Joe Lstiburek

Here I was, going to an after work function along with many building professionals and architects to listen to a “building scientist’”give a presentation,

Thinking this would be all about flashings, durability and roof/wall junction detailing ,the promised food and drinks to be generously provided by the sponsor made the decision to attend viable.

It transpired that the “building scientist” was Dr. Joseph Lstiburek, the highly qualified and founding principal of The Building Science Corporation, as well as a respected educator and advisor on Canadian and US building codes.

His work has had a lasting impact on building methods and practices throughout the World.

But we weren’t told he was one of the finest stand-up raconteurs I have ever experienced.

Beginning with his name: of Czechoslovakian origin, he explained that he was cancelled, born in Canada and left for the States when Canada adopted the Metric System.

He pointed out various issues in a creatively clever manner – “Why would you have a green roof, and have all that trapped moisture above your head.” And: “Steel studs in walls have to be insulated from both inside and outside because steel conducts hundreds of times more than timber, which is why we don’t have timber wiring.”

I never realized that weathertightness could be so amusing.

But the doozy observation came at the end of an hour of comedic observation.  “All buildings need to be maintained but if a perfectly sustainable and correctly constructed building is ugly, it won’t be. So our primary job is to build beautiful buildings which will be then be loved , and will last and be well maintained.”

Thanks to all the sponsors for such a joyful evening.

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