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Tales from the Clipboard
July 13 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Yes, I confess, I have been a participant and witness to flawed decisions air barrier design and building enclosure improvements. It’s from these “gifts” or unwelcomed lessons that I have been able to gain knowledge of functional air barrier retrofit processes and procedures. Sometimes, the best we can do is apologize, correct the situation, and move on. Yes, you look like an idiot. Yes, to the customer you may look like the most inexperienced person. No, you are not likely to be hired again. Humility in the face of gaining knowledge can be extremely painful. It is from these moments that we are able to grow and utilize building science principles to avoid significant building degradation and functional installation processes. Luckily there are people willing to share the information so others do not have to make the same mistakes and frustrations. We do have to be on the edge in order to move forward. It shows us what is possible. Without these small steps forward we are stuck at idle. Everyone has to learn each of their own lessons, but if we can help someone avoid the same mistakes, they can then learn their own lessons to share with others while avoiding costly mistakes. This is an excerpt from some of the discovered failings from 20 years of energy audits, air barrier inspections, and pressure testing.
- Understanding high pressure flows towards low pressure.
- Explain why liquid applied membranes need to be applied at design temperatures.
- Explain what will happen if an air barrier and thermal barrier is poorly defined in steel stud construction.
- Describe basics of a large building blower door test and what could happen if not prepared.
Torrance Kramer, CEM®, BECxP, BPI® BA MF, LEED® AP
Torrance Kramer is a Certified Energy Manager and is passionate about reducing energy cost and increasing building integrity for his clients. He has completed thousands of comprehensive energy audits on all types of buildings over the last 20 years. Through this it became evident that there was a lack of understanding in the field of building envelope integrity. This led Torrance to focus on specializing in air barrier testing, repairs, and general envelope commissioning for the last 15 years. For the last 8 years, he has managed and operated Accurate-Airtight Exteriors which provides consulting, training, testing, and repairs building air and thermal barriers.