Why Building Science Matters

Denver Vapor Profile

This graphic from the Building Science Corporation shows the proper construction method for stucco walls in the Denver climate.

Proper understanding of Building Science is crucial as we build tighter, more energy efficient homes, and certainly as we move towards Net Zero Energy Buildings. Without a good understanding of Building Science, we can run into problems with indoor air quality, mechanical systems performance, and even mold.

A big part of Building Science is water and vapor management. Older buildings that are leaky and poorly insulated can dry easily when they get wet. Energy efficient homes are tighter, and use a broader range of building materials, some of which are vapor retardant or vapor impermeable. It is important to take into account the interaction of all new materials and methods used in a building system to ensure each assembly can dry out.

Other aspects of building science include proper mechanical ventilation, proper balancing of mechanical systems and pressures, and proper air sealing of all parts of the home.

What We Do
At Sustainably Built, Building Science is a part of everything we do. Whether making recommendations to meet building code or helping you get your home to Net-Zero, we’re always making sure our recommendations comply with the best building science available.

If it’s a building science issue with an existing home or commercial building, we have a host of diagnostic equipment and know-how to help you solve your indoor air quality, comfort, or mold issues.

What about water and vapor management? We start by designing an assembly so that it won’t get wet. This includes proper use of overhangs, rainscreens, and weather resistant barriers to keep the water from getting into the assembly. Then, we assume that assembly will get wet. Whether it’s an unusual weather event, damage to exterior, or a leaky pipe, we can expect assemblies to get wet during the life of the home. So we make sure that it can dry out, either to the inside of the home, or to the outside.

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