Grumman/Butkus Associates teamed with MFH Associates to provide building envelope commissioning on a new 212,000-square-foot, $30 million academic building. The integrity of the air barrier, vapor barrier, water barier, and rain screen were tested.
The new building has masonry wall construction with a spray-applied vapor barrier material. Wall ties were installed at 16 inches on center, resulting in at least 50,000 vapor barrier penetrations around the perimeter of the building. Bubble testing at wall ties was performed. During the first day of vapor barrier installation, 55 tests were performed, with 28 tests failing. A new vapor barrier application procedure was developed, and the vapor retarder was reapplied at the wall ties. The same areas were re-tested, and all penetrations passed.
Smoke tracer testing was also performed, revealing 50% failure of the window clips on Day 1. A new procedure was developed, and additional sealant was added. New smoke tracer tests verified successful performance of the new clips.
Other BECx tasks included water stream testing and roof installation site observations. After commissioning was completed, air and vapor barrier penetrations and window sealant gaps were greatly reduced.