Water Penetration And Air Leakage Testing Of Multi Family Window Details

Track 1: Design Sessions

Wednesday, May 9, 15:30 – 16:30

Multifamily building has been one of the fastest growing market sectors over the last five years and market outlooks predict that trend will continue. At the same time, AHJs (Authority’s Having Jurisdiction) across the nation have been adopting the 2015 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code), which eliminates the air barrier exception for climate zones 1, 2, and 3. This significant code change effects multifamily construction across much of the southern part of the United States from Florida to California. However, many architects do not yet know how to design with air barrier details and most contractors do not yet know how to build air barrier details. The focus of this research aims to provide the multifamily construction sector with air and water penetration knowledge for one critical building component: window detailing.

The majority of multifamily construction is wood‐framed, multi‐story, and utilizes vinyl‐flanged windows. However, a variety of water‐resistive barriers (WRBs) are utilized and a variety of details within each WRB manufacturer are utilized. For example, building wraps, sheathing systems with integral coatings, and thin‐mil fluid‐applied WRBs can all be applied according to AAMA 2400 Standard Practice for Installation of Windows with a Mounting Flange in Stud Frame Construction – Method A (no sealant nor flashing tape at the sill flange) or Method B (sealant and flashing tape at sill flange) in combination with low‐pressure foam at the interior perimeter or backer rod and sealant at the interior perimeter, and various options for flange sealant (silicone, polyurethane, butyl, etc.). Building Exterior Solutions (consultant) will partner with J.E. Dunn (Contractor) to build approximately twelve 4’ x 8’ mockups – each with the same vinyl‐flanged window, but each one detailed according to a distinct, but common multifamily window detail and WRB. Building Exterior Solutions will then test each mockup
according to ASTM E‐1105 Standard Test Method for Field Determination of Exterior Windows, Skylights, Doors, and Curtain Wall by Uniform or Cyclic Static Air Pressure and ASTM E‐783 Standard Test Method for Field Measurement of Air Leakage Through Installed Exterior Windows and Doors.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review industry standards for air leakage and water penetration testing.
  2. Review most common window integration details in wood‐framed multifamily construction.
  3. Describe air and water penetration results of different window mockup details.
  4. Review pros and cons of various window detailing options.
Level of content:
Construction & Testing

Keith Simon, AIA, CPHC, LEED AP

Senior Architect

Mr. Simon joined Building Exterior Solutions, Inc. (BES) in April of 2014. Previously, he was an Associate III at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. in Austin, Texas. He is a Registered Architect, Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), and Legacy LEED AP with over 10 years’ experience in architectural design and building enclosure consultation. His experience includes investigation, evaluation, analysis, renovation design, construction administration, testing, and peer review of design phase documentation of building envelope issues. Mr. Simon was the founder of the Austin Building Enclosure Council (BEC: Austin) and currently serves as a board member for both BEC: Austin, as well as the Passive House Austin Chapter. Mr. Simon is also a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Society of Building Science Educators (SBSE), and is adjunct faculty at the University of Texas School of Architecture (UTSoA) in Austin. Mr. Simon was awarded the 2012 Emerging Professional Honor Award by the Austin AIA: presented to an AIA member for professional achievement in leadership during the early years of participation in AIA Austin, a role model in the organization that goes beyond the call of duty in service to the profession; influences improvement in the organization at the local level; encourages participation among fellow members and nonmembers and exemplifies qualities of leadership and of professional practice.

John Posenecker, PE

Department Manager

Mr. Posenecker joined Building Exterior Solutions, Inc. (BES) in March of 2015. He is a registered engineer in the State of Texas. His experience includes the design, construction, testing and forensic investigation of building envelope systems. Previously, he was an Estimating Manager with Chamberlin Roofing and Waterproofing from 2005 through 2015, Project Manager for Advanced Environmental Concepts from 1997 through 2005, an Engineering Team Leader at Southern Company Services from 1987 through 1997, and a Senior Engineer with Bechtel Power from 1982 to 1987. Throughout his career, Mr. Posenecker has participated in a wide variety of projects associated with the building envelope that include containment systems for commercial nuclear power plants; noise control systems for commercial and institutional projects; and waterproofing for commercial high-rise office and multi-family buildings, medical and educational institutional projects, and large concrete structural projects. Mr. Posenecker specializes in waterproofing and cladding systems associated with the building envelope. He is an active member in several professional organizations including the Austin Building Enclosure Council (BEC), Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA), International Concrete Restoration Institute (ICRI) and the Austin Association of Facility and Maintenance Engineers (AAFAME).