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Building Enclosure Council: The Cavity Wall Balancing Act

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The Cavity Wall Balancing Act: Designing for Watertightness, Airtightness, Thermal Efficiency, and NFPA 285 Code Compliance

The use of open-joint rainscreens, coupled with unconventional wall orientation, can be appealing, but can be a dangerous combination when abating water ingress and compliance with building codes, including combustibility. Balancing the need to keep the building dry, airtight, thermally efficient, and code-compliant can create a cavity wall conundrum. This presentation looks at rainscreen design and standards for managing water in the context of the code require continuous insulation (CI), air barriers, and water-resistive barriers (WRBs), as well as life safety issues related to combustibility.

1.5 LU/HSW AIA credits are available.

To learn more about the Building Enclosure Council, visit architects.org/knowledge-communities/building-enclosure-council.