The term “building envelope” has become really popular in the recent years, but a lot of people don’t really know what it actually means and encompasses. You can guess it has something to do with protection and insulation, but what is it exactly and what does it consist of?
It is definitely important for energy saving as well as for building security, but also for protecting your home from the elements. So in that respect, this aspect is of global importance as it affects the overall energy efficiency and levels of pollution, just as it is obviously of personal importance for you and your family. Making sure that your building envelope is sound is, then, paramount for you building’s safety and efficiency.
Let us figure out what it is exactly, what aspects it comprises and what are its benefits.
What Is Building Envelope?
This expression basically denotes any structure that separates the indoor of a building which is suitably conditioned, from the unconditioned outdoors and which controls the air, water and going in or out of the building.
Building envelop actually encompasses all the roofs, walls, doors, windows, and insulation, but decorative features usually don’t count as a part of it. The purpose of the building envelope is to control the interior conditions, more precisely, temperature, air pressure, and moisture.
So basically, its main task is to handle the elements and provide you with a proper shelter and protection. We can differentiate between two types of the building elements, the so called tight, which exercises more control over the above mentioned conditions, and the so called loose building envelope which is less efficient in that matter.
Benefits of a Tight Building Envelope
As already mentioned, this type of building envelope has more control over the inflow and outflow of air, water, and heat. In this way, it can seriously help you increase the energy efficiency since it will help you preserve the desired temperature, be it cooling or heating, so you won’t have to use that much energy to achieve the desired effect. This will not only save the energy, but also reduce your heating/cooling costs.
The simplest way this can be done by improving your windows and façade insulation, as experts like http://www.xperagroup.com/ claim.
Another important aspect of the building envelope is water protection. This can be achieved by improving your roof and adding additional protection, as well as by covering the exterior parts with a waterproof sealing and coating. This should help prevent the water from protruding in the interior of the building and protect you from substantial rains or snow melting. This will help you prevent all the potential leaks which can further cause serious damage.
The major problem with leaks is that they are often inconspicuous until it’s too late and the damage is already done. So this way this type of prevention and protection is essential, again helping you to save money you’d probably have to spend on expensive repairs.
Finally, caulking the gaps in the exterior through which water and air can come in will contribute to both of these causes, helping you to maintain the ideal temperature in any weather condition with significantly less energy, and protecting you from any type of water intrusion.
Things to Pay Attention To
Tight building envelope does provide a better protection and enables you to have more control over the indoor conditions, yet it may contribute to the mold development, due to reduced natural ventilation. This is something you should be aware of when choosing the type of building envelope.
If you still prefer the tight one in spite of this, make sure you hire professionals to see to this potential problem. The best way, of course, is to work on prevention as soon as possible, but in case you’ve already got a tighter building envelope, it is never late to find someone to clean the building from the potential mold.
The building envelope is definitely an important factor in today’s quality of living, as a proper shelter has always been an essential part in human survival. Now you can choose if you prefer to keep up with the elements without that much conditioning, or, considering more and more frequent weather whims, you’d rather be well protected from them and create your own microclimate.