Construction Defect at School Building

Intrusive testing for Insufficient Moisture Management Behind Stone-Clad Wall

Construction Defect at School Building

Insufficient Moisture Management Behind Stone-Clad Wall

Fiebig Architecture was retained to perform a construction defect investigation when a school building suffered leaks and interior moisture damage.

Testing & Analysis:

Intrusive testing revealed a lack of drainage mechanisms at horizontal terminations at the base of the wall. For example, above the roof where the roof system abuts against the stone-clad wall, there was no through-wall flashing to direct water behind the stone out and on to the roof for drainage.

Expert Opinion:

This construction was contrary to the construction documents, which illustrated through-wall flashing at the roof-to-wall locations and called out flashing at the base of the wall. The lack of water resistive barrier (WRB), flashing and weeps at the stone veneer was determined to be a violation of the construction documents, manufacturer instructions, and the building code.

Mitigation Recommendations

  • Remove stone veneer from the base of the wall
  • Provide WRB, flashing, and weeps as required by the code and the construction documents for a compliant weather-resistive building envelope
  • Replace stone veneer

Construction Defect

Intrusive testing of wall failure

Missing Void Forms

Expert Opinion Although the geotechnical report required 10-inch void forms under the concrete structural grade beams, no such voids were included in the architectural plan or actual construction. When non-compliant foundation drainage left the surrounding soils saturated, the resultant heaving pushed the grade beams from below. This pressure caused splitting of the concrete tilt-up walls…