Feature Article

The Hidden Science of High-Performance Building Assemblies

Any four walls and a roof make an enclosure, but for efficiency, comfort, and durability, those elements have to be meticulously designed and installed.

October 26, 2012

For children, the delicate, fern-like patterns left by Jack Frost on the inside of a windowpane can be magical. But for the owners of a brand new commercial building in the Midwestern U.S., they were more like a nightmare.

“There were 71 punched window openings, all of which had condensation on the inside that turned to frost in the winter,” explained a consulting architect who was hired to diagnose the problem and suggest a solution. “They tried lowering the interior relative humidity to get the condensation to stop. That didn’t work.”