These questions are relatively simple to consider for many of the larger elements of the building, but become more complex at every joint, seam, and intersection where different materials in the assembly meet. A good building design has a good answer to each of these questions at each junction.
These building science principles are relatively new to the building industry and certainly not built into the “common sense” of all designers and builders. In selecting your project team
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The roof overhangs of this home completely block out the sun in the summer (left), and allow full sun access in the winter (right). Credit: CHRis Magwood members (see Decoration 8), be sure to find out the degree to which they are familiar with at least the basics of building science, especially in terms of practical execution. If they are not asking themselves the questions listed above, then your building will not be as good as you should want it to be. Good designers and builders will understand these principles at a deeper level and will often use modeling software and testing equipment to work through the complexities of incorporating them in the best possible way for your project.
If the members of your team are unfamiliar with building science, computer modeling, or enclosure testing, you may want to ensure that at least one person with the relevant knowledge and experience is hired on to bring their expertise.
In the end, the application of building science to your project is about ensuring your own comfort, health, and safety and creating the conditions for your building to be sound and long-lasting — goals that are well worth achieving using all the tools building science can offer to help.