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Building Science Experts' Session

November 6-7, 2017
Westford Regency
Westford, MA


Day One - Stucco

We thought we had seen it all 20 years ago with synthetic stucco - exterior insulation finish systems (EIFS) and the rotting of Vancouver, BC due to the hard coat stucco condo crisis. Then we had manufactured stone veneer (“cultured stone”) aka “lumpy stucco” problems. We knew what the issues were…face-sealing does not work… So what is going on now? We have billions of dollars (yes that is not a typo, not millions) worth of stucco litigation happening from Florida to Pennsylvania…from Minneapolis to Dallas and Houston. Did we get the issues wrong 20 years ago? Why now? What is going on? Well, we got some of the issues “right”…but not all of them. Apparently energy flow matters more than folks want to admit. And OSB is not plywood…who knew? And house wraps are different than building paper. Oh yeah, not all house wraps are the same and not all building papers are the same. Yes, the issues in Florida are different than in Pennsylvania….but not that much…and the solutions are actually similar. The patterns of industry response are similar to the EIFS days….denial, homeowner maintenance, poor workmanship, lousy window manufacturers, ah, the stucco is not thick enough, too many cracks…you should have painted more often….spend a day with Dr. Joe as he relives the good old days of EIFS and brings you up to speed on today’s stucco nightmare. How to avoid the problems and how to fix them and how we got em...

Day Two - Roofs

Who would have thought that venting roofs in Florida and Texas would lead to condensation on duct work? OK, most of you knew that. But who would have thought that venting roofs in Vancouver would lead to mold on sheathing? Not all folks understand that venting roofs works best in poorly insulated assemblies. As roof assembly thermal performance has increased venting problems have also increased. Ah, we always knew that. Not really. We knew that we needed to make the attic ceilings airtight and we figured that out. But it sure has gotten weird when the moisture comes in with the outside air and causes problems in vented roofs in both cold climates and hot humid climates. So do we not vent them? Yup. But the approaches are now way different than the old spray foam and call it a day…days… We now have vapor diffusion venting rather than air flow venting. We have problems with open cell low density spray foam that we didn’t have back in the day….Spend a day with Dr. Joe as he goes through the history of roof venting bringing you up to speed on the problems in high performance roofs in cold climates and high performance roofs in hot climates. How to avoid the problems and how to fix them and how we got em...

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