Spray Testing – Performance Testing of Building Enclosure Systems
Including: Doors, Windows, Skylights, Storefront Curtain Wall Systems
Performance Testing to Determine Causation: Did the Assembly Leak? If So, Why, When and How?
Air and/or water leakage at building enclosure systems such as doors, windows, skylights, storefront assemblies, curtain walls, claddings, roofing and flashings are among the most commonly reported conditions investigated by BSC. This type of leakage can result in significant building performance issues, including: moisture-related deterioration, microbial growth, reduced life-expectancy, increased maintenance, and increased energy consumption. Performance testing of building elements, commonly called “spray testing”, will reproduce leakage pathways under controlled conditions.
The leak condition is often attributed to factors such as manufacturing defects, improper handling/damage during shipping, improper construction and/or installation, or a storm event. When air and/or water leakage occurs, the resulting conditions (as well as the underlying cause(s) of the leakage) can be expensive to repair. It is important to properly and adequately assess the cause(s) of the leakage and to answer questions that will impact our Clients’ decisions, such as:
- Did the leakage occur as a result of a storm event?
- Was the product expected to leak based on the performance ratings, often referred to as wind-driven rain (common during high wind events)?
- Did the leakage occur within the manufactured product, or did it occur at the product’s integration into the building enclosure?
- Did the leakage occur in another system, such as a cladding or penetration?
- Was the leakage coincidental and unrelated, such as from a nearby assembly, condensation or a plumbing element?
In-house Engineers and Technicians Perform Spray Testing
While many firms will subcontract performance testing to a third-party firm that employs technicians in the field, BSC maintains the staff and equipment in-house to perform the assessment and testing. All performance testing and assessment is performed in general accordance with accepted engineering practice and standards established by organizations including ASTM International and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA).
BSC Principal, Senior Forensic Investigator, and Board-Certified Diplomate Forensic Engineer, Jeff Gish, P.E., D.F.E., leads BSC’s team of Performance Testing and Assessment Professionals. Jeff Gish, P.E., D.F.E. has personally performed and directed performance testing on building enclosure systems at hospitals, manufacturing facilities, hospitals, laboratories and military installations across the country.
BSC Senior Engineer, Jeff Gish, P.E., D.F.E., performs visual observation of a commercial storefront-style punched window prior to performance testing.