Defining the Building Envelope
January 14, 2019
One common definition of Building Envelope is the physical separator between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building including the resistance to air, water, heat, light, and noise transfer. The components of the Building Envelope are typically walls, floors, roofs, and fenestrations. Fenestrations are any openings in the structure including windows, doors, skylights, clerestories, etc. And the application of the term “Building Envelope” is primarily used when referring to low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise buildings constructed of steel, reinforced concrete or reinforced concrete masonry units.
Deterioration of Building Envelope components – roofs, exterior walls, windows, caulking, etc. — can contribute to migration of moisture and outside air into a building’s interior. If left unchecked, such infiltration can lead to mold development and overall degradation of a building’s interior environment, including air quality.
Since 1945, Standard has specialized in Building Envelope maintenance and repair. Examples of comprehensive and notable Building Envelope remediation projects our firm has recently undertaken include:
Auburn University — Samford Hall
Scope: Full replacement of shingle and single-ply roof systems; replacement of metal roof systems; point, tuck and waterproofing of exterior masonry walls; replacement of lightning protection systems; limited HVAC repair. Access to the building’s exterior components involved fully encasing the building with scaffolding, from ground to elevations of 130 feet.
Baptist Hospital — Stair Towers
Scope: Removal/replacement of existing roof on stair tower at 42 foot elevation; repairs of glassing for stair towers exterior glass system; clean/prime existing steel framing at exterior; power-wash exterior; application of elastomeric waterproofing to exterior glass/steel encasement system.
State of Alabama — State House
Scope: Full roof replacement; replacement of building’s large water tower and various amendments to the building’s HVAC system; repairs of exterior reinforced concrete walls followed by waterproofing application to all exterior walls.
State of Alabama — Lurleen B. Wallace State Office Building
Scope: Replacement of deteriorated portions of existing roof; repair of spalled concrete exterior walls; replacement of various HVAC components; application of waterproofing to all exterior walls; repair of deteriorated window seals; ground-level waterproofing of plaza area, including demolition of existing concrete and existing waterproofing system; high performance paint application to various steel components affixed to exterior walls.
State of Alabama — Attorney General's Office & Department of Archives
Scope: Reroofing, light gauge structural framing, metal wall panels, repair spalled concrete at all exterior walls – at all elevations, ground to roof, elastomeric coating of all exterior walls and columns, exterior lighting, LED
Addressing problems related to the Building Envelope requires specialists fully familiar with all components of the Building Envelope and the measures required to address problems with each component. And to ensure that each bidder is fully familiar with the requirements and special applications necessary to execute a successful project, all bidders on Building Envelope repair/remediation projects should be thoroughly vetted.