Buildings Move, Buildings Leak: Revisiting the Critical Link Between Engineering Mechanics and Enclosure Performance

Wednesday May 8, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Regency Ballroom

“Systems thinking” is a term that is discussed at times in Building Science.  But what if systems thinking asks us to consider more factors in the long term viability of enclosure integrity?  While the relationship between structural movement and a structure’s usefulness to its intended purpose has been well developed throughout the history of design and construction, that understanding has not always translated well into satisfactory enclosure performance.

Drawing on experiences in post-construction forensic investigations, troubleshooting during construction, and efforts to influence design detailing, this presentation will discuss key factors in applying engineering mechanics for the benefit (or detriment) of enclosure performance.  Specific aspects to be shared will include the cross-party dynamics in design and construction that give rise to current challenges, case studies of failures as a result of insufficient consideration, and areas for improvement across the design and construction industry.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will develop a better understanding of the relationship between movement of materials and enclosure integrity.
  2. Participants will gain perspective around what should be considered minimum baseline requirements for performance specifications particular to accommodating movement.
  3. Participants will learn about case studies where enclosure systems were compromised or even failed as a result of limited awareness around building movement.
  4. Participants will see examples that reinforce the connection between effective project collaboration and desired performance of the enclosure.
Level of content:

Jon Porter, P.E. (MN), Associate AIA

Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, Minneapolis MN

Jon Porter is the Director of Building Science at Kraus Anderson Construction. In his role at KA, Jon focuses on building performance, particularly the exterior enclosure and interior finishes.  He serves as a technical resource to project teams in relation to means and methods, constructability, building materials technology, workflow and sequencing, proper installation techniques, and testing and acceptance protocols.  A licensed Professional Engineer in the State on Minnesota, Jon has more than 25 years of design and construction experience, including roles in forensic investigation of design and construction failures and as an owner’s representative.