What is the building envelope?

Known by various names, it is the building’s shell or outer structure, the roof, the walls, the windows, the foundation -- all of the building’s outer components. The building envelope is susceptible to weather factors such as air, heat, cold, light and, most especially, water/moisture intrusion.

Luke Vermeulen of LukArl & Associates is a building envelope specialist. In his 35+ years in the roofing and waterproofing industry, he has learned what it takes to keep the weather on the outside of the building, not out of a book, but by actually designing, installing and repairing numerous building envelope systems. While in the contracting, supply and consulting sectors of the construction industry, he has learned the strengths and weaknesses of the various envelope components and, most importantly, how they work in concert with each other to create a proper envelope system. See Site Assessment & Construction Management.

His services are used most often by a building owner (private, corporate or government) and/or their property management or facility director. This can be an office building, a multi-family dwelling, HOA residences, a university or a large complex such as an airport.

The problem can be moisture infiltration, sometimes called a leaky building, even “sick building syndrome.” In the instance of severe weather, what is frequently needed is a storm damage assessment.

Commercial realtors or building purchasers often need due diligence services to evaluate the condition of the building envelope, go through maintenance logs and warranties, check against code requirements, and determine scope of work and related budgets, which can then be used in the purchase negotiations.

Luke Vermeulen has over 35 years’ experience in materials, systems application, design consulting, and forensic investigation, enabling him to provide insights that single discipline firms such as architects or engineers cannot. He has performed work in 23 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, and brings a uniquely broad and deep experience to evaluating and understanding building envelope issues.

In addition to building envelope consulting, other services include OSHA accident investigation, construction expert witness services, and green roof design.

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