Green Building Solutions International

Building Envelope Integrity

The Building Envelope Integrity is critical to the climate conditions of the GCC. The air tightness of a building enclosure (or envelope) is one significant factor in the overall energy consumption of our buildings and homes. The energy required to comfortably cool and maintain a stable range of humidity in buildings increases dramatically if there is uncontrolled air transfer through the building’s exterior fabric. ‘Leaky’ buildings are vulnerable to moisture infiltration, deterioration of building materials, poor indoor temperature and humidity control and unwanted mould growth.

In colder climates the usual energy usage problem is to contain mechanically produced heat from escaping to the colder outside air; this is called exfiltration. Our energy usage here in the GCC (typically 60- 70% of domestic electrical consumption) is expended to produce mechanically cooled and humidified air and the building ‘skin’ must protect our interiors from the infiltration of the sun’s heat and hot desert air.

GBSI’s testing of the integrity and effectiveness of a building’s envelope and its contribution to energy savings and human health is based on this critical difference.