Global differences in building enclosures

David H. Tran, Richard A. Behr, M. Kevin Parfitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Successful design and construction of building enclosures on foreign projects presents a challenge for those who are new to international business. In addition to basic building enclosure functional requirements (i.e., structural, acoustics, heat control, air control, and moisture control), professionals must accommodate local considerations of a building project's site, which vary globally from market to market and are not always clearly understood in the early stages of a project. This study consists of 29 interviews conducted with building enclosure professionals who have significant experience working in the following five global markets: Europe, Far East, Latin America, Middle East, and North America. The interviewees stated that there are significant global differences that affected how they perform services in relation to the design and construction of building enclosures on mainstream, modern, low-to-midrise commercial buildings across each market. The study found 13 factors that account for global differences in building enclosures, with codes and standards the most frequently cited factor, although not all 13 factors were deemed important in a given global market. The authors summarize common perceptions of the design and construction of building enclosures for each global market studied as experienced by the interviewees. These perceptions provide a firsthand narrative of global differences that can exist when conducting building enclosure work internationally. Such a narrative could be of use in preparing those new to international work in market-specific design and construction considerations for building enclosures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04014001
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


Dive into the research topics of 'Global differences in building enclosures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this