About Chuck Martin - President at Infrared Consulting Services, Inc.
Building Envelope Consulting
Building Envelope can be defined as the exterior skin or surface of the buildings, which separates the exterior of the building from the interior environment. Building envelope includes components such as the floors, roofs, ceilings, door, windows, walls and foundation. Hence, the building envelope provides an exterior shell or protective layer to the interior of the house, the environment and components of which differ from the building envelope.
The Major Functions of the Building Envelope
The building envelope along with its varied components that are mentioned above fulfills certain responsibilities and its performance determines the quality and condition of living inside the building. The building envelope takes care of the following functions:
- The building envelope regulates the heating and cooling process of the building
- It shields the building from extreme weather conditions like storms, hail, heat waves and so on.
- It keeps the moisture, vapor and water away from entering the interior.
- It keeps the dirt, dust and other pollutants from entering the interior atmosphere of the building.
- The roof, floor and foundation of the building envelope provide strength to the building and safeguard it against harsh weather conditions.
Aspects that Influence the Performance of the Building Envelope
The performance of the building envelope is determined by certain factors and sub-systems, which are environmental, situational and conditional in nature. These are:
- The heating, cooling and ventilation equipment
- Extreme weather conditions
- Natural catastrophes
- Plumbing systems and sub-systems of the building
- Electrical settings and systems
- Certain activities of the building occupants
Importance of Maintenance and Inspection of Building Envelope
The building envelope acts like a protective layer or shield of the building and at the same time its components regulate the environment and living condition of the interior of the building. Hence, it is of utmost important to inspect the strength, performance and robustness of the building envelope and its components in order to maintain the overall quality of the building. The same also determines the market or resale value and profitability of the building. Occupants of the building as well as the owner should make sure to inspect both the interior and the exterior condition of the building to detect the problem areas of the building.
Major Problems Faced by a Building Envelope
The major factors, which influence the building envelope and its performance are:
- Trapped moisture
- Molds and fungi formation
- Faulty electrical system
- Faulty drainage and plumbing system (leading to leakage and seepage of water)
- Inadequate construction work
- Cracks and fissures in the building
- Peeling paint
- Wood rot
- Winds blowing through the walls
- Cracked or missing sealants
- Water stains on the walls or the doors and windows
- Rain penetration
Importance of Building Envelope Consulting Services
Being the most crucial part of the entire building, building envelope requires timely and regular inspection and survey to ensure that its components are in proper structure and functional form. After all, the strength of the building envelope and its components decide the integrity, longevity and market value of the building. Hence, it is most advised to always seek professionals’ help and consulting services when it comes to inspecting the building envelope.
Benefits Provided by Building Envelope Consulting Services
- The professionals act as a source of one-stop solutions for all sorts of problems faced by building envelope.
- The modern service providers use up-to-date and advanced inspection tools and equipment that are inexpensive and efficient in detecting the exact problem areas with complete accuracy.
- Mostly, building envelope inspection services are inexpensive and hence save cost for the building occupants and the owners.
- Professional building inspection consultants are highly expert and experienced in their fields and they use supreme-technology systems to detect, assess and evaluate the intensity of the problem.
- They also define the extent of treatment and ensure that the building envelope is completely cured of its defects and damages.
- Professional consultants provide high-end building envelope consulting services in the form of techniques like roof water and air testing, uplift testing, moisture mapping and trapping, construction quality check and analysis, survey of electrical and plumbing systems, infrared thermography.