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What’s a Building Envelope, and Why Does it Matter to Your Build?

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When it comes to commercial construction, your contractor should walk you through each and every step, making the process stress-free and easy for you. That being said, learning some industry-specific lingo can both feel empowering and speed along your build even further, as it gives you sort of a shorthand to use to refer to important parts of your build

This is especially true with such vague terms as “building envelope.” It’s a phrase used in both the architectural design and commercial construction process—and quite a few other industries, too! For your benefit, we dive into it below.

The Term Defined

Just like a mailing envelope surrounds a letter, a building envelope surrounds your build—all the interior parts, that is. In broad terms, it consists of all the exterior facets that create a “seal” around what is inside.

We use quotations because many facilities have areas in their building envelope, such as roofing ventilation, where access to outdoor air is necessary and wanted. A well-constructed building envelope simply makes sure that interior air doesn’t escape where it shouldn’t.

Specific parts of your building envelope include, but are not limited to,

●        Walls

●        Roofing

●        Windows

●        Siding

What a Well-Done Building Envelope Does for Your Facility

For one, it saves you money on energy. Because building envelopes are all about maintaining a consistently comfortable interior environment, a construction management company that takes special care when making one is a good financial investment.

Secondly, it saves the environment. In green building, a ship-shape envelope is everything. Just as it cuts energy bills, it cuts the amount of impact your facility has on the environment, which makes staying true to your company’s values all the easier.

Third and finally, it cuts down on your repair costs. When quality products are used and experience-led commercial contractors and architects are on staff, your build is far less likely to suffer in the future, provided you properly maintain it. Say goodbye to air leaks or windows that don’t quite shut right!

How to Ensure Your Building Envelope Is Top-Notch

Well, the first step is to pick a reputable commercial contractor—which we cover exactly how to do in our blog. A building envelope is only as good as the team that puts it together, after all; quality craftsmanship will get you further than patch-jobs and future repairs ever will. That being said, making smart decisions about your build (with the help of your commercial contractor, of course) will ensure that your new facility remains watertight and strong.

Don’t Skimp on Material Prices

When picking everything from roofing types to siding, it’s tempting for the average client to always go the cheap route. So much money goes into a commercial construction project, after all, and since budgets are inherently finite, saving money where you can might seem like a smart idea. But take it from a provider of commercial construction services: your building’s exterior isn’t something you want to cut corners on. It’s the first line of defense your building envelope has against physical damage; if it goes down, every benefit that a well-done building envelope brings to your business goes out the window.

While in many cases it might not be necessary to always purchase the best money can buy, at the very least you must make these sorts of decisions with your envelope in mind.

Be Smart With Materials

Each and every exterior material has its unique set of pros and cons. The Balance Small Business demonstrates this handily in its article on siding types, for example. We also touch on a similar topic on our blog on roofing. Indeed, how well each material does at protecting your building’s envelope not only varies with price, but also with the inherent nature of the material itself. Talk to your exterior contractor to determine the right functional choice for a strong and dependable envelope.

For a Construction Project Management Team who Knows Every Detail Counts, Contact Miller Today

The building envelope may only be one part of the commercial construction process, but we at Miller Architects & Builders know that success comes from taking care of every little detail. If you’re looking for a construction company with the keen eye needed to get results, contact our Saint Cloud office today at 320-251-4109.