Water Penetration Testing on a Historic Island Hospital

Fenagh is currently working at Nantucket Cottage Hospital located on the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts. Founded in 1911, the hospital has provided cutting edge medical care to the island’s citizens for well over 100 years.

For an aerial view of the Nantucket Cottage Hospital which is currently under construction, check out this drone footage from their website.

What’s Fenagh’s Involvement?

Fenagh’s responsibility, outside of the typical structural components we specialize in, includes the unique testing of water penetration as noted by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E1105.

Understanding Water Penetration Testing

We first have to determine the dimensions of the interior frame of the window. Doing so allows us to accurately build the model in our test chamber. The test chamber is made in house by Fenagh and used to provide negative air pressure on the interior of the window. Once we have the specific static air pressure on the interior of the window, a rain maker spray rack uniformly applies water to the outside of the window at a specific static pressure.

Depending on the type of test outlined in the project specifications, it’s performed by the chamber providing either negative pressure uniformly or cyclically throughout the test. One technician is outside monitoring the spray rack, while the other is inside with a flashlight to determine if any uncontrolled water is entering the window system. When using the uniform method, static pressure is applied for a constant 15 minute period. While the cyclical method is applied in 3 cycles (i.e., 5 minutes on, 1 minute off). If there is no water penetration, as defined by the (ASTM) E1105 standard, the window passes the water penetration test. If not, the test results in failure and must be redesigned or modified to eliminate any and all water penetration.
Think of the importance to this test…


Do leaky windows sound like a quality product?


What else might be affected by the incoming water?


All projects are different and present their own unique challenges. These challenges primarily take place in the setup of the test chamber on the interior side of the window. From project to project, a variety of manufacturers and installers are utilized, so the setup of the windows are always different. It is the responsibility of the technician to use their experience and problem solving skills to set up a test chamber that best replicates field conditions and apply an accurate amount of pressure, as outlined in the project specifications.

Need Your Windows Tested?

Fenagh’s Engineering Team has extensive experience in performing water penetration testing, as well as many other special inspection and engineering services.

If you have a project that requires specialized engineering and testing services, Call Us Today!

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