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Building Enclosure Consulting & Commissioning

Full service consulting to preserve and improve your property investments
Scope of Services

We provide the specialized knowledge needed for the effective integration and continuity of air, water, and thermal barriers for below and above-grade structures, including exterior cladding systems, fenestration, and roofing systems

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    The building enclosure is a complex system consisting of a variety of materials and assemblies. As it is with most complex systems, the possibility of failure is likely. This may explain why approximately 80% of the litigation support we provide involves the investigation of problems related to the building enclosure. At CBGA, we can significantly reduce the primary sources of these failures through the Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx) process.

    Our ability to troubleshoot highly complex cladding systems and waterproofing issues within this commissioning process is informed by years of investigating product, design and workmanship defects, combined with industry knowledge and expertise established by our forensic consulting work in the legal arena.

    Our commissioning work follows a formal review process to support the architect's design criteria and concepts; to verify conformance with local building codes; to evaluate details for compliance with generally accepted local and national industry standards; to adhere to the Owner's performance requirements, and to address issues related to constructability.

    Because the enclosure commissioning process focuses on the design and construction of materials, systems, and assemblies that comprise this complex system, it is recommended that the BECx process begin as early as pre-design and run parallel to project delivery process, along with site observations and testing performed periodically throughout the installation of the enclosure subsystems and components.

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    Building enclosure (or building envelope) systems consist of a complex combination of materials and assemblies provided by multiple manufacturers, typically installed by several different trade contractors. The complexity of these systems and system integration, along with accelerated design and construction schedules, mindfulness of budgets, and increasing demand for visually unique building exteriors, creates demand for experienced enclosure consultants to provide specialized guidance to project teams.

    At CBGA, we offer technical consulting services specific to the building enclosure that can improve the performance, safety and efficiency of a building; reduce risks inherent with new construction; correct issues on existing facilities related to air and water leakage; and ensure that the project meets the quality requirements outlined by the owner.

    As a member of a project team for new construction, we can offer a variety of insights and services that will help the team achieve a number of important objectives:

    • Avoid design problems prior to construction.
    • Propose the most appropriate selection of materials.
    • Ensure unified and continuous integration of building enclosure systems.
    • Synchronize project design and construction phase documents.
    • Provide support for construction coordination of envelope trades.
    • Minimize construction delays due to unanticipated issues.
    • Assist with required functional performance testing for envelope systems and mock-ups.
    • Assist in resolving field condition issues during construction.
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    CBG&A's skilled professionals are adept at surveying and assessing each of building enclosure components and systems, to include all roofing and waterproofing, wall claddings, fenestrations, and accessory flashings. Building owners that survey their asset inventories regularly spend less time and money repairing them. Periodic surveys are the secret to early detection and offer our clients with less expensive remediation options for deteriorating conditions when discovered.

    Our review and assessment of each system can be incorporated into a comprehensive report of findings that includes photo-documentation of representative conditions and areas of deficiency and an estimate of the remaining useful service life for each system observed. In addition to conducting detailed building envelope surveys, CBGA can also provide recommendations on cost-effective options for repairs.

    Building enclosure surveys are essential planning and budgeting tools for all building owners. Our life cycle cost analysis (life expectancy modeling before and after repairs) along with budget costs for repair or replacement enables us to analyze each situation and assist our clients in making the best decisions.

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    The purpose of an infrared inspection of a building envelope is to locate and document abnormal patterns of infrared radiation from the building envelope (exceptions) that can be potential problems for the end user.

    Conductive exceptions are usually caused by insufficient, improperly installed, damaged or water-saturated insulation and/or structural components. Convective exceptions are usually caused by cracks and holes that permit the uncontrolled movement of air across the building envelope.

    Because infrared inspections are nondestructive, there is no need to interrupt the normal activities occurring in your building. Depending upon the purpose of the infrared survey and the existing conditions, the survey may be performed from the interior and/or the exterior of the building. The time of day and the site conditions may also vary depending on the purpose of the survey.

    At CBGA, our experienced certified thermographers can provide qualitative infrared inspections of the building enclosure to locate and document the following conditions:

    • Air infiltration and air exfiltration
    • Moisture laden insulation
    • Heating and cooling problems
    • Insulation voids
    • Moisture penetration into the wall assemblies
    • Masonry wall reinforcing defects
    • Construction faults in the cladding systems
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    Windows and glazing systems are a prominent feature in the architectural design of any building, but glazing is about more than just design. Glazing has a direct impact on the thermal performance of a building. It gives the windows a greater degree of resistance to condensation. It also offers a great degree of moisture protection and helps prevent water from penetrating to the interior. But to achieve the maximum benefit, windows and glazing systems must be designed and installed correctly.

    CBGA has been assisting architects, engineers, contractors and building owners make decisions about windows and glazing for new construction, window replacement or refurbishment for over 30+ years. We can calculate your site-specific design wind loads, evaluate the safety and code requirements, research the available product approvals, prepare technical specifications, assist in the detailing within each wall assembly, and address any issues related to constructability.

    We also specialize in the review of existing fenestration openings. Allow our professional staff to inspect your existing windows and glazing systems, perform any diagnostic water testing as needed, identify sources of failures or deficiencies, and provide recommendations for repair.

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    CBGA provides cement plaster (stucco) consulting services for both commercial and residential buildings. Our team of professionals have over 30+ years of experience designing, specifying, investigating, teaching and testifying on all facets of stucco and EIFS applications.

    We frequently perform existing condition surveys of the building enclosure for evidence of efflorescence, staining, cracking, physical damage, irregularities and code deficiencies in stucco and EIFS cladding systems. We also perform detailed site inspections of stucco applications for compliance with manufacturer and/or industry standard installation details. When appropriate, we will perform destructive testing to verify application of the stucco, lathing, accessories, and weather-resistive barriers, including moisture probing to measure moisture content in the wood sheathing or substrates.

    Our full scope of stucco consulting services include:

    • Site inspections of exterior lath and plaster
    • Inspections of EIFS (Exterior Insulation Foam System)
    • Building code analysis
    • Water intrusion and diagnostic testing
    • Cracking analysis
    • Destructive testing and sampling
    • ASTM C1860 bond strength testing
    • Repair recommendations
    • Renovation/repair documents and detailing
    • Forensic investigations and litigation support
    • Expert trial witness/testimony

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