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Designing and Maintianing the High Performance Green Building Series

Designing Building Envelopes to Control Air and Moisture in High Performance Green Buildings

Course Dates and online registration are available at the bottom of this page.

Course Description

Course provides a balance of lecture, live model demonstrations and class exercises so students will understand the characteristics of a building envelope that effectively control heat and moisture transport (including the four types of water movement – bulk, capillary, vapor diffusion, and air transport) in hot and humid climates. The relevance of material properties to energy efficiency, moisture accumulation, and durability, and their relative locations within the envelope assemblies will be presented.

Course Learning Objectives:

Primary objective is for student to be able to design or identify building envelopes in hot and humid climate that will minimize moisture and heat movement into building using durable materials.
Objectives; Each student will be able to:

    • Identify building envelope construction that will prohibit bulk intrusion of water.
    • Identify building envelope construction that resists excessive diffusion of moisture vapor.
    • Identify building envelope construction that prohibits capillary intrusion of water.
    • Identify building envelope construction that resists air transport of water vapor.
    • Identify building envelope construction that minimizes energy transfer across envelope.
    • Identify three practices that will minimize potential for mold growth.
    • Describe benefits and limitations building pressurization has in controlling moisture.
    • Describe an effective strategy to control indoor relative humidity during unoccupied periods that requires minimal energy use.

    Course Outline

    • Introduction
      • Defining the Building Envelope
      • The Importance of Building Airtightness
      • Student Exercise Locating Air and Thermal Barrier Breaches
      • Case Study: Test Methods Used to Evaluate An Envelope Tightness Retrofit
             During the case study students will be asked to do the following exercises:
             Determine the type of ceiling space configuration and need for improvement
             Determine best way to achieve positive pressure in this school
      • Live Air Demonstration of Air Flow and Pressure Effects
      • Understanding the Relationship Between Moisture and Mold Growth
        • Five Conditions Necessary for Mold Growth 
        • Understanding RH, Water Activity and Moisture Content
        • Winter and Summer Dynamics of Mold
      • Moisture Dynamics -Four Methods of Moisture Transport
      • How to Achieve Dry Walls
        • Site Drainage
        • Envelope Drainage Planes
        • A Good Wall Design for Hot and Humid Climates
      • Live model demonstration of HOTEL water vapor diffusion through wall
      • Short Quiz
      • Keeping Rain Water Out of Buildings (60 min.)
        • Common Causes for Water Intrusion Into Brick Veneer and Block Walls (10 min.)
        • Improved Soffit Design to Minimize Windblown Rain Into Attic (10 min.)
        • Improved Slab Design to Minimize Rain Intrusion Into Buildings (5 min.)
        • Correct Flashing Methods (15 min.)
        • Wall Design Evaluation Exercise (20 min.)
          This exercise allows students to apply what they have learned and provide
          an opportunity to review material and answer questions.
      • Weather Resistant Barriers 
      • Sealing Joints Between First and Second Floors
      • Insulation
      • Case Studies: Highlighting common problems resulting in damage 
      • Achieving Energy Efficient Moisture Control During Unoccupied Periods
        • Thermal Capacity
        • Moisture Capacity
        • Impact of Moisture and Thermal Capacity on Relative Humidity
        • Demonstration of Moisture Capacity, Building Tightness, and Permeability
      • Course Overview Questions and Answers 

    Qualifications of Instructors

    James B. Cummings is a Program Director at FSEC where he has been principal investigator for 24 research projects over 18 years. He has conducted field research in more than 250 homes and 100 commercial buildings, identifying air flow, pressure differential, HVAC, and moisture control failures. He has done extensive training in building science, combining his considerable diagnostic field experience into his training experience. Mr. Cummings holds an MS degree in Applied Solar Energy.

    Neil Moyer is a Principal Research Engineer at FSEC and a nationally recognized expert in the field of building science and building air flow diagnostics. He brings an entertaining style to his training, along with the unparalleled field experience of testing 1000s of homes and 100s of commercial buildings. He knows of what he speaks. He is recognized for many innovative building science diagnostic test procedures widely used across the country. He has conducted training for many utilities, the Energy Efficient Building Association (EEBA) and Affordable Comfort conferences. Mr. Moyer has a BS in Electrical Engineering.

    Chuck Withers is a Senior Research Analyst at FSEC and a hands-on building scientist and accomplished researcher (18 published papers). He has performed field research in more than 300 buildings. He is fluent in the language of building diagnostics – blower doors, duct testers, pressure mapping, and air flow verification – because he has performed a full range of tests on a wide range of buildings. He has seen how buildings fail and knows how to communicate that knowledge. He has presented at more than 40 conferences, workshops, and courses, including Florida Energy Gauge, duct leak test method, IAQ Diagnostics, and commercial buildings uncontrolled air flow courses. He has a BS degree in Secondary Education Physics.

    Date Location Price  

    There are no upcoming offerings of this course.

    Register by phone by calling (321) 638-1422 and giving your credit card information.

    Note: All payments are fully refundable if cancellation is received at least 7 business days before the class begins. FSEC reserves the right to cancel any course in the event of insufficient pre registration. In that event, all payments are fully refundable.