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Online Education

Ongoing education for Air Barrier professionals.


Introduction to Air Barriers

NEW! Free on-line course available through ABAA’s own website.

Introduction to Air Barriers” provides an overview of the performance requirements of air barrier materials, assemblies, and systems, and includes a discussion on relevant building code requirements. This course provides AIA and state credits and qualifies for HSW.


What Did I Miss? How to Properly Specify an Air Barrier System

by Ryan Dalgleish

Design and Construction documents are one of the first steps towards achieving an effective layer of airtightness to manage moisture and air movement. The importance of a proper specification cannot be understated and a well-articulated document will ensure that the owner is provided with materials, performance and quality.

The presentation will review some of the consideration and language that should be reviewed prior to developing a specification and will outline code requirements, performance requirements, what can be done for quality and ensuring material selection meets the intent of design and for crucial coordination with other components of the enclosure.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the various test methods for air barrier materials and assemblies as it relates to air, water, fire and other key requirements.
  2. Analyze the other control functions for a wall assembly and determine if the air barrier also provides vapor control or water resistance.
  3. Identify key language for 3-part specification to articulate performance standards, execution and quality requirements.
  4. Define requirements for quality assurance and control and typical downfalls of specification language.

Ryan Dalgleish has been involved in building enclosure design for over 20 years, and has served on the board of local building enclosure chapter for 15 years. Ryan presents all over North America at various conferences and events in the areas of building science, Net Zero, Passive House and building enclosures. He is a Net Zero Building Instructor and Certified Adult Education Specialist from the University of Manitoba. Ryan acts as the Chief Operating Officer of the Air Barrier Association of America.

Trust but Verify: Quality Control for Your Air Barrier

by Ryan Dalgleish

Today’s building construction must overcome complex building materials, multi-layer construction/multiple trades, thinner construction, limited on-the-job training, higher expectations, tight schedules and the pressure to keep the cost as low as possible. In the past, building systems were simpler with fewer layers. That is no longer the case.

One way to help ensure a successful project is to incorporate some form of quality assurance and quality control. Quality assurance can be achieved through incorporating a quality management system for the air barrier sub-trade. Quality control can be implemented before the first square-foot of air barrier is installed and then throughout the installation process.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify how to specify and use a variety of performance mock-ups to confirm design intent, sequencing, material compatibility and standards of installation acceptance.
  2. Demonstrate various ASTM test methods for assembly air permeance, rain penetration, adhesion, density and thickness testing procedures.
  3. Define key visual inspection methods used during the construction process for various air barrier materials utilizing site photos and proper corrective action.
  4. List the top five field related installation issues found during site quality control audits using site photos and case studies to evaluate the installation of the air barrier application.

Ryan Dalgleish has been involved in building enclosure design for over 20 years, and has served on the board of local building enclosure chapter for 15 years. Ryan presents all over North America at various conferences and events in the areas of building science, Net Zero, Passive House and building enclosures. He is a Net Zero Building Instructor and Certified Adult Education Specialist from the University of Manitoba. Ryan acts as the Chief Operating Officer of the Air Barrier Association of America.

The Importance of Wall to Roof Connections for the Air Barrier

by Roy Schauffele

As more states, jurisdictions and the design community require air barriers, the issue of connecting the wall air barrier assembly to other building assemblies, such as below-grade, window systems and roofs need to be completely understood in order to design and construct a functioning building enclosure.

One of the most often missed or poorly executed details is the connection between the wall air barrier and roof assembly. With a myriad of roof systems, wall configurations and the growing number of wall air barrier products, it can be difficult to navigate the process in regards to what systems work best with each other and the chemical compatibility of these systems.

This presentation will focus on things to consider from a design standpoint, along with practical approaches to ensuring a robust connection is constructed and executed.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe why the roof/wall air barrier intersection is critical to building performance in regards to moisture management and air leakage control and common design and field errors.
  2. Discuss compatibility issues related to wall and roof air barrier components for the myriad of air barrier and roofing assemblies that exist on the market today.
  3. Identify pre-construction coordination items to review and allocation of responsibilities to sub-trades for proper execution of connection.
  4. Review requirements for detailing the roof/wall interface and the sequence of construction for most common roof/wall air barrier connections.

Roy Schauffele is an internationally published author and speaker in the fields of energy conservation and sustainable building envelopes, all with an eye towards improving building science, performance and quality of life. He is the acknowledged inventor of “The Perfect Wall” which is now the nationwide building code standard for wall construction. Roy is President and founder of Division 7 Solutions, Inc., now entering its 32nd year of continuous operations. He was the first Technical Director of SPRI, and a Construction Specifications Institute Board Director. Roy currently serves as a Director and Executive Committee Member of the ABAA. He’s currently a Technical Advisor to Build San Antonio Green. This year, Roy was awarded the ABAA Wagdy Anis Dedication award for excellence in volunteerism, leadership and mentorship. Globally, he is the only person to be a Fellow of both CSI and ABAA and he continues to be a requested national speaker on energy conservation and sustainability.

Game Plan to Getting Air Barriers Right

by Brian Stroik

A billion dollars is spent each year by construction managers, trade partners, manufacturers and insurance companies due to water and moisture issues in the building enclosure. We know this is an issue—it has been for decades—yet every year there is more litigation regarding building enclosure failures. Join us to learn how having an industry-recognized knowledgeable individual in air barriers and an enclosure quality program can mitigate your building enclosure risk and assist you in providing the owner with a durable, sustainable building facade. Industry organizations have training programs, credentialing programs and guidance resources to help you assemble the right team to build air barriers right!


Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain why airtightness is essential for durable and sustainable building enclosures.
  2. Explain how to be recognized by building professionals as knowledgeable in air barriers.
  3. Provide a repeatable quality process using examples from the Air Barrier Association of America’s Quality Assurance Program.
  4. Provide examples of how a building using knowledgeable people and an enclosure quality process can help provide energy-efficient and sustainable buildings.
  5. Review industry expectations and educational resources.

Brian Stroik is a recognized industry leader in the construction of energy-efficient, sustainable and durable buildings. He is the National Strategic Accounts Sales Director at Tremco Sealants & Waterproofing. Brian works with key industry organizations—including the Air Barrier Association of America, the National Building Enclosure Council, the Building Enclosure Technology and Environmental Council and ASTM E06—on research and education regarding building enclosures, energy efficiency, retrofitting and upgrading existing building enclosures. He has also chaired numerous speaker sessions at national conferences and hosted roundtable discussions.

The Elusive Sub-Contractor Responsible for Transitions

by Andrew Dunlap

An in-depth look at the environmental separators for the roof, wall and below-grade assemblies in regards to water control, air leakage control, thermal performance and vapor control. Critical details that typically cause building performance related issues will be focused on the two largest failures of building enclosures: roof-to-wall connections and wall-to-window connections specific to curtain wall systems. A step-by-step look at each critical detail in regards to sequence of construction and the various connections to ensure airtight/watertight and thermally protected details. Real-life photos and job conditions will bring the realities of the construction process to show typical errors found and how they can be addressed correctly.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Articulate how transitions impact building enclosure performance through real-life experiences in regards to energy loss, building performance and the sustainability of the system.
  2. Identify and prioritize critical details during the construction document phase to ensure an integrated approach is taken to heat, air, water and vapor control.
  3. Assess each detail in regards to impacts of the four control layers and understand the various options for designing details for a variety of roof, wall and window assemblies.
  4. Through the use of real-life case studies and photos, plan out the proper sequence of construction and identify quality control methods in construction document review to provide corrective action.

Andrew Dunlap’s, Principal, SmithGroup, Inc., primary work experience is focused on the analysis and development of building enclosure systems including wall cladding assemblies, air/water barrier systems, roofing, skylights, fenestration systems and waterproofing. Specializing in the energy and hygrothermal analysis of wall, fenestration and roof systems; his work extends from evaluating existing buildings, investigating problem buildings, revitalizing historic structures, to the design and consultation of new and specialty facades. Andrew received his Bachelor of Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and Master of Architecture degrees from the University of Detroit Mercy. He provides presentations to several industry organizations on a regular basis and is published in numerous industry periodicals and journals.

New Tools, Research and Site Quality in the Air Barrier Industry

by Ryan Dalgleish

The presentation will review some of the new tools available in regards to specifying different levels of building airtightness above code mandated minimums. These tools help assess the energy reduction from base levels of building airtightness and the corresponding financial savings, along with quantification of the impacts airtightness has on moisture movement transported by air leakage.

A look into potential changes to building codes and new Whole Building Airtightness test methods, along with a high level review of research conducted and being conducted, on things such as adhesion values for various air barrier materials and fastener penetration testing.

Thirdly, information on the ABAA quality assurance program and how to specify the program properly and exactly what the program entails. Included in this will be a review of the top field related issues that are found during the ABAA site audit process.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Through a review of the air barrier calculator, determine the energy and financial savings obtained by higher level of airtightness and how it impacts the project specifications.
  2. Analyze the results of recent research projects such as adhesion and fastener penetrations, along with upcoming building code changes.
  3. Define requirements for quality assurance and control, and typical downfalls of specification language, along with steps that can be taken to improve installation of the air/water resistive barrier.
  4. Identify key field installation issues for various air barrier products and how specifications can provide further clarity.

Ryan Dalgleish has been involved in building enclosure design for over 20 years, and has served on the board of local building enclosure chapter for 15 years. Ryan presents all over North America at various conferences and events in the areas of building science, Net Zero, Passive House and building enclosures. He is a Net Zero Building Instructor and Certified Adult Education Specialist from the University of Manitoba. Ryan acts as the Chief Operating Officer of the Air Barrier Association of America.

Navigating the Real, Imperfect Air Barrier Details

by Pamela Jergenson

Solving air barrier details or mishaps during construction is possible, but do we really have time for that? Construction schedules and sequencing are compressed. Change orders and rework are expensive and time consuming. Discover through actual air barrier specifications, drawings and field photographs the possible options to solve details or mishaps before construction starts. Join this interactive seminar with polls and real examples during construction that delve into ways to avoid those last-minute detail changes.


Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the top five air barrier issues in construction.
  • Analyze actual air barrier details and mishaps for possible solutions.
  • Formulate possible air barrier solutions in both design and construction phases.
  • Coordinate air barrier product data, specifications, drawings and construction to minimize problems and change orders.

Pamela Jergenson is a Principal Consultant in the Building and Structure Sciences Group at Braun Intertec. She is a Certified Construction Specifier (CCS) and Certified Construction Contract Administrator (CCCA) from Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), Building Enclosure Commissioning Process Provider (BECxP) and Accredited Commissioning Authority + Building Enclosure (CxA+BE) from University of Wisconsin-Madison, ABAA Licensed Field Auditor and Certified Speaker with Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA). Pam has over 35 years in construction with nearly 30 years in investigation, survey, design, construction observation, and construction contract administration of new and existing building enclosure projects; with expertise in exterior walls and air barriers.


Who is ABAA? and Building Science

by Laverne Dalgleish

Top 10 Building Enclosure Concerns

by Brian Stroik

Quality Assurance Programs

by Brian Stroik

Through-Wall Flashings

by Craig Wetmore