Providing Owners What They Really Want – Leak Free Buildings – Through Performance Specifications

Melissa Payne, BECxP, CxA+BE, CDT


Building owners are often perplexed by new buildings that do not perform as expected.  They acquire a design and construction team to build their vision (their dream), yet many times they are left with buildings that leak, lack performance, or need continual maintenance from day one.  Our industry is challenged to provide owners with a building that meets their project requirements and performs as they directed. Unfortunately, lawsuits and insurance claims are continually part of the construction process as a result of falling short of the owners’ expectations and requirements.

      In this presentation, we dive into producing and providing performance specifications that meet the owners’ expectations, maximize the success of the design and construction teams, and reduce risks for all three parties of the design team (owner, architect and construction team).  We learn how to provide a performance specification that is clear, concise and comprehensive yet simple and targeted to achieve what the owner really wants – a leak free building that performs!


Learning objectives:

  1. Learn how building enclosure failures are a billion-dollar annual industry and the reason why the industry needs performance specifications that define performance, functional, and technical requirements

  2. Understand the owners’ directives and how to properly execute the owner’s project requirements as part of the performance specifications

  3. Know how to maximize success by writing clear, concise and comprehensive performance specifications with high performing and sustainable building enclosures in mind

  4. Know how to define construction performance requirements within the specification to mitigate risk, ensure quality assurance / quality control processes and attain the defined directives of the owner’s project requirements

  5. Know how to create buildings that perform – what the owner really wants from the design and construction team and increase understanding of design, performance, warranties, and durability of the building