The Interface

Track 2: Design Professionals

Wednesday, March 27, 9:45 – 10:45am

Today’s building construction must overcome complex building materials, multi-layer construction / multiple trades, limited on-the-job training, higher expectations, schedule, and are generally cost sensitive. In the past, building systems were simpler with fewer layers, there were many master tradesman, apprentice training, with less building performance expectations.

Building occupants now require more for the interior environment; precise temperature and humidity control, no tolerance for condensation or mold, indoor air quality, energy efficiency and more. This cannot be achieved without a well designed and constructed building enclosure. We rely on performance published in material and assembly product data sheets to achieve these expectations, but without well thought out transitioning, termination and flashing at the interface of the materials and assemblies, there intended performance is diminished or be negated altogether.

Performance criteria (water air, vapor, and thermal) is readily available for most building enclosure materials and assemblies that are commonly used in the building construction industry today. However, performance criteria for the interface of materials and assemblies is not clearly defined or published and is often missed or misunderstood. Continuity of the environmental control layers is most vulnerable at the interface of building enclosure components. Without the proper interfacing, we cannot expect to achieve the laboratory tested performance of the materials and assemblies selected for the project, which greatly impacts building performance holistically.

The relationship between components and trades that is required to ensure continuity of the environmental control layers may not be immediately apparent or intuitive if the contract documents are unsuccessful in presenting the building enclosure as a contiguous and cohesive assembly, composed of inter-related parts. Furthermore, if the contract documents fail to clearly represent the building enclosure’s environmental control layers and trade relationships, the related subcontractor’s obligation will be limited to the installation and performance of their system alone.

This presentation will briefly touch on the history of building enclosure design and performance and the evolution of the materials and assemblies used in construction today. Typical assemblies and common interface details will be reviewed while discussing and comparing with case studies, computer modeling, laboratory certification testing and field performance testing. The discussion will also overlay the affects building enclosure material and assembly interfacing has on construction sequencing and schedule and overall building performance.

Learning Objectives:

  1. History of Building Enclosure Design
  2. Common Building Enclosure Interface Details and Caste Studies including wall opening details for window, storefront and curtain wall; roof to wall transitions, overhang/canopies, etc.
  3. Laboratory certification testing, computer modeling, field performance testing and construction sequencing.
  4. ABAA CW White Paper and ABAA Wall-to-Roof Transitions Guide
Level of content:
Design Professionals
Testing & Inspection

Adam Ugliuzza


Adam brings 11 years of experience as an engineer.  His most recent roles with Intertek have concentrated on building enclosure consulting / commissioning, forensic investigations, working on projects throughout the United States evaluating and designing residential, commercial and industrial enclosure assemblies in various climate zones including roofing, claddings, fenestrations and below grade waterproofing.  He also leads the Building Science Solutions Mid-Atlantic consulting group for Intertek’s Building and Construction division.  Managerial duties include staff members in offices in the Mid-Atlantic region and Pittsburgh, PA.  Consulting Engineering practice areas under Adam’s leadership includes building enclosure consulting/commissioning, forensic investigations, whole building airtightness testing and infrared thermography discipline areas. Apart from Intertek, Adam is an ABAA board member and is currently chair of the Terminations, Transitions and Flashing Task Group and co-chair of the Whole Building Airtightness Testing task group.