CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractConstruction defect litigation has a large effect on contractors, home builders, and engineers. This research builds on previous research that identified common construction defects and suggested the majority of common construction defects generally relate to keeping water out of or flowing away from a building or structure. The focus of this follow-up research is an inventory and analysis of defects specifically related to building envelope issues. The authors analyze 46 construction defect cases litigated between 2011 and 2019 that include issues related to building envelope design and construction to more accurately assess the most commonly cited building envelope issues, their details, and their associated trends. Findings reveal improper sealing of penetrations, improper integration and lapping of the weather resistant barrier (WRB), improper flashing, and improper weep mechanisms, all of which involve water penetration and are the most prominent and high impact defects. Findings also reveal that the most prominent alleged defects occur where water can infiltrate and damage the building envelope. Finally, the findings indicate that the cited alleged defects relative to the building envelope are more numerous and complex than cited alleged defects in other disciplines, specifically civil or mechanical engineering. The contribution of this research is (1) to identify and create detailed description of building envelope–related defects, and (2) to inform design and construction professionals of their responsibilities and liabilities of these building envelope–related defects with the goal of helping to reduce future construction defect litigation.



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