International Masonry Institute News

Opening Doors for Air Barriers

Air Barriers

“The workshop reminded me of the value of proper detailing and the consequences of improper detailing.”
— John Scott Dorfield, QA/QC, Manager, Astorino

Air barrier systems can increase exterior building envelope performance, which makes them a timely topic, as people think green and states consider stronger codes and enforcement. Yet, while they are common in Canada, U.S. designers are on a learning curve, especially when it comes to understanding the differences between air barriers and vapor barriers.

In Pittsburgh this week, IMI’s “Air Barrier Systems for Masonry Walls” seminar showed area firms how to design and specify proper air barrier systems, right in the BAC Local 9 training center where BAC craftworkers learn about proper installation of them.

The architects also heard about -- and from -- BAC contractors who do the work, and who also benefited from the program. “It helped masons get ahead on what is happening within the industry,” says FRANCO’s Zack Snyder.

The program struck such a chord that WTW Architects invited IMI over for an immediate office consult, where we were able to improve the detailing and give them a better masonry wall.

“The concept of how an air barrier works in our climate was explained very clearly – I can take this back to our staff.”
— Robert J. Bailey, AIA, CCS, CSI, WTW Architects.

“I appreciated the opportunity to learn from such a knowledgeable resource, alongside peers and local masonry craftsmen who have a common goal of excellence.”
— Mike Moyta, Design 3 Architecture

It’s Team IMI in action, connecting the dots between good design and quality installation.