ASTM Symposium on Building Walls Subject to Water Intrusion and Accumulations

By: Tony Poli

Many construction-related claims presented to BRG’s Construction practice are cases of water intrusion, involving roof construction, wall and window systems, standard of care of designers and builders, and analyses of the performance of contractors and building materials. Our practice is intimately familiar with the national standards regarding water intrusion issues and we closely monitor the evolution of those standards.

ASTM writes a number of the standards applicable to these kinds of analyses. In spring 2013, ASTM Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings convened a symposium on “Building Walls Subject to Water Intrusion and Accumulations: Lessons from the Past and Recommendations for the Future,” which discussed topics including:

  • Using ASTM Standard 2128-01a, “Standard Guide for Evaluating Water Leakage of Building Walls”
  • Flashing and its Importance in All Buildings, A Contractor’s Perspective
  • Building Leakage from the Owner’s Perspective
  • Architectural Education and Licensing: What Architects Learn About the Building Enclosure
  • The High Costs of Low-Priced Stucco: A Case Study from California
  • Evaluation of the Potential for Corrosion, Mold Growth and Moisture Accumulation within Typical Brick Veneer Wall Assemblies Designed per 2006 International Energy Code in a Mixed Humid Climate
  • Value Analysis from Behind the Curtain – The Illusion and the Reality of Value Analysis and Building Enclosures

It is important to monitor the development of these types of standards. We are often presented with issues relating to the standards of care of building design professionals and contractors, and standards such as those issued by ASTM evolve based on new technology and experience. We are often asked to evaluate situations that might not meet current water intrusion standards, but which may well have met those in effect at the time of construction. Also, various standards may conflict. Industries that attempt to define the “state of the art” issue directives and manufacturer’s instructions that in some cases conflict with existing municipal codes and requirements.

In future posts, we will address some specific issues in this area and their effect on the evolving standards of care for facility designers and constructors.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of Berkeley Research Group, LLC.