Submitted by Jim Nisted, Dryvit Systems, Inc. for publication by CSI 11/9/2016
Originally published on Technical Services Information Bureau in December, 2012.
In recent years there has been an increased focus on the use of “air barriers.” particularly for commercial, hotel, institutional and high-rise construction. The heightened awareness of moisture intrusion, mold, and unhealthy indoor air quality on some buildings, has led researchers to re-examine and refine the air movement through exterior walls. Air movement through a building’s exterior walls is a concern as the air can carry moisture which impacts water sensitive materials, structural integrity, indoor air quality (air pollutants and microbial reservoirs) and thermal energy.
Understanding the importance of an air barrier and where it should be located, requires knowledge of the climate, building type, design pressure distribution and the building mechanical systems. There are diagnostic protocols to determine the airflow and pressures on a building.