assistance—are available before, during and after construction. Feedback from clients and project teams reveal that many feel especially well-served by QA/QC collaborators who can bring the following resources to bear:

Investment in state-of-the-art technology—from thermal cameras to software tools that can simulate and study weather conditions (say, wind-driven rain) and predict their impact on building facades—is invaluable to preventing and solving problems.

Specialized Knowledge Network. Capabilities of the East Region QA/QC Group, for example, are bolstered by employees’ instant access to the technical knowledge and field experiences of their peers across the country, as well as access to a decade of case studies, documents and data on building envelope systems.

Continuing Education and Training. The commitment to maintaining relevant industry certifications and staying abreast of best practices and advances in building envelope systems is essential. Early adoption of smart, comprehensive strategies for managing air and moisture movement is critical to preventing structural integrity issues that can lead to expensive repairs, high energy costs, and potential liability issues, and is key to providing safe, comfortable, cost-efficient buildings.

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