Traditional Westcoast architectural design incorporates large roof overhangs to protect the building’s windows and cladding from the adverse effects of wind and rain.
In British Columbia during the 1970s, the “Santa Fe style architecture” movement promoted the elimination of roof overhangs and accordingly, placed more demand on the windows and claddings to keep water out of the building. The construction industry was caught off guard. It simply lacked the knowledge and experience required to protect a “Santa Fe style building” from the wind and rain.
Windows and cladding failures on buildings with no overhangs were and still are commonplace. The industry has responded by directing its attention to better design and execution of transitional detailing and introduced rain screen wall technology. Transitional detailing is meant to protect the building assembly from damage caused by moisture penetrating the cladding and windows. Rain screen wall technology is meant to protect the building from rot by ensuring that walls will dry out even if moisture penetrates the building’s exterior cladding.
Windows and cladding are components of the buildings envelope and are incorporated into the rain screen design through transitional detailing.
At Westcoast, we have extensive knowledge of the entire building’s envelope and can help design and execute solutions that will perform long term.