Building Science Excellence

Origin of our brand

Enclosure, phonetically ɛnˈkloʊʒəɹ: That part of any building that physically separates the exterior environment from the interior environment(s) is called the building enclosure.

Both the above-grade and the below-grade portions of the building enclosure are part of a physical system involving three interactive components: the exterior environment(s), the enclosure system, and the interior environment(s). The exterior environment above grade is very different from that below grade, and within any building there can be numerous interior environments.

The primary function of the enclosure is to separate the interior environment from the exterior environment to which it is exposed. Physically, the typical building enclosure usually consists of the following components:

– The roof system(s).

– The above-grade wall system(s) including windows (fenestration) and doors.

– The below-grade wall system(s).

– The base floor system(s).


The building enclosure should not be thought of as a combination of numerous one-dimensional or even two-dimensional planar components. Each enclosure component is a three-dimensional, multi-layer, multi-material assembly that extends from the inside face of the innermost interior layer to the outside face of the outermost layer. The overall enclosure is made up of all the contiguous enclosure sub-assemblies.

In any built facility the building enclosure must perform satisfactorily, i.e., each and every loading must be controlled or resisted (i.e., managed). There are the physical functions as well as qualitative functions or attributes. Ideally all of the attributes listed below need to be satisfied:

– Constructability (or buildability).

– Economic viability or cost over both the short and long term.

– Viewability including aesthetic, cultural and other visual expectations.

– Sustainability (renewable, non-toxic, etc.)

– Serviceability (perform in service).

– Safety in relation to life, health, injury, property, and economic enterprise.

– Productivity (in construction and installation).

– Operability (for users).

– Maintainability (for operators).

– Repairability (for operators).

– Convertibility in relation to modification, extension, or conversion.


Encompass phonetically ɪnˈkompəs:

– to form a circle about; encircle; surround

– to enclose; envelop

– to include comprehensively

Building Enclosure Consulting, Design & Engineering, since 1976