Does it pass or fail? A Conversation about Quality Control Testing Criteria

Track 3: Testing & Inspection

Wednesday, March 27, 2:15 – 3:15pm

The material is applied, the air barrier is complete, and now all you need is to pass the field quality assurance testing. The air barrier adhesion test is performed and then comes the question: what is the pass/fail criteria? Is it the published number under “material properties” on the manufacturer’s data sheet? Is the ABAA required minimum? Is there a different standard written in the specification? Does a 1 psi difference really matter? This discussion can frequently become a point of contention on the job site at a point when a “fix” is expensive and time consuming for many. This session will be a conversation between a manufacturer and a consultant (with additional input from a contractor and auditor) about what really should be the prevailing criteria. It will include a discussion about what the published data means, how lab data compares to that found by testing in the field and what is required during an ABAA audit. Field application parameters based on the material testing criteria that are critical to the air barrier performance will be discussed. Insights from ABAA auditors will be shared about how to avoid this fight in the field and lessons will be shared. The entire conversation will be had around the premise of ensuring a well-installed, durable air barrier system without putting undo pressure onto installers by requiring them to meet unrealistic requirements.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the ABAA air barrier quality control requirements.
  2. Asses the difference between field testing data and what may be published on a manufacturers’ data sheet.
  3. Contrast differences between material testing standards and actual field installation conditions and the impact to air barrier performance.
  4. Evaluate what will be acceptable pass/fail criteria for a given product before it is tested.
Level of content:
Design Professionals
Testing & Inspection

Andrea Wagner Watts, LEED Green Associate, ABAA Technical Committee Co-Chair

Director of the Air Barrier Association of America

Dow Performance Building Solutions

Andrea Wagner Watts is the Commercial Wall Application Technology Leader for Dow Building Solutions. Andrea started her career at Dow Corning as a sales engineer and then continued for 7 years as an Application Engineer within High Performance Building focusing on preventing air and water infiltration through the building envelope. She has successfully helped to develop products including sealants and air/water barrier system solutions. In her current role, she is focused on improving the overall air/water/thermal performance of the building envelope through application innovation and new product development. Andrea has authored articles, papers and conference presentations relating to building air/water tightness, interface details, building science, durability and resiliency and she has 2 patents. She is a LEED® Green Associate and is active in a number of industry organizations including ASTM and is the Co-Chair of the Technical Committee at ABAA. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Cornell University.

John Posenecker, PE (TX), ABAA Technical Committee Co-Chair

Director of the Air Barrier Association of America

Building Exterior Solutions (BES) a Terracon Company

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), National Institute of Buildings Sciences (NIBS), and the International Concrete Restoration Institute (ICRI).