Building Envelope & HVAC Interaction
in Warm, Humid Zones
By George H. DuBose, CGC; Richard Scott, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP; and Donald B. Snell, P.E., Cert. Mech. Contractor, CIEC
Certain faulty beliefs surrounding building performance in warm, humid zones continue to persist in the design and construction industry – and the interaction between building envelopes and HVAC systems is no exception.
Unfortunately, the fact that many architects and engineers rely on such myths as gospel truth during building design has inevitably led to building failures that are often catastrophic in scope.
Below is one prevalent myth our experts at Liberty Building Forensics Group (LBFG) have encountered through their extensive work resolving mold and moisture problems in hotels and resorts. The myth is followed by an explanation of why it is false, as well as a first-hand case study supporting this position.
Myth: A building envelope can perform effectively on its own without any help from the HVAC system.