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The Tradition and Science of Window Installations - Where are We Headed with More Highly Insulated Buildings?

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Presentation on the impact of more highly insulated and passive house wall designs and practices on the installation of windows. Presented at the 2016 Euroline technology forum.

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The Tradition and Science of Window Installations - Where are We Headed with More Highly Insulated Buildings?

  1. 1. 1 The Tradition and Science of Window Installations – Where are We Headed with More Highly Insulated Buildings? EUROLINE TECHNOLOGY FORUM, OCTOBER 20, 2016 GRAHAM FINCH, MASC, P.ENG
  2. 2. 2  A Brief History of Window Installation Practices in BC  Best Practices for Current BC Window Installations  Trends and Impacts of New Materials & Higher Performance Buildings  Integration of Windows into More Highly Insulated Walls – Do’s and Don'ts  Case Studies Outline
  3. 3. 4 The Perpetual Question + ?
  4. 4. 5 We Have Come A Long Way in BC
  5. 5. 6 Vancouver Early 20th Century
  6. 6. 7 Early Window Installation “Best Practices”
  7. 7. 8 Pre 1930’s Architectural Graphic Standards From Ramsey & Sleeper – Architectural Graphics Standards
  8. 8. 9 An Appreciation for Slope & Flashings From Ramsey & Sleeper – Architectural Graphics Standards
  9. 9. 10 Then Some Things were Forgotten in the 1980s ?
  10. 10. 11 Building Enclosure Detailing Guidance Mid 1990s?
  11. 11. 12 No Joke…
  12. 12. 13 Oh and the Windows Leaked Too…
  13. 13. 14 And We Had Lots of Condensation Problems
  14. 14. 15 The Catastrophic Result…
  15. 15. 16 Early Attempts at Sub-Sill Flashings without Good Water Shedding or Interface Details
  16. 16. 17 Continually Evolving Best Practices in BC
  17. 17. 18 Fundamentals: Following & Connecting the Critical Barriers  Water Shedding Surface (WSS)  Water Resistive Barrier (WRB)  Air barrier (AB)
  18. 18. 19 Current Best Practices in BC for Rainscreen Window Installation
  19. 19. 20 Evolving BC Practices
  20. 20. 21 TOO MUCH Impermeable Peel and Stick
  21. 21. 22 So What is Changing in BC?  Trend towards more efficiently insulated building enclosures due to higher energy code targets & uptake of passive design strategies  Greater attention to reducing thermal bridging in building enclosures  Many new building materials being introduced and imported into local market  Window installation practices are evolving to incorporate new and/or imported window frames into more highly insulated wall  Ongoing need to balance thermal and durability considerations
  22. 22. 23 Evolution of Wall Assemblies to Passive Levels Base 2x6 Framed Wall <R-16 (wood) Exterior Insulation R-20 to R-60+ Deep Stud, Double Stud, SIPS R-20 – R-80+ Split Insulation R- 20 to R-60+ Interior Insulation R-20 to R-30+
  23. 23. 24 Deep Stud & Double Walls - w/ or w/o Service Wall
  24. 24. 25 Consideration for Window Installs – Deep Walls
  25. 25. 26 Exterior and Split Insulated Walls
  26. 26. 27 Consideration for Window Installs – Exterior Insulation Lots of Options including buck-outs with Varying Levels of Complexity! Key detail – drain outboard of the insulation
  27. 27. 33 City of Vancouver – R-22 Wall & Window Details
  28. 28. 34 Industry Trends Impacting Walls & Windows  Shift away from mechanically attached sheathing membranes/WRBs like building paper & even synthetic membranes for more air-tight and taller buildings Building Paper RIP 2016
  29. 29. 35 Trend Towards Combined Exterior Air Barrier (AB) Water Resistive Barrier (WRB) Approaches Mechanically attached AB/WRB Self-adhered vapour permeable sheet AB/WRB Fluid applied vapour permeable sheet AB/WRB
  30. 30. 36 Trend Towards Combined Exterior Air Barrier (AB) Water Resistive Barrier (WRB) Approaches Sealed sheathing AB (adhesive tapes or sealants) with additional overlay WRB Sealed coated sheathing AB/WRB Sealed rigid foam insulation AB/WRB (special tapes)
  31. 31. 38 Desire for More Vapour Permeable Materials?
  32. 32. 39 New Good and Some Not-So-Good Vapour Permeable AB/WRB Membranes
  33. 33. 40 Ongoing Research – Use of Vapour Permeable Liquid Flashings on Wood-frame Window Sills? Can or should horizontal flashing membranes be vapour permeable like the jambs & head?
  34. 34. 41 Assessing the Risk of Vapour Permeable Flashings on Window Rough Opening  Devised a test which looks at the uptake of moisture ponding on a horizontal window sill flashing into the framing lumber & sheathing over time  Compare results with control membranes that are known to fail or work well
  35. 35. 42 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 0 Days 7 Days 14 Days 21 Days 28 Days 35 Days 42 Days MoistureContent(%) Plywood Edge - At Center Are Vapour Permeable Liquids Safe for Use on Wood- frame Window Sills? Safe MC <20% not safe with these liquids or permeable SAM safe with this liquid & impermeable SAM maybe okay with these liquids? Moisture Content of Edge of Plywood at Window Sill
  36. 36. 43 Impact of the Wrong Liquid Applied Vapour Permeable Flashing on a Wood Window Sill Mould after 30 days due to absorption into OSB sheathing below a relatively absorptive & permeable liquid applied window sill flashing
  37. 37. 44 Definitely Not the Right Product for This Application
  38. 38. 45 Oops! Someone Missed the Memo
  39. 39. 46 Tapes as “Flashing” on a Horizontal Window Sill?
  40. 40. 47 High Performance Buildings & Passive House  Voluntary ultra-low energy construction standard  Rapidly gaining interest & acceptance in North America  Some codes targeting PH levels in next decade  >R-38
  41. 41. 49 Some of BC’s First Passive Houses
  42. 42. 50 Passive House Window Considerations  Every single Watt (Btu/hr) of heat loss matters within a Passive House  It is a fine balance of a building’s passive solar & internal gains compared to all of the conductive & convective losses  Heat loss through windows and installation details around perimeter becomes very important and often becomes a focal point for improvement (especially during construction!)
  43. 43. 51 Standard Window Installation Details Aren’t Often Good Enough for PH Projects Key considerations: • Avoid metal flashings that bypass framing or insulation • Reduce wood framing around window • Over-insulate the window frames where feasible • Air tight (and properly water managed) Too much insulation displaced & too large of metal flashing Too much wood Too much wood
  44. 44. 52 PH Details May Look more Like This!
  45. 45. 53 PH Details May Look more Like This!
  46. 46. 54 Some Frames Are Made to Hide With Insulation
  47. 47. 55 Perimeter Heat Loss from Window Installations aka Linear Transmittance, psi-value - 𝝋  Window placement within the rough opening and the detailing around the frame directly impacts the window perimeter heat loss & installed U-value/R-value  This factor is referred to as a linear transmittance, psi-value  Bad psi-values 𝜑 = >0.040 W/m∙K  Better psi-values 𝜑 = <0.020 W/m∙K  Excellent psi-values 𝜑 = <0.010 W/m∙K  The psi-value is multiplied by the perimeter length of the window and energy added to the uninstalled window U-value to get an installed window U-value (i.e. it always worsens it)  Impact on whole house with lots of windows can be significant, especially when trying to meet stringent PH targets  Typically modeled/calculated for specific details with some baseline values provided by PH window suppliers
  48. 48. 56 Certified Passive House Window Report Information Window U-values Frame U-values Psi-values & Installed U- values
  49. 49. 60 Window Installation Linear Transmittance Thermal Modeling Window installation heat loss is the additional heat flow through the interface/gap/framing/flashings between the wall and window
  50. 50. 62 Psi-Value Case Study: What Matters & How Much?  Window:  Euroline 4700 ThermoPlus inswing tilt & turn with high performance triple glazing (U-0.75 W/m2∙K, R-7.6 IP)  Walls:  Split insulated 2x6 wood frame filled with fiberglass batt and 6” exterior mineral wool with long screws through insulation to support cladding (R-40 effective)  Windows installed at inner, middle and exterior of wall with and without additional insulation over the frames  Additional data for deep stud 2x10 w/ interior 2x4 service wall (R-40) also provided in handouts (no time today!)
  51. 51. 63 Split Insulated Wall – Standard Install, No Insulation Over Frames This means that the window U-value gets 16% worse just by installing it Seems small but it does matter when talking about the performance of Windows
  52. 52. 64 Split Insulated Wall – Impact of Over Insulating Frames 16% loss in window U-value for no over insulation vs 8% with No impact to worst case modeled window surface temperature, <1°C at jamb/head Watch temperatures if insulating on inside! If over-insulatingat sill watch drainage!
  53. 53. 65 Split Insulated Wall – Impact of Placement in R.O. Based on window size of 1.2 x 1.5 m. Cladding not modeled for conservative estimate Window towards the exterior is better thermally, small impact on interior surface temperatures
  54. 54. 66 Split Insulated Wall – Impact of Placement in R.O. with Over Insulating Frames Based on window size of 1.2 x 1.5 m. Cladding not modeled for conservative estimate Over insulation drops psi-value by about half Placement impact is similar, middle is slightly better
  55. 55. 71 Window Size Matters! 0 2 4 6 8 10 0 2 4 6 8 10 R-Value(IP) Length and Width of Frame (ft) Thermal Performance of Euroline 4700 Frame - Center of Glass vs Window vs Final Installed By Size of Frame Center of Glass Window Installed What really matters
  56. 56. 72 Rigid Foam Below & Supporting Window Frames?  Thought by some PH designers or modelers that it may be worth replacing one of the wood sill plates (200 to 900 psi compressive strength) with XPS insulation (30 psi compressive strength @ 10% compression)  Weight on setting block shims for a typical triple glazed passive house window (several hundred pounds) will be in the order of 100 to 200 pounds  well over 30psi unless large distributed shims or over more wood?  Most shims are only a few square inches in area – therefore foam compresses initially or over time damaging installation, seals and potentially window
  57. 57. 73 Possible Benefit of XPS Below Window Sill – If Bearing Capacity Can Be Addressed Can see why it might be suggested but for a 2% difference I would look for other improvements unless bearing issues are addressed
  58. 58. 76 Bella Bella Passive House Case Study  Design Build project for Vancouver Coastal Health for a 6-plex staff housing to replace housing that had burned down  Target of passive house certification and delivery in 6 months  First modular Passive House in Canada  First Passive House in a First Nations Community
  59. 59. 77 The Window Details! 2x6 wood frame wall with 6” exterior insulation
  60. 60. 78 Split Insulated Passive House Window Installation
  61. 61. 79 Split Insulated Passive House Window Installation
  62. 62. 80 Split Insulated Passive House Window Installation
  63. 63. 81 Split Insulated Passive House Window Installation
  64. 64. 82 Split Insulated Passive House Window Installation
  65. 65. 83 Modular Passive House Construction
  66. 66. 84 Modular Shipping
  67. 67. 85 Site Assembly & Completion
  68. 68. 86 Key Conclusions  Long history of iterative progress in the installation of windows in British Columbia – many past failures and successes  Evolution is continuing with higher performance windows (imported and locally made in more highly insulated wall assemblies  Be careful with the selection of new membranes, flashings, tapes, sealants and foams – ensure durability and moisture control while balancing thermal needs  Always look at continually improving the thermal performance of your window installation details!
  69. 69. 87 Discussion + Questions CONTACT ME AT: gfinch@rdh.com 604-873-1181

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