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Build Walls Right The First Time


By Naomi Millán Windows & Exterior Walls
Screenshot of Building Science Advisor results page

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed an online tool to evaluate a building's envelope design prior to construction. The Building Science Advisor tool provides a measurement of moisture durability performance and thermal performance for a potential wall assembly.

Users enter the free tool either through an expert or educational pathway. The educational pathway provides more information about wall assembly materials and provides more feedback at the end of the evaluation. Users enter wall assembly characteristics from a menu for each of the following categories: climate, cladding, structure and exterior sheathing, continuous and cavity insulation, weather resistive and air barrier, interior paint, vapor retarder, and air tightness.

Currently the BSA is designed to evaluate residential envelopes, but the tool will be expanded to include roofing systems, retrofits, and commercial envelopes, according to ORNL.

Naomi Millán is senior editor of Building Operating Management. 

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