Do Buildings Need to Breathe?

Moisture Management Ventilation Energy Use Air Barriers

Course Description

The expression “buildings need to breathe” sounds lovely and healthy — who’s against breathing?! — but unfortunately it’s too vague to really be helpful.  Does it mean that the building should be permeable to air, water vapor, or both?  If air leakage is desirable, where and how much?  And isn’t it also true that air leakage through our enclosures provides pathways for dust, allergens, noise, and odors?  Is there any kind of compromise?  This presentation brings much-needed clarity to the issue by distinguishing between enclosure design and mechanical system design.

Course Instructor Christine Williamson

Course Length 8:30

Published 22 Jun 2022

Please note: viewing this course and completing this quiz do not currently count towards AIA CEU credits.


About Building Science Fight Club

Christine Williamson - Assoc. AIA

Building Scientist | Instructor

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.