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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Title: Durable solutions for balconies and decks in midrise buildings

Source: Res. in Prog. FPL-RIP-4714-039. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 2 p.

Author(s)Peavey, John B.; Wang, Xiping

Publication Year: 2020  View PDF »

Related Publications: view

Category: Research In Progress

Abstract: Wood-frame construction has become the technology of choice for midrise multifamily and mixed-use buildings containing apartments and condominiums. It is typical for these types of occupancies to feature balconies and decks in all or most dwelling units, both for their functionality and architectural qualities. As configurations of multifamily building continue to evolve and challenge stereotypes, a wide range of balcony and deck designs are used across the country. These balconies and decks represent one of the most vulnerable elements in the building from the durability standpoint. Unless adequately designed and constructed, the balcony can act as a water entry point into the enclosure causing risk of long-term damage to the enclosure materials, the balcony connections, and the balcony components. The complexity of the design can be exacerbated by the use of finishes such as a concrete topping and other elements that limit drying and can be the source of moisture load. Water-absorptive claddings such as exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS), stucco, or brick can present further challenges for integrating balconies with the rest of the structure. It is also noted that exterior assemblies in midrise buildings are subject to fire requirements that trigger the use of assemblies and materials that are different from conventional low-rise single-family buildings.

Keywords: Balcony; best practices; deck; wood-frame building; moisture performance; construction

Publication Review Process: Non-Refereed (Other)

File size: 431 kb(s)

Date posted: 02/21/2020
RITS Product ID: 97060
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Wang, Xiping
Research Forest Products Technologist

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