Forensic Investigations

Indoor Pool Building

BSC investigated a 5 year old wood-frame indoor pool building in Climate Zone 6A. This work was prompted by reports of staining of the exterior siding; disassembly of the walls revealed substantial rot of the sheathing and the wood framing. BSC was asked to determine the cause of the damage, and provide recommendations for build-back in a moisture-safe manner. Exterior infrared inspection revealed warmer areas surrounding the window, especially at the sill/corner area. The wall was disassembled, revealing substantial decay of the OSB wall sheathing and framing (outboard side).

Retirement Community

Several buildings at this Retirement Community in New England have been experiencing ice damming issues. BSC was retained to investigate the causes of the ice damming and to develop recommendations to remediate the problems. Through the site investigation, BSC determined that the most likely causes of the ice damming problems identified were heat loss into the attic from air leakage through penetrations in the ceiling plane, air leakage from mechanical ductwork, and conductive losses from poorly or un-insulated ducts. The problem was exacerbated from inadequate attic ventilation.

U.S. Courthouse

BSC was retained by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to review as-built conditions and assess the hygrothermal performance of the precast exterior assembly for this 260,000 sq. ft. courthouse following several instances of moisture problems during the first winter. The WUFI hygrothermal computer simulation model was used to assess condensation potential of the as-built enclosure assemblies.

State Park Administration Building

BSC was retained to evaluate the ice damming issues at an administration building located in one of the parks in upstate New York. As part of this evaluation, the design and construction of the enclosure were reviewed along with the existing building conditions. In the review of the building it was determined that the ice damming occurs because of significant heat loss from the occupied and conditioned spaces coupled with a lack of attic/roof ventilation.

Pool and Recreation Facility

BSC investigated the cause of efflorescence staining at a recently-reclad pool and recreation building in upstate New York. This efflorescence staining was occurring at the top of the exterior brick veneer, during the first winter after the completion of the project. Efflorescence is caused by liquid water transport of dissolved salts through porous materials, followed by evaporation and recrystalization of the salt, resulting in the visible staining.

Hospital Building

Since opening in 2003, this medical facility had experienced water intrusion problems. In 2008, when evidence of mold at the base of the drywall and rust within the steel framed wall was observed along some exterior walls, BSC was retained to do a thorough analysis of the enclosure and to identify not only the reason for the current problems but to point out other potential problems as well. Using observations provided by the client, review of construction drawings, and on-site analysis, BSC identified multiple pathways for water intrusion into facility.

Health Care Center

BSC performed a field investigation on moisture problems at a one-story, steel-stud building with EIFS walls, and soffit/fascia covered by a standing seam roof system. In cold weather, icicles were forming at cracks in the soffit and there were water stains on the exterior of the windows just below the soffit. It was observed that the space within the soffit was conditioned volume that was directly connected to the interior and, as is typical of a medical building, it was pressurized. This situation would result in substantial exfiltration through any air barrier gaps.

Country Club

The Country Club is a circa 1920 mass masonry eight-story building, with exterior walls composed of either brick cladding or stucco rendering over brick, with a hollow terra cotta block backup wall. BSC investigated the blistering of an elastomeric coating which was recently applied to the existing stucco, in an effort to address bulk water intrusion issues. The failure of the elastomeric coating was unexpected, given that it is designed to allow drying ("breathe"), and permit the escape of water.

Airport Facilities

Beginning in 2010 and continuing through the end of 2015, BSC was retained to assess multiple airport facilities located throughout the country. The assessed facilities typically included an air traffic control tower and its associated base building. While many of the control towers and base buildings had active enclosure problems, the overall goal of the assessments was to provide an overall facility review concentrating on water leakage, condensation, and durability issues. Any active enclosure problems were investigated as part of the assessment.