Committee of Corporate Architects and Facility Management

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The AIA Corporate Architects and Facility Management (CAFM) Knowledge Community consist of architects working within and for businesses and corporations. Our mission is to share expertise in the strategic, tactical, and operational activities of real property and facilities management in order to deliver value to the owners we represent. 

COVID-19 Resources

Strategies for Safer Offices
This report includes strategies for break rooms, elevators, entrances, HVAC, lobbies, offices, restrooms, and waiting areas.  Download >

Re-occupancy Assessment Tool
The goal of this assessment tool is to promote best practices that protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public while creating opportunities for businesses, schools, restaurants, and other non-essential facilities to provide services. Download >

  • 1.  Building Enclosure Failures

    Posted 04-06-2020 10:59 PM
    I am retired from the business of designing buildings and providing the other common Architecture services.  I am however, regularly asked to provide opinions on issues of a building's design, construction, installed materials, operation, and existing conditions, which occasionally leads to testifying for a deposition or trial.  Clients are Attorneys , insurance adjusters, building owners, contractors, product manufacturers, and Architects.

    The one thing that is the most common issue with building failures, is water penetration to the building interior. It is seen by the tenants and visitors to the building. This water penetration will likely have a variety of sources and causes.  Water intrusion is a nuisance and a potential danger, it can cause damage to the building's structure, finishes, and furnishings, and reduce the indoor air quality, as well as cause slip and fall, and personal injury.  It will take some time and may cost a lot of money to correct the cause of the water penetration(s).  There are a wide variety of causes and reasons water is able to move through the exterior walls, windows, doors, and the roof systems to the building interior.   

    Commissioning the building envelope is a big step in the right direction to achieve high performance buildings.  It is also the primary responsibility of the building owner/developer.  They have to want it for it to be done.  The design Architect, engineers, and builder can also do a lot to achieve high performance, energy and maintenance efficient, long lasting buildings.  Once the building is in the construction phase, performance verification inspections and TESTING is required.

    Beyond water penetration of the building envelope, there are the concerns for energy use and waste, and occupant comfort, and safety.  Those concerns should also be dealt with by the discussion items in the last paragraph above.

    George Blackburn, AIA
    Blackburn Architecture
    Carrollton, Texas
    AIA Conference on Architecture June 22-25 Chicago