What Did You Miss? What Did Building Owners, Developers, and Contractors Miss?
Richard Scott, AIA – Vice-president, Senior Forensic Architect
Over 15,000 architects attended the recent AIA 2017 National Conference on Architecture (A’17) in Orlando, Florida. What did they learn that you missed? As a speaker and attendee, the following are the top three things I learned at this invigorating Conference:
1. Building forensic sessions were well attended, and still scare architects. And building forensics should still be scaring owners, developers, and contractors. There were over a dozen sessions on building envelope technology, disaster avoidance, and commissioning, some presented by forensic experts. Even the 7 AM forensic sessions, such as my Liberty Building Forensics Group (LBFG) presentation on air barriers, had over 100 attendees even though it was concurrent with 19 other sessions. No one likes a building failure unless of course, it is someone else’s failure. So advice on prevention, based on failure case studies, drew many interested parties, questions, and concerns. Those who did not attend may want to at least obtain the handouts from forensic sessions.
LBFG’s session not only presented the complexity and difficulty of specifying and constructing air barriers but also the checkered and uncoordinated landscape of code and industry standard requirements (the session handout is available on the AIA A’17 app as well as LBFG’s website, www.buildingforensicsgroup.com). LBFG’s business is investigating and litigating building envelope and HVAC failures. The combination of failed envelope air barriers and failed HVAC leads to exponential damages to building facades, structures, finishes, and contents.