A building envelope is the component that separates the exterior of the building from the interior. It’s the shell of the building, and as such, the envelope is a key consideration when constructing a building. It affects the ventilation, climate and energy consumption.
The envelope really serves three basic functions for the overall needs of the building:
1. Structural Support
The building envelope is responsible for holding the building together in more ways than one. The foundation, roof, walls, windows and doors are all considered part of the building envelope, and they contribute to keeping the building standing via structural support.
2. Controlling Moisture
The building envelope keeps outside elements, such as moisture and humidity, from entering and causing major damage. This not only is a vital consideration for homes, but it’s especially important for warehouses and commercial properties. Insulation and building paper serve as the “moisture control units” of the building envelope.
3. Air Management
Building envelopes prevent air leaks, as well as control internal air pressure, quality and temperature. Accounting for natural ventilation, minimizing drafts and leaks, and using energy efficient windows, insulation and sealants are all important aspects of building envelope design.
If you believe there is a flaw with your building’s envelope, whether it’s a commercial or residential property, contact the pros at GCI Consultants: 561-689-0055.