SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 11 October 2017

Development of Standards to Evaluate, Analyze, and Retrofit Mass Wall Assemblies and Steep Sloped Roof Assemblies of Existing Buildings for Compliance with Energy Codes


The performance of historical buildings with mass masonry walls and ventilated attics has proven effective over time. By nature, the masonry wall is permitted to dry to both the interior and exterior, preventing moisture accumulation within the assembly. For attic spaces, the air movement under the roof deck has the same effect. With revisions to the energy codes now requiring insulation and continuous air barriers within the building envelope, the thermal and vapor-resistant properties of the assemblies are changing. As such, the assemblies of existing buildings must be evaluated prior to rehabilitation to ensure that the addition of insulation or vapor-resistant materials do not cause moisture-related issues over the life of the building. Two standards are currently under development to provide guidance on these topics: ASTM E3069, Standard Guide for Evaluation and Rehabilitation of Mass Masonry Walls for Changes to the Thermal and Moisture Properties of the Wall, and ASTM WK54379, Standard Guide for the Evaluation, Rehabilitation and Retrofit of Existing Steep Sloped Roof Assemblies. This paper discusses the application of these standards and the need for such guidelines based on the changes to the energy codes to improve the overall energy performance of existing mass masonry walls and steep sloped roofs.

Author Information

Cyphers, Rex
WDP & Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc., Charlottesville, VA, US
Wagner, Carly
WDP & Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc., Charlottesville, VA, US
Knorowski, Jodi
WDP & Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc., Charlottesville, VA, US
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Developed by Committee: C16
Pages: 50–68
DOI: 10.1520/STP159920160107
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7648-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7647-8