Lunch And Learn With The Henry Company – Building Envelope Systems

Lunch & Learn With The Henry Company

Residential And Light Commercial Building Envelope Systems

The Henry Company’s Architectural Building Envelope Manager, Lynae Schindler, recently presented a lunch and learn program to our waterproofing team at our downtown Los Angeles office on Flower St. on August 4, 2022. In attendance were Terra-Petra’s Vice-President, Justin Conaway; Principal Waterproofing Consultant, Paul Piscoran; Dan Valdez Director of Field Operations; and most of Terra-Petra’s field inspection team.

In her presentation, Lynae discussed residential and light commercial building envelope systems in respect to weather resistive barriers tied to envelope fenestration systems. Our team was introduced to some innovative products for Mixed-Use, Multi-family (light commercial projects 7 stories and below), and introduced to the idea that one manufacturer should “own the wall”.

Terra-Petra Waterproofing Consulting Joins in LA Development Project Milestone Celebration

Terra-Petra Building Envelope Waterproofing Consulting Division Joins in on 1375 S. St Andrews Place Development Project Milestone Celebration

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Terra-Petra’s Building Envelope Waterproofing Consulting Division was proud to be a part of the Holland Partner Group (HPG) “Topping Out Celebration” on May 19th. HPG organized this special event to recognize a great milestone in the construction process of its new development at 1375 S. St Andrews Place in Los Angeles, California. The project consists of the construction of a new 185 unit 8-story residential structure having 1 level of subterranean parking constructed adjacent to a 1 and 2-story existing theater.

As a premier developer of core urban infill residential and mixed-use trophy communities, HPG wanted to recognize this milestone as well as express gratitude to all the people and organizations that had a hand in the project reaching this stage.

We are very pleased to have played a role in the 1375 S. St Andrews Place development and look forward to providing Holland Partner Group with more support for their upcoming projects.

Terra-Petra Provided Building Envelope Waterproofing Consulting

Terra-Petra is pleased to have contributed to this project in our little way. During the design phase, we served as the project’s building envelope waterproofing consultant. We were also retained through the Construction Administration phase by reviewing and responding to RFI’s and submittals as well as carrying out the inspections of the installed systems to ensure compliance with specifications, application requirements, and warranty compliance.  

Recently we have been onsite witnessing mock-up installations of the window assemblies. More specifically we have been verifying that the building envelope systems are properly detailed and terminated per plans and specifications to ensure the watertight integrity of the system is achieved. 

We are scheduled to conduct water penetration resistance testing of the installed fenestration systems once the installation goes into production in early May.  Terra-Petra routinely performs QA/QC testing for numerous fenestration assemblies using methods ASTM E 1105 @Ambient Pressure or with a Vacuum Chamber and/or AAMA 501.2. 

Water Penetration Resistance Testing – Marina Del Rey, CA

Water Penetration Resistance Testing - Marina Del Rey, CA

Terra-Petra Waterproofing Division was recently engaged to provide Water Penetration Resistance Testing for a building located in Marina Del Rey, CA.

Testing is covering select areas across the entire building enclosure systems including the windows, storefront, curtain wall systems and roof systems The request for the testing was driven by the proposed tenant of the building. The developer engaged Terra-Petra based on our experience, reputation, and familiarity with the buildings.

The scope of work includes performing ASTM E1105-08 Modified, and/or AAMA 501.2 Modified. Our services covered industry standards for Testing and Reporting as specified in standard Specification Sections relative to these systems.

We are also providing technical consulting services to be carried out by Terra-Petra’s Principal Waterproofing Consultant to assess root causes for water intrusion that occurred at the building interior during the water testing efforts. We are currently writing up our recommendations for repairs in the few areas where water did migrate through the building enclosure systems.

Photos Of The Water Penetration Resistance Testing Project

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More About Our Certified Air & Water Testing Services

Exterior Building Envelope Water and Air Testing per ASTM & AAMA Standards:

Terra-Petra utilizes the latest technology, materials and techniques for conducting site inspections and field testing of fenestration system assemblies. We are an AAMA accredited test agency that is able to carry out air and water performance testing of building envelope assemblies during both the mock-up and installation phases. Terra-Petra provides field testing in compliance with ASTM E-1105-00, ASTM E-783-02 and AAMA 502 standards.

Forensic Waterproofing Assessment – Palmdale, CA

Terra-Petra Waterproofing Division conducted a forensic waterproofing assessment of historic water intrusion issues at the Palmdale Water District Headquarters Office building located in Palmdale, CA.

Multiple areas of historic moisture intrusion throughout this structure indicated failures at the stucco panels. The PWD Main Office was originally built in 1992 and over the years the existing stucco panels pulled apart from the building creating a safety issue. There are several theories as to why the stucco panels separated from the structure, and we assumed that it was poorly constructed. The District sought an expert to provide an evaluation of material options to replace the existing exterior stucco wall system.

Building Envelope Weatherproofing Consulting – Palm Springs, CA

Terra-Petra Waterproofing Division has accepted the task to provide building envelope weatherproofing consulting services for the design of a high-end mixed used building in Palm Springs.  The new development will consist of the construction of a 6-story building, w/ roof deck, having 45-units. There will be a single subterranean parking level.

The scope of work includes consulting on the waterproofing systems by providing both a systems recommendation letter (Basis of Design) and by redlining the project plans relative to the building enclosure system for the Construction Document (CD) phase of the project.

Terra-Petra will coordinate the waterproofing design documents with the Developer, Architect and other consultant disciplines, which typically includes structural drawings, civil plans, landscaping plans, shoring plans, MEP and geotechnical reports.

Forensic Waterproofing Assessment Of Historic Building On USC Campus

Terra-Petra Environmental Engineering is pleased to have been contracted to conduct a forensic waterproofing assessment of historic water intrusion issues for a building located on the campus of University of Southern California (USC).

We have been informed that there are multiple areas of historic moisture intrusion along the basement wall below areas of proposed pathway improvements at the site. The entire side of the basement has cracks on the wall that need repair; water proofing issues, and many utility penetrations with large cracks will need to be addressed. Terra-Petra shall assess the water intrusion issues and make recommendations to address these issues.

Waterproofing Concrete: Crack Size Matters, Crack Bridging Capacity

Blindside Waterproofing: Swellable Membrane Limitations: Cracks, Voids and Poor Consolidation Matter

In concrete, there are voids and cracks that waterproofing systems must compress against to be functional. This is relevant, particularly regarding poorly consolidated substrates which is inherent to shotcrete.  Swellable membranes such as Bentonite often do not achieve the 24 lbs. of compression per square foot required to achieve watertight functionality, when installed in conjunction with shotcrete.

When it comes to saving construction costs by using shotcrete at below grade vertical conditions, in lieu of cast-in-place concrete, we advise using some of those consequential savings towards a waterproofing system that can accommodate the inconsistencies inherent with blown concrete. Even the best nozzlemen cannot guarantee that voids will not be left behind.

A High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) membrane with taped seams, used in conjunction with a bentonite option (that has the capacity of bridging in a watertight manner the poor compaction and consolidation areas that are acceptable structurally but inherently problematic from a waterproofing standpoint), is a predictable way to get watertight performance results with shotcrete applications.

Contact Terra-Petra today for a consultation on our waterproofing consulting, testing and inspection services.

Terra-Petra Waterproofing – Building Envelope Consulting Los Angeles

Terra-Petra is currently providing building envelope weatherproofing consulting services to a multinational asset management and development firm at their development in Los Angeles CA.

The project will consist of the construction of a new 6-story, 30,274 SF multifamily apartment building consisting of five levels of type III-A over one level of Type I-A. The building footprint is approximately 7,000 SF.

Building Envelope Consulting – Los Angeles, CA

Terra-Petra is currently providing building envelope weatherproofing consulting services to a multinational asset management and development firm at their development in Los Angeles CA.

The project will consist of the construction of a new 7-story, 60-unit residential building with a common area at the roof. It will include a subterranean parking level with a semi-automated parking system with a parking pit. The building footprint is approximately 11,900 SF.

Terra-Petra will provide all consulting services for sub-slab vapor barriers, below grade
waterproofing and drainage, podium and balcony waterproofing, planter waterproofing and drainage, exterior wall cladding and weather-resistive barriers and roofing assemblies.

IIBEC Technical Advisory No. 018-2019 (updated 2021) Electronic Leak Detection

Re-post from

TITLE: Electronic Leak Detection

DESIGNATION: IIBEC-TA-018-2019 (updated 2021)

OBJECTIVE: To provide information on the methods and qualifications for electronic leak detection testing used for installed roofing and waterproofing systems.


This Technical Advisory is intended to serve only as a general resource and to identify potential issues for consideration by industry professionals. Each person using this Technical Advisory is solely responsible for the evaluation of the Technical Advisory in light of the unique circumstances of any particular situation, must independently determine the applicability of such information, and assumes all risks in connection with the use of such information. The materials contained in this Technical Advisory do not supersede any code, rule, regulation, or legislation and are not intended to represent the standard of care in any jurisdiction.


With the desire to improve the service life of roofing and waterproofing systems, a need has arisen to improve both quality control (QC) and trouble-shooting techniques of these systems. The introduction of nondestructive electronic leak detection (ELD) testing has provided additional options to meet this demand. Since QC is an increasingly important aspect in today’s construction projects, ELD is becoming a commonly specified and utilized procedure to determine watertightness in roofing and waterproofing assemblies. The introduction of ELD technology occurred around 20 years ago in the North-American market and has led to increased confidence in the performance of roofing and waterproofing systems. In recent years, questions have arisen regarding differences in technology and training required to provide accurate results using ELD. This technical advisory will provide information related to ELD on the following:

  • History and development of equipment currently utilized
  • Current ASTM standards and how they apply
  • Basic principles needed to conduct testing
  • Characteristics and limitations of the different technologies
  • Training and proper implementation
  • Recommendations


The origins of ELD began with high-voltage (holiday) testing equipment. This equipment was originally designed to test corrosion-resistant coatings applied on metallic pipes and was later modified to test geomembranes, waterproofing membranes, and low-slope roofing assemblies.

Moving into the 1990s, low-voltage testing made its way slowly into the German market as a means of troubleshooting existing roofing assemblies. It quickly became evident that low-voltage equipment was also suitable for integrity testing on exposed membranes.

Low-voltage electric field vector mapping also has the ability to assist with the troubleshooting of roofing and waterproofing through different types of overburden covering the membrane, although these tests are much more difficult and challenging than testing exposed membranes and have significantly reduced reliability.

In the 1990s, low-voltage testing—electric field vector mapping—was introduced in the North American market. While ELD was first promoted as a troubleshooting tool, as it was in Europe, it quickly became apparent that many individuals in the industry were interested in using the technology as a QC tool during installation of roofing and waterproofing systems.[i] Several developments have been made in the equipment over the years to allow for QC on numerous types of roofing and waterproofing systems. Within the last ten years, conductive grids, conductive primers, and other materials have also been introduced into the market to act as alternative grounds. These are incorporated into systems to allow for testing conventional insulated roofing systems. ASTM D7877–14, Standard Guide for Electronic Methods for Detecting and Locating Leaks in Waterproof Membranes, specifies that the alternative ground be installed directly under the membrane when the electrical path to the conductive deck is interrupted.

While there are several forms of equipment utilized for ELD—such as high-voltage broom, scanning platforms, electric field vector mapping—the basic electrical theory of either high or low voltage is similar.


ASTM D7877ii was introduced in 2014 and specifically explains the various pieces of equipment in use and the conditions required to perform a test. While this standard outlines the terminology and methodology associated with current electronic test methods and equipment variations, it does not address training and experience of the individual performing the tests.

Equipment Addressed in the Standard

ASTM D7877 outlines two methods of low-voltage ELD for horizontal surfaces, one method of low-voltage ELD for vertical surfaces, and one method of high-voltage ELD for horizontal and vertical surfaces, further described in the following.

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