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High Performance Building Envelope

MSC Program Manager:Ned Shepherd
MSC Technical Lead / Co-Chair:Ned Shepherd
HQ USACE Proponent:Zenovia Wilcox
ERDC Liaison:Alexander Zhivov

About High Performance Building Envelope

Welcome to the High Performance Building Envelope Center of Expertise Sustainability (HPBE-CXS) webpage. The HPBE-CXS serves to enhance the knowledge base of the science, theory and application of air barriers and enhanced building envelopes throughout USACE. The Center is available to support customers through all phases of design and construction of building envelopes and air barriers and to help remediate envelope and air barrier failures. Use of common practices can help achieve High Performance Building Envelope Goals:

Airtightness: Continuous air barriers control the movement of air, temperature, and moisture across the building assembly.

Insulation: Continuous insulation thermally isolates the envelope and prevents condensation within the building envelope assembly.

Thermal Breaks: Thermal bridges that penetrate insulation layers compromise the thermal efficiency of a building. Thermal bridges can cause condensation within the building envelope resulting in mold or deterioration.

Water-resistant barriers: The building’s water resistant barrier must be carefully designed to interface with the envelopes vapor retarder and air barrier. It is extremely critical to design the assembly to facilitate drying and avoid trapping moisture and condensation.

The team is actively engaged in providing training USACE wide through webinars and PROSPECT classes and is available to help resolve air barrier and building envelope design and installation issues as they arise. Look around our site to find information about ongoing research, best practices, design tools, policy & guidance, articles & case studies, training current and completed projects. If you have content you think would be valuable to add please share it with Jeanette Fiess by sending her an e-mail at HPBE@usace.army.mil.

Research & Services

Team members of the HPBE-CXS are available to provide support to Project Delivery Teams (PDT) on a reimbursable basis. Support to PDTs includes but is not limited to:

Technical consultation on projects (Example: Reviewing air barrier and building envelope construction details) Supporting tasks (Example: Assist with specification development) Design as PDT members (Example: Serve as designer of record) Provide training to PDT members (Example: Conduct webinar on specific topic) Investigations of building envelope construction defects and potential corrections. Web based resources: Air Barrier Association of America Building Envelope Design Guide Integrity Testing for Membranes AISC Designing for Sustainability "Thermal Bridging Solutions: Minimizing Structural Steel's Impact on Building Envelope Energy Transfer" Passipedia - Passive House Resource

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