Is Your Building’s Insulation all it’s Cracked up to be?

Building Insulation

If a building lacks appropriate insulation, simply adding more can create problems for material durability as it causes exterior walls to go through more freeze-thaw cycles. To further complicate matters, if humidity levels are elevated on the interior of a building due to the activities going on inside, the walls and roof will soon exhibit staining, damage, and deterioration. It’s important to understand the dynamics between walls, existing insulation, and new insulation, as these can all cause a dew point to occur. In order to appropriately prevent condensation, mold and deterioration of wood and steel, insulation and a strategically placed...

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[OnDemand Webinar] Vapor Intrusion: How a Building Works and Breathes

Vapor Intrusion Webinar

Watch a recording of our vapor intrusion webinar. Our webinar will strengthen your knowledge on building sciences with a focus on ventilation systems, design and operation that impacts the environmental vapor potential in a building.   Our presentation topics include: Understanding how building air movement works What can effect the movement of vapor through a building  How air moves through a building  Considerations when designing ventilation and vapor mitigation systems Different forces that affect air movement...

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Braun Intertec Welcomes Steven Biegel

Steven Biegel

Braun Intertec, a premier engineering, consulting and testing firm with offices throughout Texas, is pleased to announce the hire of Senior Architect, Steven Biegel, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP. As a seasoned architect, Biegel brings decades of experience in existing conditions assessments, building diagnostics, building envelope systems, moisture migration, indoor air quality and energy conservation. In his role as Senior Architect, he will lead technical investigations of existing building conditions and oversee activities for the firm’s Building Sciences group in both the Austin and Houston metropolitan areas. “I’m incredibly pleased to welcome Steven to the team. He has a reputation for...

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Vapor Intrusion: How a Building Works and Breathes

vapor intrusion mitigation system

Vapor intrusion is a common issue that both environmental consultants and building scientists deal with every day. From an environmental perspective, vapor intrusion can come from old dry-cleaning chemical spills, various solvents, gasoline and diesel materials and much more. As a building scientist, I mainly deal with vapor intrusion in the form of water vapor. The principles are roughly the same, but it’s important to understand how a building lives and breathes throughout its lifetime, to help prevent harmful vapors from entering buildings. There are some natural occurrences, such as the physics of air movement, height and weather that can...

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Steve Flaten and Jack Rasmussen Speaking at AIA Minnesota Convention

Selecting proper fenestration systems for various project types is important to the success of building operation and performance. Join Steve Flaten and Jack Rasmussen at the AIA Minnesota Convention on November 9th to hear about their shared experience on evaluating and testing of window systems to reduce project costs.  The presentation will discuss the proper selection of U factors, AAMA classes and what type of windows are suitable to various projects. To view a copy of the presentation, click here....

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Do You See What I See: Leveraging Infrared Technology

Aquatic Center

What's Infrared Imaging? People use infrared imaging to examine buildings for a number of different reasons, but it's most common use is to help identify the need for preventive maintenance. For example, infrared images reveal temperature differences in electrical panels, wires and breakers, and can help to identify hot spots or overloaded circuits. What Can You Use It For? Now that you know the basics, let’s look at some other uses for infrared imaging: Water Damage to Roofs—To find moisture damage under an existing roof membrane, infrared imaging indicates areas where water has absorbed. Window or Roof Leaks—Infrared imaging is also useful in identifying...

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New Building Code Calls for Continuous Insulation

Continuous Insulation

In one of the latest moves toward energy conservation, a new building code requires the application of a technique known as “continuous insulation”. This technique involves placing a layer of insulation on the exterior of a building to deal with heat loss that results from thermal transfer at studs as a result of conduction. Ultimately, this technique attempts to improve the overall insulation value of walls. There are a few issues with this requirement, however, such as determining where the dewpoint exists in the wall system. Continuous insulation frequently uses board insulation, or sheathing, on the outside of a building,...

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Electronic Field Vector Mapping: The New Nondestructive Testing Method That Saves Time

Electronic Field Vector Mapping

What is Electronic Field Vector Mapping (EFVM)? EFVM is becoming one of the most popular forms of quality control testing for architects, specifiers, contractors, manufacturers and building owners across the United States. This new nondestructive test, in accordance with ASTM D7877-14, “Standard Guide for Electronic Methods for Detecting and Locating Leaks in Waterproof Membranes,” takes half the time to locate potential holes or current leaks in new and existing roofing and waterproofing membranes than the traditional flood testing approach. How Does EFVM Work? Instead of building dams around the membrane section to be tested, which can result in additional stress...

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High Waters: Be Prepared For Flooding


There are a number of measures businesses can take to reduce their flooding risks, whether caused by the spring thaw of snow cover or otherwise. With wide area flooding, many properties might be engulfed to a great depth while other properties might be flooded a foot or two above ground level (which means your basement is still underwater). Meanwhile, small-scale floods are caused by broken pipes, damaged fire sprinklers, and roof leaks. Whether facing widespread flooding or a burst pipe, here are a few things to consider before flooding occurs: 1. Purchase flood insurance for susceptible properties. Typically there is...

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