Building Science


We need to be smart.


Over the past 100 years or so, we have witnessed numerous and dramatic advances within the construction industry.  The building envelope itself needs to keep the exterior environment out but also must provide a safe and comfortable interior environment.  The building envelope should be thought of as more of an organism that needs to deal with differing environments on each side.  In designing building envelope systems, the industry has used our past understanding with building science to understand how the envelopes  behave so that we can understand what's working and what's not.  Additionally we have learned more about efficient and cost effective design solutions.  


Existing buildings and renovations require an understanding of the techniques, building materials and building systems used in different eras.


Advances over the past century with building materials and construction processes have allowed the building envelope to become much tighter, particularly in the last 40 years.  Initially this simple concept seemed to address our energy concerns and environmental concerns.  However, we have also found that the tighter envelope designs have also created indoor environments that have the potential for mold, mildews and generally undesirable environments.  To balance this, ensuring that enough clean outdoor make up air is required and it has become an important design concept to achieve the right conditions within the home.


Careful overall design and construction coordination in an "integrated design process" between our Clients, the General Contractor and the Architect has emerged as the best way to address these issues.  It has led us to only designing higher performing buildings based on these conditions.  Standards like "Passive House" address these new from a holistic view.  As each project is unique, the appropriate solutions are as well.  Departure's commitment to these efforts along with our design process allows the world of building science to be woven into beautiful architecture.


Daniel Lajoie is LEED AP accredited as well as a Sustainable Home Professional (SHP) through Earth Advantage's program.

Exterior eps insulation installed on the exterior side of the plywood sheathing allows for a wall system that doesn't allow a thermal bridging to occur.  A rain screen that allows the siding to be slightly out from of the insulation allows the siding to perform better over time and last longer. 

Experience has taught us that a team approach is needed to achieve the right results, ideally through an "integrated design" process.  This can allow for responsible, efficient and thoughtful solutions.

departure:  architecture interiors planning llc