FORENSICS & TESTING
A typical building enclosure is composed of multiple components (or systems) working together to control indoor air quality, moisture prevention, and to maintain structural integrity. Forensic Investigations provide a comprehensive building envelope analysis to determine the cause AND remedy of system failures for new construction or existing buildings.
Through simulated weather events, a forensic investigation by a Foresight professional can determine the source and path of a leak.
Specialized in exterior design and general construction, Foresight bridges the gap between design and construction with extensive knowledge of windows, air barriers, building facades, and roof systems. Our services span all stages of a project and ensure your design and construction adequately addresses air and moisture concerns.
Resolving failed building components can consume valuable time, energy, and money. Using our “common sense” approach Foresight Project Managers can act as an independent third party technical expert to perform on-site investigations, obtain and sort through evidence, and come to a determination on the cause of the failure. We can work in conjunction with the architects, suppliers, manufacturer, designer, or installer to resolve the issue.
Building systems are becoming more complex in design with new materials and systems designed to interact with each other. The chance of a failed component has increased and it has become essential to conduct field-testing. Functional testing of installed materials and how they transition into each other should be the primary concern for testing.
- Controlled investigations simulate weather condition to determine system failures
- Provide assurance that specified materials will function as designed under maximum loads and conditions
- Ensures difficult details are understood and able to be properly constructed
- Establishes proper installation sequence of materials and ensures the accuracy of the construction schedule
- Helps designers and installers in understanding potential issues and causes of failures from “normal” or traditional installation techniques
Roofing and waterproofing is one of the greatest liabilities to owners, architects, and contractors. Various methods of testing are conducted to confirm integrity of the roof system.
- RCI Registered Roof Observers
- Core testing to determine roof composition, adhesion to supporting structure, asbestos, and detect moisture.
- Roof Uplift (FM 1 -52), ASTM E907
- Bonded Pull Test
- Concrete Deck Moisture Testing
- Infrared Scans with high resolution thermal imagery to detect trapped moisture within a flat roof system and identify areas where wet roof insulation may need to be replaced. Find structural issues caused by improper construction that allow heat loss. (ASTM C 1153)
Building Envelope Testing
Moisture intrusion is traditionally blamed on roof issues, however in many cases the exterior walls and fenestration openings may be the culprit. The building envelope must collect and control all water entering at the joints and direct it to drain properly without causing excessive air leakage. Improperly designed and installed building systems typically are at the cause of these failures.
Testing methods have been developed to ensure the initial product and final construction meet the owner’s requirements, building codes, and construction standards. It is recommended to conduct field-testing as soon as it is practical or immediately after installation to avoid difficult and costly replacement or repairs.
Tests simulate the effects of wind-driven rain on fenestration openings
Fenestration is the design and placement of openings in the building. It is essential that they be weather tight and properly terminate into adjacent systems. Fenestration products are the prime candidate to be the weakest link in a water resistive barrier and they are often the focus of investigation or the cause of potential or actual failure. Fenestration testing can occur at the mock up stage and throughout construction.
- ASTM E 283
- ASTM E 783
- ASTM E 331
- ASTM E 547
- ASTM E 1105
- ASTM E 1186
- ASTM E 2112
Water & Air intrusion testing
Testing methods are performed to evaluate the integrity of installed facade substrates, failures in these systems can range from to leaks, condensation issues, and construction defects. Testing can be used to diagnose and pinpoint the water intrusion or to test the efficiency of a repair.
- EFIS Pull Test (ASTM E2359)
- Water Leakage of Masonry Wall Drainage Systems (ASTM C1715)
- Humidity Data Monitoring
- Water Penetration of Masonry Wall Surfaces (ASTM C 1601, Rilem Water Absorption Tube Test)
AIR BARRIER testing
Air barriers control air leakage into and out of a building envelope. Airflow thru the building envelope can also carry moisture that affects the long-term performance of materials along with the structural integrity. Two additional key ingredients of air barriers are energy efficiency and occupant comfort. Typically, air barrier systems are covered with long-term facade materials. Once covered, accessing the air barrier system is costly and disruptive to building occupant. Making testing and verification of the installed air barrier system essential to ensure it meets the design criteria for continuous air barrier.
- Trained ABAA Auditor
- Adhesion Testing
- ASTM E4541
- Visual Inspections verify:
- Dry film thickness
- Wet film thickness
- Continuous support
- Correct temperature and dryness of substrates
- Maximum UV exposures
- Surfaces primed
- Proper laps
- Proper transition strips
- No fishmouth
- Termination mastic used
- Properly adhered
- Compatible materials used
- Transition at changes in directions and structural support
- Connections between other systems
- Penetration properly sealed