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STAFF MEMBERS TO PRESENT AT ABAA CONFERENCE

Andrew Wagner, PE, Senior Engineer and Division Manager of WDP's Charlottesville office, will present "Selection of Air Barrier Membranes - What to Consider" at the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) Conference in Norfolk, Virginia, on March 27th.  Air barrier membranes have become a common component in modern construction.  However, there are a variety of options, differing in method of installation as well as performance properties.  This presentation focuses on some of the selection criteria that should be considered when determining which air barrier membrane should be used for a project, focusing on installation methods and basic properties.  Additionally, the presentation will review several "rules of thumb," such as minimum mil thickness, vapor retarder location, and material compatibility that are often misconstrued.  Lastly, the presentation will touch on the importance of evaluating air barrier properties in the context of the material properties of the overall wall assembly.

In addition, Jodi Knorowski, PE, Project Engineer also of WDP's Charlottesville office, will present “Evaluating the Effects of Air Barriers with Variable Vapor Permeance in Hygrothermal Analysis” at the conference.  With the ever-expanding number of materials being incorporated into the building envelope, understanding the impacts of how vapor will diffuse through the wall can have a significant impact on the long-term performance of the wall assembly.  ASTM E96, "Standard Test Methods for Water Vapor Transmission of Materials," is the standardized test that outlines different methods to determine the vapor permeance of materials.  However, these methods generally only test materials under certain conditions and do not incorporate a range of conditions that will be encountered when installed in the wall assembly.  Hygrothermal analysis is becoming an important tool to evaluate the long-term performance of wall assemblies and relies on the material data in order to accurately predict the vapor diffusion through the wall over time.  This presentation aims to evaluate different wall assemblies and the impacts of air barriers with variable vapor resistance.