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Building Envelope Can Cover Existing Flaws

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Building envelope upgrades can lead to game-changing improvements in a facility’s energy efficiency.

In a feature at Facility Executive, Daniel Shields – the Vice President of Planning and Development for IWR North America — discussed a number of important building envelop issues and strategies.

A key is that a new envelop can cover existing flaws. Exterior wall systems, he writes, often are made of materials (such as stone, wood, metal and fabric) that “don’t always age gracefully.” Creating a façade that covers these elements can compensate and greatly increase efficiency.

Window systems are another vital issue. Window systems installed 20 or 30 years ago, he points out, probably don’t meet current building codes. Bringing them into compliance can be another huge energy saver.

The key, Shields writes, is that one size does not fit all:

A building enclosure retrofit is an efficient solution to improve energy performance and keep a building operational without the expenditures of complete demolition or reconstruction. It’s important to understand that the logistics and structural design are different from project to project.

Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, broke ground this week on its first new residence hall in more than 40 years. The 40,500 square-foot facility will house 120 students, according to American School & University. The story on the facility, which is slated to be completed next year, says that it will have a high performance envelope that will help it achieve LEED certification.

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