Building Envelope blog posts
First get the basics in order – together
| May. 5, 2020
For buildings that means creating environments that are serve their purpose, promote wellbeing and are generally pleasant. That’s what this is all about. We should be able to take these qualities for granted as we develop our cities and indoor environments further. It is sad to see this basic issue turning into an eluding goal because of moisture problems.
When it comes to moisture problems there are quite a few players involved, just as in many issues in construction. That leads to many of us quitting before even starting solving the problems. And when the problems are addressed, it’s typical to start with internal improvements just to find out that it’s not enough. You are the faced with two options: again, you can give up and start shifting blame. Or you can think of what you can do to help the other players perform better in moisture control. We decided to try the latter approach with our new Ruukki Rain Protect membrane.
One of our most important products is sandwich panels with mineral wool core and steel sheet faces. In a finished building the steel sheets provide excellent moisture protection toward both interior and exterior. The compactness of the products makes it easy to protect against weather during construction site storage. However, unfortunately the upper joint has to be separately protected during installation which has been an arduous task. It is vital to preserving the dry-chain since the wool in the uppermost face of the panel would otherwise be completely bare sometimes long periods. It would be exposed to weather until covered with the next layer of panels or other structures. From now on the panels can be ordered with a protective membrane attached to the upper joint so that the installers no longer have to worry about protecting the panels in an unfinished wall. Nor do the supervisors or main contractors have to worry if the exposed wool was covered in time when it starts raining. But first and foremost the developers and users know they will be receiving their building with dry wool inside the panel walls since the risk of neglecting rain protection during installation has been eliminated.
This small improvement isn’t of course enough to prevent moisture problems in the entire site. But we are now trying our best to solve problems in our products dry chain for all parties involved, not just our part. I hope we will not be left alone with this, but that future practice will show that this approach will in fact advance our common cause, improving the quality of construction.