Building Envelope Design
We work for owners, architects, and contractors, providing building envelope and waterproofing design for both new and remedial construction. We recommend and specify materials and systems, develop details for those systems, and write technical specifications.
We remain very involved during the construction phase, verifying that materials and systems are installed according to the details and specifications, and perform as expected.
We pride ourselves on understanding the limitations and capabilities of building materials and enjoy designing practical and effective solutions for both new and remedial construction. We interface with manufacturers' representatives, work with them to stay current on today's materials, and have attended contractor training seminars. We are experienced in construction, which translates to working well with contractors.
We have worked on a wide range of building types including multi-family, commercial, and residential; much of our work is high-end residential. We often work as the prime architect on projects such as cladding repair and replacement and re-roofing.
Unlike designing waterproofing for new construction, remedial work often requires that an investigation first take place in order to determine the mode of failure and the extent of damage. This process can involve methodical testing and invasive exploration. We enjoy the problem solving process that is required to diagnose a failing construction assembly. We also particularly enjoy ultimately fixing the building and improving its envelope performance.
The information attained during the investigation phase assists in defining the required scope of repairs. Because we are often working with partial envelope repairs, significant challenges are presented in determining how best to integrate new and existing work and in the sequencing required to achieve the desired results.
We conduct testing in order to diagnose and identify water penetration issues in building assemblies, windows and doors. The testing process can help identify issues before additional damage occurs.
We often perform differential pressure testing on windows and doors for both diagnostic and quality assurance purposes on both new and existing buildings. Differential pressure testing can be very helpful early on in the construction process during an initial mock-up, in order to ensure that the final installed assembly meets performance levels and everyone's expectations.
We have found that new windows and doors do not always perform to their water penetration resistance ratings. This can be problematic when performance expectations are not met and have not been verified in place.
Once exterior cladding surfaces are in place, it can be difficult and expensive to replace windows and doors. Signs of water penetration do not always occur on interior finishes until significant damage to the wall assembly has occurred.
Establishing performance criteria and testing parameters early on in the design and specification process is important in order to set expectations.
Although it is not our main business, we provide construction litigation support to attorneys representing both defendants and plaintiffs. Because of our expertise and experience with failing building envelopes and assemblies, we find that litigation work integrates well with our primary consulting work.
We have worked on projects spanning the preliminary investigation through litigation and ultimately to the required repair work.