Why Hire a Building Envelope Consultant
Outside of the construction world, a building envelope is a relatively unknown term. In fact, most people would probably think of a building enclosed in a big envelope when the term is mentioned. In fact, you can think of a building envelope in that manner since a building envelope is essentially the outside of your home. A building envelope is your roof, exterior walls, and flooring that creates a barrier between the outside of your home and the inside. It’s what makes your building energy efficient and much more comfortable to be in given any season.
Building Enclosure Specialists offers a variety of services that can help you make your building the best. From pre-design services to field testing, we can help. Below, we’ll go over the benefits of hiring a building envelope consultant for your next building project. Contact us today to get started!
When most people build a new construction building or renovate an old one, they are built for longevity, at least for your lifetime. Ensuring a building’s in it for the long haul involves much more than the actual materials and the construction process; you have to consider the cost to run and maintain that building over its lifetime, including the cost to maintain a comfort level inside.
This is where a top-notch building envelope specialist comes in, such as Building Enclosure Specialists. We can help you maximize the energy efficiency of your building for decades to come, saving you thousands of dollars in the long run.
What Are the Components of a Building Envelope?
Building envelope consultants think of a building envelope in three ways:
- Air control. Air is a huge component in the comfort of a building, and controlling its flow affects not only comfort, but also air quality, energy consumption, and condensation inside the building envelope. Air control will incorporate all of the elements of a building, including roofing, insulation, foundations, doors, walls, and the ceiling. Building enclosure consultants spend their time ensuring the building envelope’s ability to physically protect against the weather, protecting the indoor air quality, and ensuring energy efficiency.
- Water and water vapor control. Not only is water important to keep out for comfort’s sake, but water is also one of the main culprits of causing building materials to deteriorate faster than normal, which can cause expensive damage rather quickly. A good deal of time is spent by building enclosure consultants in the roofing area and determining which membranes are most appropriate as barriers to water. Sloped roofs (most often seen on residential buildings) and flat roofs (most often seen on commercial buildings) each have their unique challenges simply due to their design. Walls are another area that play an important factor in keeping water out. Different types of barriers and drainage are considered, which can help water that does leak to drain out harmlessly. Moisture control is a big concern for basements since they are usually put in the ground where moisture sits constantly. Basement waterproofing and drainages are a must in this instance.
- Heat or thermal control. Related to air control, heat or thermal control pertains mainly to controlling keeping the heated air or cooled air of the building in without too much energy lost to the outside world. Building enclosure consultants, such as Building Enclosure Specialists, may use thermography, which uses an infrared camera to look for anomalies in your building’s roof, which can help detect small water and air leaks.
However, a building envelope can also be concerned with the appearance and structure of the building, as well as fire protection and security. You can think of the building envelope as everything that is on the exterior walls and roof, from skylights to doors and windows.
You may be thinking that maximizing the outer layer of your building is easy; however, when you partner with a professional building envelope specialist such as Building Enclosure Specialists, you will be gaining many benefits.
Most things in life have a learning curve, whether you are learning to ride a bike or spell words, or you are learning to construct the tallest skyscrapers. Learning a building envelope takes time as well, and learning how to maximize its efficiencies can take years to master. By partnering with the best building envelope specialists, you can rest assured that nothing will be missed in your building envelope. Furthermore, oftentimes, most building envelope specialists offer more than one service, which can save you time, effort, energy, and money as you search for the best services to make your commercial or residential building the best.
Building Enclosure Specialists offer an array of business enclosure consulting services, from design phase services to storm damage assessment services.
Whether you are a developer, general contractor, architect, property manager, homeowner, business owner or an attorney, building enclosure specialists are trained to look at buildings differently, to see the need you are seeking and fill it, and to find the fine details that can add up quickly in terms of savings. They are trained to listen to their customers, discover their needs, and then solve them.
Most building enclosure consultants use testing services extensively in their business in order to discover potential problem areas before they become a problem, which can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. For instance, Building Enclosure Specialists offers field testing services, such as leak tests, using American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) or American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), which both can be complicated to understand the specificities. A trained professional building enclosure consultant can make this daunting process look easy.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, lawsuits seem to be a dime a dozen. Building enclosure consultants can help you in the event of a lawsuit involving a building envelope. For example, Building Enclosure Specialists can offer extensive reports and provide expert testimony should a lawsuit arise involving poor outer building materials, windows, or doors. Other services include dispute resolution strategies, damage assessment, or mediation.
Provide Ongoing Services
Once your building is designed and constructed, most building enclosure specialists can still assist you in the maintenance of your residential or commercial building. From checking for water leaks and gaps in doors and windows to unexplained condensation and thermal insulation voids, your building enclosure consultant can help long after the last nail has been placed.
Assess the Needs of Your Building
For most building enclosure consultants, the needs of your building will be the driving force behind what they do. They are looking to make your building as efficient as possible by examining every possible crevice and area for leaks. Here at Building Enclosure Specialists, we take our time and do a thorough analysis of your building from the onset.
Assisting in the Management, Planning, and Budgeting of Your Building Materials
Part of the expertise of a building management consultant is not only knowing building materials inside out, but also knowing the peculiarities of these building materials and how to minimize them to be the most efficient. We here at Building Enclosure Specialists assist in the planning and managing of your building project as well, including the drawings.
Overseeing the Project
Building Enclosure Specialists can also oversee your project for you as well, from the bid process to the construction phase. This oversight is definitely more than just following the plans. Building enclosure specialists need to be able to alter the plans if the need arises, which can occur as early as the pre-construction meetings or in the testing materials phase. Building enclosure consultants stay on the job through to completion and beyond, performing quality control inspections throughout.
During this time, all systems are inspected to ensure they meet quality and industry standards, from the sidewalk, to the exterior of your building to the roof. Building Enclosure Specialists ensure your project is the best from start to finish.
Besides the obvious cost savings involved in maximizing your building’s energy-efficiency, the role of a building enclosure specialist is to maximize the interior space from the effects of the environment. This is seen primarily in three ways:
- Support. You obviously want to make sure your building is structurally sound in every way so it not only avoids hurting someone in case of a failure, but also so it lasts a long time in terms of wear and tear.
- Control. You want to be in control of the heat and air that is coming in and out of your building.
- Finish. You want your building to be as beautiful as possible. This element not only incorporates architectural elements, such as skylights, into your building design, but it also maintains the other two components of your building. Interior aesthetics plays a role as well.
In life, foundations are key, not only to physical building but also in your life. When you have a solid foundation, you have fewer problems, concerns, and worries. The foundation must be solid in order to transfer the load from the building materials above to that below the surface of the ground. You also have to keep in mind moisture and temperature (or thermal energy) and how it will be transferred between your buildings foundations and walls. Insulation and waterproofing are two areas that are crucial when planning your building envelope, and as simple as this sounds, a professional building envelope consultant can ensure your building is the most efficient at these processes. Drainage is also important to consider if a large amount of rain were to hit. Most ways to mediate drainage is with a sump pump.
The walls’ job is to support the roof, floors, and ceilings of your building. Besides carrying the physical load of all of the building materials, it also serves to enclose space for your building envelope and provide security, shelter, and soundproofing for the space as well. Sheathing, membrane, and insulation are factors to consider here as well.
The job of the roof is to finish the enclosure of the building in conjunction with the walls. Its main role is to keep the elements out and you protected inside. However, it also plays a crucial role in climate control inside the building envelope, due to the ventilation of the attic. Elements such as ice dam prevention and cooler roofs in the summer are examined by building enclosure specialists, as these elements not only affect your roof, but can affect the entire building in adverse ways if not controlled.
Glazing (panels that let light through), doors, chimneys, and windows are considered by building envelope consultants as the places where energy is lost the most. Hence, a lot of time is spent examining their role and function in the building and maximizing it the most.
As you can see, there is so much to consider when building a building than meets the eye. Building projects of yesteryear deteriorated quickly because of the lack of foresight that building enclosure consultants bring to a construction project.
When you partner with Building Enclosure Specialists, you will have a building that will last for years to come, with fewer problems and less maintenance issues. The occupants of the building will be safe, secure, and can breathe easier with the tools, skills, and expertise that our building enclosure consultants bring. Whether you need field testing, envelope restoration services, or construction litigation consulting, we can help.
Building Enclosure Specialists can help you throughout all stages of your building project. We work in all industries, from healthcare and residential to civil and municipal to higher education. Call us today to get started!