Future Ready Design Considerations for Building Enclosure Design

Track 1: Air Barriers

Wednesday, May 11, 3:30pm – 4:30pm

In an ever-changing climate, with advances in materials and requirements for better long term durability and resiliency, enclosures are being asked to sustain more over the long term. From storm risk, to flooding and increased heat and propensity to radiation, the detailing of systems requires additional thought process. Using building science, whole building system knowledge, and in depth experience in detailing of systems, the speakers will use project examples of how we can better prepare our building enclosures to be future ready. They will discuss simple solutions that can be implemented, as well as methodologies of designing details. They will provide examples from numerous climate zones within the US, covering sectors such as office, mixed-use, specialty buildings, healthcare, science and technology and sport facilities. They will offer up new ways to look at data included in hygrothermal and thermal modelling of enclosures. They will discuss changes needed within the building code and the importance of climate considerations in the code.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Be able to better assess the climate considerations for your building enclosure design.
  2. Comprehend where additional enclosure detailing and component considerations should be implemented.
  3. Evaluate what additional building science models may be prudent.
  4. Evaluate how climate change may impact construction schedules and risk for heightened built in moisture in some climate zones.
Level of content:

Paul Totten, P.E., LEED AP

WSP, Arlington, VA

Paul E. Totten is a Vice President at WSP and leads the Building Enclosures Division. He has over 22 years of experience in the fields of structural engineering, building enclosure design and commissioning, and building science. He has concentrated his expertise on the evaluation and analysis of heat, air, and moisture transfer, and the cumulative effect these elements have on building components and building operation. He is past co-chair of the Washington, DC AIA/NIBS Building Enclosure Council, a member of NIBS, ASHRAE, and USGBC and was a committee member of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Guideline 3 – Exterior Enclosure Technical Requirements for the Commissioning Process. He is the past chair for NIBS Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) Education committee. He is a member of the USGBC EA TAG.  He leads the building science Advanced Enclosure Design course taught in the Master of Science in Sustainable Design program at The Catholic University of America’s School of Architecture and Planning.

Tara Olson

WSP, Arlington, VA

Tara Olson is a building enclosure consultant for WSP USA. Since joining WSP in 2018, she has been involved in a wide variety of projects including building enclosure condition assessments, healthcare, commercial office, education and mixed-use projects. She currently serves as a project manager for building enclosure consulting and commissioning projects. Her involvement in projects revolves heavily around building science and enclosure consulting spanning all aspects of the building’s lifespan. Tara holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The George Washington University.