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Vantage Point, Mill Creek
Building Envelope Investigation (invasive)

Vantage Point

A six building, 96-unit condominium complex experiencing significant moisture intrusion problems. We performed a comprehensive building envelope investigation on all buildings. This included an infrared evaluation of the exteriors, followed up by targeted invasive investigation into a dozen areas of the building envelopes. We provided the Association with a complete report with photo-documentation of our findings with recommendations for remediation.



Building Exterior Envelope Investigations

Building Envelope Investigations

First of all, what is a building envelope? Technically, it is everything that separates and protects indoors from out, which may include exterior walls and siding, roofing, foundations, windows and doors. These elements are exposed and need proper maintenance, materials, and construction to continue to function effectively. As these systems age it is normal to have problems such as roof leaks or cracked siding. However, if ignored, small problems can lead to very costly ones, and it is always in an owner's best interest to find them and fix them as quickly as possible.

A building envelope investigation can be as simple as a visual inspection of the exterior of a building (or specific components such as the roof or siding). When visual inspections reveal symptoms of a bigger problem and/or a building owner has reason to believe one exists, a comprehensive building envelope inspection may involve one or more of the following steps:

  • A visual and probing inspection of the exteriors of the subject structure(s).
  • An infrared scan of the exteriors of the subject structure(s) to further identify potential problem areas.
  • Targeted invasive investigation in areas of the building envelope based on our findings from the infrared scan and visual inspection. "Invasive" typically means the removal (and replacement) of portions of siding and/or roofing to identify the extent of the damage underneath.
  • A detailed report explaining the current condition of the building envelope(s) and our recommendations for remediation, if applicable.
  • A Client (or Board) review meeting to further explain our findings and address any questions or concerns of the client.

Building envelope inspections are useful in the fact that they identify areas of moisture intrusion, which can lead to larger problems such as rot in the structure. These inspections often reveal structural problems that are in need of immediate correction for the structural integrity of the building and the safety of its occupants. Other times, the building envelope inspections reveal smaller building envelope defects that can be corrected prior to larger problems developing. These reports include roof surfacing, siding, masonry, windows, doors, decks, sheathing, weather resistant barriers, and all visible flashing and seals.

We understand that budgets for repairs are always a factor in determining the maintenance/repair schedules for a property. Therefore, we always try to put problems in proper perspective and prioritize corrections for our clients.

Additionally, we always include a complimentary meeting following our reports with our clients to discuss the report and the building envelopes at the property. While we make every effort to make our reports stand alone, we feel that meeting with our clients following the building envelope study is often a necessary to address and questions or concerns that may arise from the findings of our report. This is particularly true of a property where significant problems have been discovered. Even if we are not obtained to act as an Owner’s Representative Project Manager to facilitate remediation of problems, we can generally point our clients in the right direction.

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