Professional Architectural Construction Guide
from C.H.I.P.S.

Designing the
Exterior Wall

An Architectural Guide to
the Vertical Envelope
by Linda Brock

By presenting the basics of building science along with a prescribed set of details, Designing the Exterior Wall helps you understand why buildings fail and how they can be made more durable through design.

Author Linda Brock connects the science and aesthetics of building envelopes through the examination of a variety of construction and cladding types. She features details from real world projects in a variety of climates, successful and unsuccessful case studies, and checklists you can use on your own projects.

  • Helps you reduce your liability by showing why building envelopes fail and how they can be designed to endure
  • Moves from theory to actual construction by including hundreds of building envelope details from a broad array of projects and climates
  • Integrates numerous contemporary case studies, including Frank Gehry's Experiential Music Center in Seattle (thin skins), Renzo Piano's Rue de Meaux housing in Paris (terra cotta cladding), and Mario Botta's San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (prefabricated brick panels)


Choosing the Components

  1. Decisions that Affect the Exterior Wall

    • Introduction to the Building Enclosure
    • Decisions Affecting Aesthetics, Function, Durability, and the Budget.
    • Climate and the Exterior Wall
    • Function of the Exterior Wall
    • Cladding Systems
    • "Whole Wall" Design
    • Selecting and Positioning the Barriers and Retarders

  2. Water Barriers and Flashing

    • Managing Water
    • Selecting the Right System.
    • Water Barriers and Their Placement
    • Installation
    • Flashings
    • Testing and Measuring Water Leakage
    • Quick Notes: Water Ingress

  3. Air Barrier Systems, Vapor Retarders, and Insulation

    • Stopping Air and Controlling Thermal and Vapor Transfer
    • Air Movement: Loss of Conditioned and Vapor Laden Air
    • Vapor Transmission By Diffusion
    • Heat Transfer By Conduction And Radiation

  4. Joints

    • Structural Forces and Differential Movement
    • Expansion and Control Joints
    • Joint Design.
    • Joint Components
    • Installation of Liquid Sealants
    • Maintenance
    • Testing Sealants
    • Quick Notes: Sealant Joints

Detailing for Durability

  1. Curtain Walls

    • The Development of Curtain Walls
    • Aluminum Glass Curtain Wall
    • Stone and Metal Panel Curtain Walls
    • Designing Curtain Walls with Glass, Metal, and Stone Panels
    • Case Study: Metal/Glass Custom Curtain Wall with Stone Veneer
    • Precast Concrete Panels
    • How to Stay Out of Trouble When Designing Curtain Walls

  2. Anchored Brick Veneer on a Mid-Rise Concrete Frame Building

    • Brick Veneer
    • Wall Type A: Brick Veneer Anchored To Steel-Stud Backup Walls (ABV/SS) on a Concrete Frame
    • Environment
    • Is ABV/SS Risky Business?
    • Reducing Risk
    • Repelling Water
    • Accommodating Differential Movement with Expansion Joints
    • Designing Parapet Veneer Panels: A Special Case
    • Supplemental Information On ABV/SS Components
    • ABV Details
    • Case Study: ABV Recladding Project
    • Other Systems
    • References: Brick Veneer

  3. Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS) and Concrete Masonry Walls

    • Concrete Masonry Walls
    • Single Wythe Concrete Masonry: Face Sealed Barrier Wall
    • Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS)
    • Wall Type B: EIFS with Internal Drainage Plane on Concrete Masonry Wall
    • EIFS Design
    • EIFS Installation
    • Maintenance
    • Concerns with EIFS
    • EIFS over Light-Gauge Steel or Wood Studs
    • Case Study: Prefabricated-EIFS Panels On High-Rise Building
    • Case Study: Open-Joint Calcium Silicate Panels on Concrete Masonry

  4. Wood Frame Construction, Stucco, and Fiber-Cement Siding

    • Wood Frame Construction
    • Stucco
    • Wall Type C: Three-Coat Stucco with Internal Drainage Plane on Wood Frame Wall
    • Stucco Design
    • Stucco Application
    • Maintenance
    • Concerns with Stucco
    • Fiber-Cement Cladding
    • Wall Type D: Fiber-Cement Board Siding with Drainage Cavity on Wood Frame Wall
    • Fiber-Cement Siding Design
    • Fiber-Cement Siding Installation
    • Maintenance
    • Concerns with Fiber-Cement Claddings
    • Case Study: MDO Plywood Panels and Cedar Siding

Advancing the Envelope

  1. Terra Cotta, EIFS, Stone, and Brick: Are They Durable?

    • Truth in Materials
    • The Great Imposters: Terra Cotta and EIFS
    • Aesthetics and Durability, Can You Have Both With Carrara Marble?
    • Build It Right The First Time or Repair It Quickly: Brick Veneer

  2. Architect's Design Kit: Form, Surface, and Color; Thick and Thin Walls

    • The Exterior Wall
    • Aesthetic Kit: Form, Surface, and Color
    • Westin New York at Times Square
    • Experience Music Project, Seattle
    • Comparisons: Mondrian Planes and Swoopy Forms
    • Functional Kit: Thick and Thin Walls
    • Vitra Conference Pavilion: Thicker Walls in Germany
    • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
    • Are Two Walls Better than One?
    • Seattle Justice Center

  3. Wood Frame Construction: Designing for the Climate and the Future

    • Durability-the Kingpin of Sustainability
    • Vancouver, British Columbia: "The Look that Didn't Last"
    • Seattle: "When It Rains, It Pours In"
    • What Can Be Learned from the Leaky Condos?
    • How To Do It Right: Two Countries, Two Climates, Two Solutions
    • Home 2000 and Winter Rains of Vancouver, British Columbia
    • KST-Hokkaido House and Heavy Snow Loads of Northern Japan
    • What Can Be Learned from the Two Houses?


  1. Climate Maps
  2. Building Form
  3. Average Air Leakage Rates
  4. Permeability and Thermal Properties of Common Envelope Materials


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Designing the Exterior Wall
An Architectural Guide to the Vertical Envelope
by Linda Brock

2005 • 374 pages • $98.00 + shipping
Texas residents please add 6.75 % sales tax

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