If proper care is not taken when first constructing the building, over time, there will be gradual damage done to the building’s structure that can cause it to fail. These damages may not be noticeable unless it is actively looked for, which in most, maybe too late.
When a building envelope has been done correctly, most inhabitants will never notice any changes to living inside the building. However, when it is done poorly, or even if a building has been standing for a long time (all buildings face wear and tear as time passes), the inhabitants will notice the changing conditions. This can include worsening indoor air quality, increased energy consumption, aesthetic discolouration, and eventually structural failures.
So, what exactly causes a building to fail?
- The materials used –
When constructing a building, there will be many building envelope products that the contractors will work with for different sections of the building. Unless engineered using the finest materials that cost a lot of money, it is common to find that many of these materials do not hold up to their advertising standards’ high performance.
This could be due to multiple reasons ranging from the building products themselves to the material’s poor handling while during construction. Examples of materials that tend to wear down are sealants that lose their hold due to external factors and structural metals, which can reduce in strength over time.
- Flawed construction methods –
This will depend entirely on the engineers that were hired for the job. Due to the increasing need for buildings being constructed, many companies tend to hire inexperienced workers to supply this need. This increases the chances of errors occurring during the construction and installation phase. It could be as simple as not following the instructions and installation methods given by the products’ manufacturers or ins. Still, if care is not taken, this will eventually lead to problems in the future.
- Problems with the design guide –
When developing the initial structure of a building, there is a possibility that the architect may put together two products that are just not compatible in the long term. For example, if a particular material does not stick well to the substrates, then over time, it will lose its functionality and safety.
- External factors –
It is not possible to predict the future weather conditions and changing temperatures such as heating to the exact degree.
So, any changes beyond the expected values can cause a good building structure to come under strain and lose its safety in protecting against these elements. This is not preventable and can only be managed by regularly getting the building checked every year.