Masonry wall systems and insulation

Today’s high-performance building market is driven by increasingly stringent energy codes and a growing demand for greater building efficiency, sustainability, and affordability—meaning specifying and building masonry cavity walls and adhered masonry walls with materials that work together as a functioning system is more critical than ever.
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Fluid-applied thermal break coatings 101

Architects designing with concrete balconies, cantilevered beams, roof penetrations, parapets, canopies, spandrel glass, and other ornamental architectural features are often limited in executing these design elements because they can create thermal bridges that extend beyond the insulation systems within the building envelope. This can cause condensation buildup in exterior...
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Metal composite panels with continuous insulation

There are many different metal composite panel (MCP) assemblies with varying strengths. Traditionally, these claddings are simply fastened without insulation to the structural wall, through membrane water-resistive barriers (WRBs) and gypsum sheathing. However, some proprietary MCPs are fastened through continuous insulation (ci) to the structural wall. What advantages can...
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Continuing Education on Continuous Insulation

Continuous insulation (ci) has been a component of exterior wall assemblies for almost a half-century in North America. By minimizing energy loss caused by thermal bridging and the risk of condensation caused by water vapor diffusion, exterior ci can improve building durability and benefit the environment. However, using rigid...
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Using Vapor Retarders to Manage Airflow and Reduce Moisture

Industry codes are tightening the building envelope and increasing the required R-value of walls. This is a good thing for energy savings and thermal comfort. Yet, one change to a building’s system sets forth a series of other changes. The tight-envelope construction techniques to which architects and builders are...
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Selecting Polystyrene Foam Where Moisture Exposure Occurs

The purpose of building insulation is to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption, contribute to durability, and provide comfort for occupants. However, there are numerous locations where significant exposure to moisture—which severely affects a material’s thermal performance—occurs, such as in protected membrane roofs, vegetative assemblies, below grade, and frost-protected...
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Continuing Education on Continuous Insulation

Continuous insulation (ci) has been a component of exterior wall assemblies for more than 40 years in North America and even longer in Europe. It has always been the smart way to design wall assemblies from the standpoint of energy conservation and water management. By minimizing energy loss caused...
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Investigating EIFS Performance Across Climates: Exterior insulation and finishing systems studied in long-term test

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently undertook a series of trials comparing the moisture and temperature management properties of several different exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS) configurations with those of other claddings. This article looks at how the research was conducted (along with related modeling software), and...
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Using Temperature to Control Condensation in Cold Climates

Initially, water vapor diffusion was seen as the likely culprit for condensation problems; designers and consultants spent hours running and analyzing wall assemblies using the dewpoint method. With such analyses came the concept the wall system should be tuned for maximum condensation resistance by altering or selecting the appropriate...
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