Recurring Field Installation Issues with Air Barriers

When it Feels like Groundhog Day
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Webinar On-Demand
Sponsored by the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA)
Presented by Ryan Dalgleish

Learning Objectives:

  1. Assess how site quality assurance audits, field observation and site quality control fit into an overall quality assurance and risk management strategy.
  2. Determine responsibilities of all building enclosure stakeholders to coordinate and execute a plan for quality installation.
  3. Identify typical issues found in the installation process and what caused these for a variety of air barrier systems by visual inspection.
  4. Through the use of jobsite photos, demonstrate the physical testing that can be done on a variety of air barrier systems.


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The term Groundhog Day has a meaning of an unpleasant and a repetitive event or situation. In the building industry, we unfortunately either like or at least tolerate Groundhog Day. I guess we would not have much to talk or complain about if we learned from our past mistakes—that would just be boring, right?

Everyone knows that air barriers are important, they know what they do and that they need to be installed correctly. We have heard it for 20 years and no longer need a presentation to remind us of that. With that being said, how do we give them a chance of success?

One of the most common risk management strategies used is a robust quality assurance program in the specifications that requires certified contractors, trained and certified installers, evaluated materials and on-site third-party audits. This presentation will discuss the role of the quality assurance audits, and point out what to look for when doing site observation and quality control. It will also provide real life examples that can help you identify installation issues on your project, what caused them, and what corrective action can be taken.


Photo courtesy of ABAA


 Ryan Dalgleish has been involved in the building enclosure and building performance areas of construction in both the commercial and residential sectors for over 20 years. He acts in the position of Chief Operating Officer for the Air Barrier Association of America. Ryan is actively involved in research, training development and delivery, certification management and helping industries increase their professionalism. He is a certified Net Zero building instructor, teaches master builder courses to builders across the country and is a frequent speaker at various technical presentations dealing with the building enclosure to various building official associations, city departments, building enclosure councils and chapters of the American Institute of Architects, Construction Specifications Institute and a number of local home builder associations.


The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) is a national, not-for-profit trade association that consists of a wide cross section of stakeholders in the building enclosure industry. Their membership, which is over 630 member companies, includes manufacturers, architects, engineers, trade contractors, researchers, testing & audit agencies, consultants and building owners. ABAA is the national voice of the air barrier industry and the number one resource for anything to do with air and moisture barriers. ABAA provides 3 main services to the building community:

  1. Quality Assurance Program for Air Barrier Installations by delivering premier training for trades, personnel certification, air barrier material evaluations, contractor accreditation, site quality control audits, conflict resolution and technical support.
  2. Technical Resources that include guide specifications, technical publications, standards, test methods, articles and research papers.
  3. Education including full day, ½ and typical lunch and learn seminars and works to delivery and delivers the education in coordination with CSI chapters, AIA chapters and Building Enclosure Councils across the U.S.

The ABAA website is a great resource for specifiers when designing a building and ABAA can assist you in reviewing your specifications and providing language to include requirements for the ABAA quality assurance program.

Originally published in February 2022