LET’S TALK ABOUT IT!
Social media is one of the biggest time wasters humanity has ever invented. You can open an app to check your updates after dinner, and suddenly it’s past midnight! That said, of course I’m on social media. It’s 2020 after all!
There are two forms of social media I use: LinkedIn and Instagram. LinkedIn is a good opportunity for me to learn about the people in the industry, meet peers, and find potential clients. I’m probably not spending hours on LinkedIn. Instagram, meanwhile, is a very different story. You can go crazy with things on Instagram. It’s easy to go off on a tangent and waste hours just looking at other people’s pictures. However, over time I’ve found that Instagram can also be a great resource in my industry, particularly in the field of building science.
BuildingScienceFightClub is an excellent Instagram account started by architectural designer, Christine Williamson. When Christine first told me about the account, the name made it sound really exclusive. But when I checked it out later, I found that it’s really just building science for architects. This really excited me because so much of what I do in my day-to-day job involved failures in the design of the building. BuildingScienceFightClub has given me a lot of really good insight into what is going on in the construction industry. It’s a sort of peek behind the curtain that helps me solve problems better for my clients.
A big thing that’s going on in the construction industry right now is that everyone and their brothers are coming up with new and exciting technologies. We have new devices and tools designed to keep water and air out, manage water, or just generally improve the construction capabilities for contractors to help them avoid mistakes. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that contractors aren’t being trained properly on how to actually use these new technologies.
This is how we end up with contractors who don’t know how these new technologies are supposed to be installed. Contractors will install them the way they would with older technologies. New technologies are being installed improperly, so we end up with the same old problems.
BuildingScienceFightClub actually goes into the design and construction of all kinds of facilities, from single-family homes to commercial buildings. Christine posts graphics that explain what should be done, then shares pictures from construction sites around the Dallas area showing how it’s not being done. There was one house she followed for six weeks, noting what was good about the design while pointing out what would go wrong because the contractor had not installed something properly. The house in question can expect to have a major water problem in 8–10 years.
Christine was gracious enough to chat about BuildingScienceFightClub in this month’s newsletter, so you can learn more about the work she does on Page 3. You can also check out her account on Instagram, which I highly recommend. It all comes down to learning. That’s what I love about BuildingScienceFightClub. People who follow this account are learning how things can be messed up during construction. There’s plenty of learning to be done because this isn’t a static industry. Everyone is coming out with new technology, new applications, and unfortunately, new ways to mess things up.
I go to Building Science Summer Camp every year in August to learn more about building science because I want to know more about the latest strategies and issues we face in the industry. It has a huge impact on the kind of work I do. In the interim, I can fall back on BuildingScienceFightClub if I ever need a building science fix.