Monthly Event

Why Buildings Leak

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Thursday, February 24, 2022

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM


Zoom Recording


A building leak has four components, and there is no leak, properly understood, without all four: (1) a source of water; (2) a pathway for that water to travel from where it is to someplace we do not want it to be; (3) a driving force to push water along that pathway; and (4) something that can be damaged as a result. Thinking about leaks in this way helps us to understand important missed opportunities in architecture when it comes to controlling water in buildings. For example, we obsess over sealing potential water pathways but often overlook design strategies and products that help us practice source control and minimize the driving forces, without which there is no leak. Rather than policing the detailing of every fastener or trying to anticipate every installation defect, this line of thinking leads us to strategies that are both far less expensive than the most common approaches and far more effective in reducing risk.



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Christine Williamson

Christine Williamson has spent her career in building science forensics, discovering why buildings fail, and working with owners, architects, and builders to remedy the problems. She is the founder of the Instagram account @BuildingScienceFightClub, an educational project that teaches architects about building science and construction.  She graduated from Princeton University and received her Master's of Architecture from NewSchool of Architecture + Design.  She is past chair of ASHRAE Technical Committee 1.12, Moisture Management in Buildings and is a frequent lecturer on building science at universities and professional conferences.