Real Estate Journal — Multifamily — May 10 - 23, 2019 — 7D


M id A tlantic


By Frank Swol, EAM Associates Emerging trends in high performance multifamily construction

developers and designers begin understanding that no sources of moisture can be ignored in today’s highly air-sealed and in- sulated buildings. Exhaust only systems, while cost effective, can contribute significant moisture to the indoor environment as was acutely experienced during the summer of 2018. Increasingly developers are looking to smarter solutions to supply fresh air, including supply-side systems with out- door sensors, central ventilators with built-in dehumidifiers, and ERV’s which help dry the incoming air stream as a conse- quence of their energy recovery

function. 3. Advanced building envelopes Developers of multifamily projects are required to build increasingly tight enclosures, while at the same time pro- tecting the durability of the structure from moisture and ensuring a high level of IAQ and comfort. To simultane- ously satisfy all these concerns many builders are finding their typical envelope specifications no longer up to the task. The twomost prominent tech- nologies being incorporated in this area are self-adhered water resistive air barrier membranes

in place of traditional building wraps, and structural sheath- ing panels with built-in exterior insulation which combine ther- mal, air, and moisture barriers in a single system. 4. Engagement with build- ing science professionals and programs Finally, it should be noted that the above issues are only touched upon in the most basic way, and that every multifamily project has a unique set of con- cerns and appropriate solutions. Because of this the last emerging trend is simply that developers and their design professionals are more and more recognizing

the need to have a building sci- ence and energy efficiency expert in their contact list. It’s no longer just about meet- ing the energy code or collect- ing points for an above code program. Developers want to know the capital they outlay for these advanced systems is being put to good use through well-informed design and 3rd- party verified installations. The best way to accomplish this is with someone on the design team focused on just this facet on the construction process. Frank Swol is director of technical services at EAM Associates. 


he summer of 2018 saw difficulties for devel- opers

of multifam- ily properties ac r os s the mid-Atlantic and North- east due to sustained pe- riods of high t e m p e r a -

Frank Swol

continued from page 4D Why multifamily. . . impact on you, your employees and your clients. Don’t let dated IT hold you back; step into the future of cloud-based manage- ment accounting solutions. Michael Mullin is presi- dent of Integrated Business Systems in Totowa, NJ.  Traditionally, multifamily dwellings have been designed to meet their ASHRAE 62.x ven- tilation requirements via con- trolled exhaust strategies. This approach is changing however as tures and humidity. These con- ditions, when combined with the requirements of current energy codes, and above code programs, resulted in moisture and other IAQ issues at many new construction projects. As a result of those complications developers are now working with their design consultants to incorporate new strategies and technologies, helping miti- gate their risk moving forward. These are four of the most im- portant trends we see emerg- ing from working through this process with our clients. 1. Effective heating & cooling design Apartments constructed to current IECC/ASHRAE codes and programs like Energy Star and LEED have extremely low HVAC loads due to the requirements for high perfor- mance insulation, air-sealing, and fenestration. Projects utilizing traditional AC split systems are experiencing in- door moisture problems due to the single-stage nature of this equipment, and the lack of available low-capacity options. Many developers are now making the move to HVAC equipment such as VRF heat pumps which can provide bet- ter humidity control through more appropriate total capac- ity, and variable speed com- pressors which allow for the extended run times needed for effective moisture removal. 2. Smarter ventilationwith moisture removal

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