Why We Test Windows
Windows and other similar products such as sliding doors, terrace doors, curtainwalls and skylights can be tested in laboratories and also in the field after installation.
…in the lab
Testing in the lab is often for the purpose of obtaining a product certification, such as from AAMA (now FGIA). Depending on the certification sought, the products must perform at stated levels for air infiltration, water penetration and structural strength.
There are many other tests that can be added to that core of tests, including condensation resistance, thermal transmittance, dynamic water testing, seismic testing and even specific tests for pull-out of window washer tiebacks.
…in the field
Testing in the field on installed products tends to track one of two ways: Either the testing is to prove that the installed product performs as advertised (“prove-out testing”), or it is done to find a problem, such as a leak (“diagnostic testing”).
The prove-out testing is usually performed on relatively new installations as a part of the overall new construction or renovation process. When the prove-out testing is performed on a mockup that is built for a specific project, the mockup is called a PMU (“project specific mockup”).
Diagnostic window testing
Diagnostic window testing can be done an any time in a building’s life. It is oriented toward problems that are known to exist.
What we do
Here at Facade Consultants, we participate in all of these types of test approaches, but in different ways.
…in the lab and new construction
For laboratory testing, including PMUs, and field prove-out testing, we act as professional witnesses on behalf of our clients, who often are Owners, Developers, Architects or Engineers. We keep everyone honest, and perform the critical role of documenting critical events that happen along the way. We have spent over a year in construction testing labs participating in such testing.
…in the field when problems occur
For diagnostic testing, we roll up our sleeves and get dirty in a more hands-on way. We use our in-depth experience to analyze the problems in a big-picture way, then design a testing approach that is the most straightforward, economical way to learn what we need to learn. Then we will formulate a repair approach in writing, implement it and test it to make sure the repair works. At that point, either we can repair the entire building with our forces, or we can hand off the repair protocol to other skilled trades to do the work.