A building enclosure has many different materials marrying together to provide continuity of the control layers and help the enclosure achieve its best performance. Without successful marriages between different materials, the enclosure will not be able to perform at its best. Connections between different materials are critical to maintain continuity of the control layers such as the waterproofing, air barrier and vapour barriers. A building enclosure has many different transitions were different membranes are required to maintain these control layers, such as roof to wall transitions, window to walls, wall penetrations, and exterior wall to foundations wall for example. Marrying incompatible membranes together can have adverse effects on the air barrier and other control layers, leading to failure of the building enclosure assemblies. This article will discuss various types of transitions where membrane compatibility is a consideration to maintain continuity of the building enclosure, the difference between chemical compatibility and performance compatibility of membranes, issues of incompatibility of membranes experienced in the field, and concluding with possible solutions to reduce the risk of failures related to incompatibility of membranes.
- Why membrane compatibility is important.
- Difference between chemical and performance compatibility.
- Things to avoid and solutions for best results.
Jamie Murphy, RET, P.L.(Eng), CCCA, LEED® AP
Principal – Building Science and Restoration
Jamie leads the evaluation and restoration of existing structures, as well as building envelope design, construction review and interface for a variety of new structures. He also specializes in capital replacement studies and other technical audits, complemented by valuable experience in Edmonton’s competitive multifamily market.
Jamie received his diploma in Civil Engineering Technology and his certificate in Carpentry (Red Seal) at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. He has completed numerous programs through Construction Specifications Canada, Passive House, as well as a certificate in Business Management Development from the University of Alberta.
Jamie is currently a director with CSC Edmonton Chapter and Alberta Building Envelope Council North Chapter. He is an active member on the ABEC magazine committee and also educates construction industry-related professionals on the CSC Level 1 Principles of Construction Documents.
Jamie’s background and experience makes him a valuable leader in RJC Edmonton’s Building Science and Restoration team. His team appreciates his mentoring abilities, as well as the synergy he brings to owners and property managers.
His contributions include the successful integration and implementation of structural restoration and building science services for existing and new projects. Jamie also supports clients during mediation and arbitration sessions meant to settle construction disputes.