March 2021 Monthly Meeting

Meeting Title
Longevity of Structures and Functioning Building Enclosures

Live Zoom Webinar. Pre-registration is required at the link below.

Grace Wong, AIA, PE, LEED AP BD+C

One of the many challenges of innovation in building enclosure design is the risk of using technologies and materials that have limited track records. Especially when a premium is paid to attain expected performance benefits and energy savings, failure can be both counter-productive and costly. However, using only time-tested strategies and materials may not be desirable in an environment of rapidly evolving technology and accelerated construction schedules. When extensive testing data is not available, drawing from past experience can be an effective way to address this risk of uncertainty.

Through conducting building forensic investigations in the past two decades, we have observed trends in the causes of building enclosure failures that are common across a large variety of building enclosure systems. We have also noticed new and emerging issues associated with younger, “high-tech,” buildings that were not as prevalent in more traditional construction. This presentation will highlight some of our findings, discuss emerging issues through case studies of forensic investigations, and suggest design strategies to improve the as-installed performance of assemblies with limited track records.

Grace is a registered Architect and Professional Engineer in the State of Washington. She specializes in forensic investigation, assessment, and repair design of existing structures and new construction. She is passionate about finding solutions for the built environment that are practical, economical, and socially responsible. She has expertise in modeling and analyzing the behavior of building structures and enclosure systems and applying data analytics to the building enclosure practice. Grace also takes an active role in the professional community, serving as a board member on the Seattle Building Enclosure Council.