Quality Assurance Testing

At Banwell we recognize the importance of quality assurance testing.  Specifications for the majority of our projects require the components of the air barrier system to be first instance tested during construction.  It can help to identify why and where a particular installation needs to be adjusted in order to achieve the level of performance required.  It can also avoid the necessity of removing or damaging subsequent installations by other trades.   Building envelope transitions are of particular concern such as windows and door openings, wall to foundation, wall to roof for example.  Field testing can be completed by varying methods such as fog testing, infrared testing & blower door testing.   Other specific tests can also be required throughout the specifications to meet product standards such as the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM).  I recently witnessed an ASTM test for the Golden Brook Elementary School.  The image below is a window water penetration test ASTM E 547.  Water was applied at a rate of 5 gallons per hour per square foot while the interior of the window is pressurized at 6.0 psf (127 mph).  If no water penetration is observed after 4 cycles of 5 minutes than it passes the test.


This was the second go-round of testing after previous results had failed.  This process was critical because several issues were identified and a plan was put in place as a standard for the rest of the window installations.   Leaking was identified at the interior caulking of the rough opening and there was a concern that the window weather stripping on the upper sash was not engaging the window frame, leaving a gap at the window head.  After consulting with the window manufacturer it was determined that an accessory groove around the window need1ed to be sealed and the rubber bumpers attached to the underside of the sash in the factory had either fallen off or had been removed.  Once the window was correctly sealed and weather stripping properly engaged in the frame, the window passed this particular test.  The construction manager also decided to change the color of the interior caulking from a dark to a light color so that any holes can be more easily identified and filled.

This is just one example that required corrective action we have experienced.  Testing ensures better results and identifying issues upfront is much less costly than having to fix things later.

Banwell Architects Team