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The Great Debate: Do I Really Need a Roof Air Barrier?

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The Great Debate: Do I Really Need a Roof Air Barrier?

March 21 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

As enclosure enthusiasts, we are often challenged by colleagues who believe roof air barriers are unnecessary in commercial flat roof assemblies. While it is true that roof membranes can act as effective air barriers, there are also situations when a dedicated air barrier membrane should be seen as an essential control layer in the roof assembly. This presentation will review case studies of projects with dedicated roof assembly air control layers, and similar projects without, and examine how to approach detailing transitions in either scenario to achieve air tightness. This presentation is intended to help participants know when to advocate for roof air barriers and when the roof assembly can function without one.

Learning Objectives:

  1.  Discuss reasons for and against using a dedicated air barrier in roof assemblies
  2.  Break down common myths about roof air barriers
  3. Evaluate common commercial roof assemblies, overhang, and parapet details and distinguish the conditions that precipitate or negate the need for air barriers
  4.  Define best practices for detailing transitions between roof assemblies, walls, and parapets

Chris Bubser, AIA LEED-AP, BD+C

Senior Technical Architect, LHB Corp

 Chris Bubser has been involved in the design and construction of a variety of commercial and residential buildings around the midwest as a Builder, Architect, Virtual Design and Construction Coordinator, and Quality Manager. Chris has worked as a Senior Technical Architect at LHB since 2019, where he specializes in construction contract administration, facility condition assessments, and mentoring emerging professionals in the dark arts of detailing. He served on the Board of the Building Enclosure Council of Minnesota from 2014 to 2022, including two years as Chair.


March 21
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
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