In This Issue
Prevention of Window Leaks Due to
Wind Driven Rain
Quality Built ® Tech Alert
About the Authors August 28th, 2012
Russell Tsuchida, AIA, CGC
Architect and Field Consultant
Volume 1, Issue 7
architectural degree Prevention of Window Leaks Due to Wind Driven
from California Rain
University at San
Luis Obispo and
studied at the
Denmark. Russ is a licensed
California architect, general
contractor, ICC residential building
inspector and certified energy plans
examiner. Russ joined Quality Built
LLC during the acquisition of West
Coast Property Consultants in
December 2011 and is excited about
the opportunities at Quality Built and One of the most common and costly construction defect
enjoys meeting his new team issues involves water intrusion into a building at either the
members. During his tenure at exterior walls surrounding windows (field leaks) or from the
WCPC, Russ performed QA
actual window assembly itself (product leaks). In multi-
inspections for residential and
storied residential buildings, the costs for destructive testing,
commercial projects in CA, NV, AZ
and TN and also provided expert
removal of exterior wall finishes, replacement of water
witness analysis and trial testimony damaged materials, mold remediation, expert consultants,
in construction defect litigation field documentation and the relocation of occupants can run
cases. Russ has also performed peer into the millions of dollars and take years to complete.
plan reviews for residential builders Construction defect litigation arising from water intrusion is
with an emphasis on compliance time consuming, distracting, expensive and should be
with building codes, manufacturers' avoided by homebuilders. As such, the serious nature and
recommendation and best the magnitude of window leaks is one of those problems
construction practices to avoid where "an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of
defect litigation. In addition,he was cure."
a regional manager for WCPC's
northern California division and Conducting quality assurance inspections on all exterior
developed tracking protocols to penetrations is a cost-effective and rather simple way to help
ensure his staff met contractual eliminate most field leaks. The prevention of field leaks
inspection obligations. In 2006, he
requires the coordination of the framing, window, and
designed the 10,000 square foot
plastering subcontractors as well as the electrical, plumbing
WCPC corporate headquarters
building in San Diego. Russell
and HVAC trades. After windows have been installed with the
Tsuchida received his architectural correctly lapped flashings and building paper, all tears, holes,
degree from California Polytechnic and fastener penetrations should be caulked with an
State University at San Luis Obispo appropriate sealant. Often, it is discovered that the source of
and studied at the University of a leak is from one of the many penetrations through the
Copenhagen in Denmark. Russ is a building envelope including electrical outlets, fire alarm
licensed California architect, general boxes, gas lines, hose bibs, or dryer and kitchen exhaust
contractor, ICC residential building vents. It is important that all exterior penetrations be
inspector and certified energy plans flashed, not just windows and doors. There are many cost
examiner. Russ joined Quality Built, effective products such as QuickFlash, pre-assembled
LLC during the acquisition of West neoprene gasket flashings available for a variety of exterior
Coast Property Consultants in wall penetrations. These products have proven more reliable
December 2011 and is excited about than the standard application of sealant around penetrations.
the opportunities at Quality Built. When QuickFlash panels are used, the manufacturer does not
require additional sealant around the penetration, resulting in
During his tenure at WCPC, Russ
reduced labor costs.
performed QA inspections for
residential and commercial projects
Builders can help to eliminate product leaks by taking into
in CA, NV, AZ and TN and also account regional wind design pressures when selecting the
provided expert witness analysis and windows and doors for a project. Even if perfectly installed, a
trial testimony in construction defect window product leak can still occur. Many product leaks only
litigation cases. Russ has also appear after a wind driven rainstorm has passed through the
performed peer plan reviews for area. In some areas that can be years after the home has
residential builders with an emphasis closed escrow. To eliminate these types of leaks a window
on compliance with building codes, product should be carefully selected to withstand sustained
manufacturers' recommendations wind driven rain.
and best construction practices to
avoid defect litigation. In addition, Windows are rated according to wind design pressures. An
he was a regional manager for inappropriately low or marginal performance grade specified
WCPC's northern California division window may fail as its components degrade over time.
and developed tracking protocols to The selection of windows should be based on the structural
ensure his staff met contractual wind loads requirements, known as design wind pressure, for
inspection obligations. In 2006, he
the site conditions. Local building departments may require
designed the 10,000 square foot
the architect or engineer of record to determine these loads
WCPC corporate headquarters
building in San Diego.
to comply with shape of building and location of windows.
Most building codes recommend using The American Society
Russ can be reached at the QB San of Civil Engineers, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and
Diego office at (800) 547-5125 or Other Structures, ASCE 7, when seeking to determine the
cell (858) 220-0538 or through design wind load requirements for the window openings.
email at email@example.com. ASCE 7, provides minimum load requirements for the design
of buildings and others structures. Its intent is to verify that
all of the components of the building are capable of
Jorge H. Ibacache appropriately resisting the imposed forces such as wind.
Code Compliance Consultant
Not surprisingly, the size of buildings plays a major role in
Jorge H. Ibacache, determining the design wind pressure of the openings.
is Quality Built's
Naturally, the taller the building, the higher the design wind
pressure is going to be. Also, based on evidence collected
Consultant. In this
after major storms, it has been confirmed that openings
Ibacache is located near the corner of the building are subject to higher
responsible for pressures. Another factor that often affects this load is the
Technical Plan surrounding area. Buildings located in urban or heavy
Review, Risk wooden areas usually encounter lower pressures.
Assessment, Quality Windows face two kinds of forces: a negative pressure and a
Assurance, Wind positive pressure. The negative pressure relates to the
Mitigations and Code Compliance suction forces in a storm that will try to literally remove
Inspections, among other things, at windows from a structure by suction. The second pressure is
Quality Built. He has served as a
a positive pressure where forces act to push wind and water
Certified Building Inspector for over into windows causing air leaks and water intrusion.
14 years and conducting literally
thousands of inspections and plan When calculating the design wind pressure, the designer
reviews and code enforcement must first determine the wind speed for the region. This
investigations. information is found on the basic wind maps published on
ASCE 7 and are based on historical windstorm data. Since
Mr. Ibacache received his Bachelor's these maps are a bit complicated to read, the wind velocity is
of Science in Civil Engineering from
often set by the local jurisdiction.
the University of Florida in 1998
Once the design wind speed and wind force is found, the
Mr. Ibacache has in depth knowledge
of numerous design standards,
designer then calculates the required pressure based on the
building codes and local ordinances, size of the opening and the location on the building. It is
practices and customs. In the private recommended to use the smallest tributary, since the design
sector, Mr. Ibacache was responsible wind pressure is used to specify the right window and its
for the engineering, permitting and components and is based on area (Pressure=Force/Area,
inspections for over $500 million of psf). Typically the tributary area of the anchors (screws or fin
real estate development projects. In nails) will be the smallest.
the public sector, Jorge has
previously worked as a building
inspector for The City of Aventura, Wind creates two types of forces on a building: a
Miami-Dade County Public Schools, negative pressure and a positive pressure.
Florida International University, The
City of Coral Gables, The City of
Pembroke Pines, The City of West
Park, The City of Hallandale, The
Village of Palmetto Bay and The
Town of Cutler Bay.
Mr. Ibacache has worked on projects
developed and/or owned by Carlisle
Group, Cornerstone Group, Epoch
Properties Gables Residential, Lennar
Homes, Pritzker Realty Group, Triad
Housing Partners and Wood Partners.
Mr. Ibacache has designed and Figure 1. Strong winds create a pressure differential that can both push or
managed post tension podium pull water through window and door openings.
structures in Key West, Atlanta,
Orlando, Bahamas and Panama City.
Additionally he has designed and
inspected Wood frame and Light
gage structures in Central Florida
Jorge is also well versed in
engineering, construction and
development software. He has
extensive experience with AutoCAD,
Civil 3D, PCA Frame, Wall, Slab &
Column. Figure 2 Testing windows to differentiate between field and product leaks can
be difficult and expensive."
During his professional career Mr.
Ibacache has been an advocate for
the rights of Individuals with
Disabilities and Homeowner
Before the window is installed it is very important to verify its
allowable ratings or performance grade. Window
manufacturers will display the windows performance rating
based on design calculations, test results and safety factors.
Installing a window with a lower rating than appropriate for
the requirements may cause water infiltration and extensive
Quality Built's Commitment structural damage to the building. Often manufacturers and
Quality Built is commited to being a distributors deliver the wrong window product to the site
visionary leader in the insurance, because most manufacturers use similar materials for the
financial and construction industry high and low rated windows.
by providing reliable and innovative
Third Party Quality Assurance A good quality assurance program should verify that all
Services to our clients and by windows selected for a particular job are the correct windows
providing those services in the most for the site and that these windows are properly installed.
professional and efficient manner Quality Built's construction quality assurance programs focus
utilizing cutting-edge technology, with great detail on windows and window installation because
proprietary software and employees water intrusion is a problem that is best to be avoided.
who maintain the highest level of
integrity and expertise.
Contact Quality Built today at 800-
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