Building Enclosure – This describes the components and systems of any building that physically separates the exterior from the interior environment, also referred to as the building envelope or “skin”, and summarized below:
- Base floor systems including slabs, decks, exposed corridors and stairs
- Foundation wall systems
- Above grade wall systems including windows (fenestration) and doors
- Roof systems
The exterior enclosure systems perform numerous symbiotic functions including:
- Carry structural loads
- Manage water and moisture vapor
- Control air leakage
- Thermal barrier
- Address fire resistance
- Private light and ventilation
Because of the inherent complexity of the exterior systems, not the least of which includes significant new requirements, experienced and quality oriented Architects, Owners, Developers, and Contractors often engage knowledgeable Consultant firms that specialize in building exteriors.
Quality Assurance – Quality assurance can be defined simply as making sure the quality of construction is what it should be to provide confidence that the installations will perform satisfactorily. Quality assurance involves continued evaluation of planning, design, development of plans and specifications, awarding of contracts, construction, and maintenance, and the interaction of these activities.
Quality control is the responsibility of the contractor while quality assurance involves an independent third-party firm at the service of the owner-developer.
Properly designed and installed air barriers significantly reduce energy waste and provides a barrier to moisture and vapor intrusion as well as air-borne contaminants. The most recent codes require air barriers that meet certain standards in most locations. These air barriers should be installed by qualified-certified contractors and the installations confirmed by certified auditors. Lohse2 can provide all your required air-barrier needs.
Independent Third-Party Inspections – Independent third party inspections benefit the owner, developer, architect, general contractor, and the installer or subcontractor and help reduce construction call backs due to moisture infiltration. Minimizing call backs to fix mistakes, avoiding damage to professional credibility, and reducing exposure and liability concerns is the principle value. Most importantly, construction work is performed “differently” when subject to monitoring and testing.
Peer Review – As an Architect, you should be looking to reduce the potential for problems and failures due to oversights in schematic design and design development through the construction document phases. Performing a peer review can save lots of time and money compared to the potential cost you could be facing should a lawsuit occur due to questionable design. LOhSE2’s staff can review your project’s building plans at any phase, providing you with in-depth written analysis, research data and sketches for easy reference. Our main focus is on the building envelope and keeping water out. We will verify that materials and building components are acceptable and compatible to meet your goals. Our staff will help with system selection and also provide input or specify a solution when problems are found in a report with an itemized list of comments and recommendations.
Construction Administration – Normally these services are provided by the Architect / Designer-of Record, LOhSE2 is well-suited to provide this service for the building envelope systems portions of the project. A brief description is below:
CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION SERVICES
Why a Client May Need These Services
- To ensure construction conforms to construction documents
- To support the design intent
- To lessen project risks
- To identify and resolve construction problems early
- To supplement the client’s construction knowledge
Knowledge and Skills Required
- Substantial design and construction experience
- Understanding of construction techniques and methods
- Ability to understand and interpret the design intent
- Understanding of building codes and standards
- Ability to communicate, negotiate, and resolve disputes
- Keen observational skills
- Ability to document observations and decisions
- Ability to organize and manage project records
Representative Process Tasks
- Establish lines of communication
- Establish record-keeping system
- Respond to contractor’s requests for information
- Track changes in construction documents
- Review contractor’s requests for payment
- Review shop drawings and product information
- Prepare field reports and records
- Supervise completion and closeout
Property Condition Assessments – When an evaluation or appraisal as to the soundness or current shape of the property is required (related to due diligence), LOhSE2 can conduct the required walk-through survey of the property and inspect every area of the property then provide the proper documentation of the findings. Our team has many years of experience as well as multiple certifications to ensure a high level of service. Few firms that perform general property condition assessments have the specialized building enclosure experience of LOhSE2.
Building Failures – LOhSE2 has decades of experience investigating and identifying building failures which puts us in a position to greatly benefit our clients. We know what problems are occurring along with the causes so we can work together, proactively to avoid the failures in the first place. For some examples see the list below:
- Design mistakes
- Sequencing missteps
- Human errors
- Reliance on non-professionals
- Microclimate oversights
- Cutting corners
- Inadequate technical expertise
- Untested materials/ systems
- Lack of material knowledge
- Accelerated corrosion
- Inadequate research
- Workmanship incompetence
- Obsolete methodology
- Untimely document management
- Insufficient detailing
- Leaving too much to interpretation
- Unsatisfactory installation
- Poor planning
- “Value” engineering
- Specifying the wrong material
Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx) – Building envelope commissioning is what we do every day. LOhSE2’s primary focus is the building envelope; from roofing, flashings, waterproofing, curtain walls, cladding, fenestrations, plaza elements, to the foundation. The most common ways for buildings to fail is via the exterior envelope. Water infiltration is the greatest risk you have during the life-cycle of your project.
We can help insure that your building performs to its best ability by making sure everything works together. Whether your goal is moisture control, efficiency, sustainability, or all of the above LOhSE2 can help you achieve them.