Moisture Management – Part 1

One of the benefits of working with BayWater is our technical background. So this article is for all of the engineers and those looking for in-depth knowledge about the building process. This is the first of a three part series om Moisture Management.


Moisture Management  Part One


High Performance Enclosures


The building enclosure is the part of the structure that physically separates the interior and exterior environments.  The enclosure includes all of the parts that make up the wall, window, roof, and floor assemblies from the innermost to the outermost layer.


The basic function of the enclosure of a structure is to protect the conditioned interior spaces from the surrounding environment.  Uncontrolled rainwater penetration and moisture ingress are two of the most common threats to the structural integrity and performance of the building enclosure.


Common Elements of an Exterior Wall:


  • Exterior Cladding – a protective layer or finish affixed to the exterior side of a building enclosure system;


  • Drainage Plane(s) – any element exposed to weather or otherwise residing at the line between the “wet” and “dry” zones of an exterior wall assembly;


  • Air Barrier System(s) – any element(s) that is intended, by design, to control the movement of air across an exterior wall assembly;


  • Vapor Retarder(s) – any element(s) that is intended to control or otherwise limit the flow of water in its vapor form across an exterior wall assembly;


  • Insulation Element(s) – any element(s) that is intended to control or otherwise regulate heat loss and heat gain across an exterior wall assembly;


  • Structural Element(s) – any element(s) in an exterior wall assembly that is intended to effectively resist both live and dead loads acting on a building or structure through the efficient and effective distribution of those loads to the underlying structural frame.


The three basic functions of the enclosure are:


  1. i) Support
  2. ii) Control

iii) Finish


The enclosure supports the structure by resisting and transferring physical forces from inside and out including lateral, gravity, rheological and impact forces.  The enclosure controls mass and energy flows including:


  • Rain,
  • Air
  • Heat
  • Vapor
  • Fire
  • Sound,
  • Insects
  • Light


The enclosure finish is the interior and exterior surfaces for people that include color, texture, pattern, and material.


What is a high-performance enclosure?  An enclosure, which provides high levels of control.  Poor control continuity limits performance in the enclosure assembly.  Poor continuity causes most wall assembly problems including:


  • Rain leakage
  • Air leakage
  • Surface condensation
  • Cold windows, etc.


The rain control of an enclosure must include rain shedding, drainage, flashing, drain-holes, overlapping and integration.


Call TREC today for your Building Enclosure Evaluation needs:


  • Building Assessments
  • Building Condition Surveys
  • Building Envelope Remediation
  • Building Enclosure Design
  • Building Envelope Consulting
  • Roof Condition Assessment