Tag Archives: B2010.10—Exterior Wall Veneer

Reducing Environmental Impact with Coatings

Images courtesy Sto Corp.

Images courtesy Sto Corp.

by Rankin Jays, MBA

A quick review of the new 2012 International Building Code (IBC) is evidence enough the environmental lobby continues to grow. Broadly speaking, the new code requires more insulation, a tighter envelope, improved ducts, better windows, and more efficient lighting. As it becomes understood the planet cannot sustain the environmental impact associated with meeting a growing energy demand, energy conservation needs to improve.

However, the code is merely the minimum acceptable standard and it still leaves choices—especially the option to make a bigger individual contribution toward energy savings. The professional community recognizes the opportunity to influence these choices on an even larger scale. Architecture 2030—a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization—was established in response to the climate change crisis in 2002. According to the group:

Buildings are the major source of global demand for energy and materials that produce by-product greenhouse gases (GHG). Slowing the growth rate of GHG emissions and then reversing it is the key to addressing climate change.1

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) launched Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in 1998 as a voluntary, market-driven program to recognize environmental stewardship and social responsibility in building design, construction, operations, and maintenance. The knock-on effect was to focus the building supply chain on the industry’s products, how they were made, efficiency, and where and how they were brought to market.

Buildings are the problem and buildings are the solution. Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most projects, and coatings selection can play a big role in energy saving opportunities.2

Cool roofs
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), cool roofing is the fastest growing sector of the building industry, as owners and facility managers realize the immediate and long-term benefits of roofs that stay cool in the sun.3 The Oak Ridge National Library (ORNL) have explored the energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability of cool roofs and have developed a calculator that computes the reduction in energy consumption by substituting a cool roof for a conventional roof. Cool roofs can create a cooler interior space in buildings without air-conditioning, making occupants more comfortable, reducing carbon emissions by lowering the need for fossil-fuel generated electricity to run air-conditioners, and potentially slowing global warming by cooling the atmosphere.4

Cooler building surface temperatures reduce energy demand.

Cooler building surface temperatures reduce energy demand.

Cool (i.e. white) flat roofs have been a requirement in California since 2005, while it has been relatively easy to get building owners to adopt this it was not without incentives such as federal tax credits for approved roofing systems.5 The cool roof requirement was extended to include sloped roofs in certain Climate Zones in 2009 as part of the California’s Title 24, Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Further, roofing systems meeting LEED’s Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) criteria could qualify for LEED-New Construction (NC) v2.2 Sustainable Sites (SS) credit 7.2, Heat Island Effect–Roof.

If you are installing a new roof or reroofing an existing building, a systems approach to providing an energy-efficient roof should be taken with a cool roof considered.

Simply put, traditional dark-colored roofing materials strongly absorb sunlight, making them warm in the sun and heating the building. White or special ‘cool color’ roofs absorb less sunlight, staying cooler in the sun and transmitting less heat into the building. This reduces the need for cooling energy if the building is air-conditioned, or lowers the inside air temperature if the building is not cooled.

Steven Chu, PhD, has been talking about the benefits of white roofs since being appointed as U.S. Secretary of Energy. In 2010, he mandated all new roofs on Energy Department buildings be either white or reflective. In a statement, he noted the cooling effect white roofs have on buildings, especially air-conditioned ones, as well as their ability to drastically lower energy costs—an estimated $735 million per year, if 85 percent of all air-conditioned buildings in the country had white roofs.

“Cool roofs are one of the quickest and lowest cost ways we can reduce our global carbon emissions and begin the hard work of slowing climate change,” Chu said.

White roofs can also reduce the urban heat island effect. This is a phenomenon caused by all the dark, heat-absorbing surfaces in urban areas. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (LBNL’s) Heat Island Group6 showed increasing the reflectivity of road and roof surfaces in urban areas with populations of more than one million would reduce global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1.2 gigatons annually—the equivalent of taking 300 million cars off the road.7

IR-reflective pigment coatings
Infrared (IR) reflective pigment technology in coatings were first used more than 30 years ago, although full commercialization has only been quite recent.8 The technology and entry costs are relatively lower now than in the past, but the manufacturing process and quality control remains specialized within the scope of only a small number of manufacturers.

Combining the IR reflective pigmentation with the performance of current polymer coatings technology can produce a long-lasting coating offering significant energy-saving potential along with numerous other benefits. The higher solar reflectance increases the coating lifecycle by reducing thermal expansion and contraction of the substrate. The cooler surface temperature reduces polymer degradation within the paint film; reduced energy demand carries the obvious economic and environmental advantages. Additionally, they also make a positive contribution toward the reduction of the urban heat island effect.

The primary purpose of IR-reflective coatings is to keep objects cooler than they would be using standard pigments. These coatings can reduce the heat penetrating the building though the roof and exterior walls, lowering the load on the air-conditioning system and thereby increasing a building’s energy efficiency. An overview of the basics behind this technology is described on the Eco Evaluator website, stating:

These thermally emissive/reflective coatings offer a range of applications such as on roofs and walls of buildings. These coatings will adhere to a variety of materials such as composite roof shingles, metal roofs, and concrete tile roofs as well as stucco, plywood, and concrete block walls. When considering thermally emissive/reflective cool coatings be sure to look for metal oxide and infra-red emissive pigments. These ingredients are necessary to block ultra violet rays and reflect infrared radiation.9

Infrared (IR) reflective coatings are gaining in popularity as exterior design incorporates more vibrant and saturated colors.

Infrared (IR) reflective coatings are gaining in popularity as exterior design incorporates more vibrant and saturated colors.

In 2005, ORNL produced a lengthy study on the efficacy of IR reflective exterior wall coatings and found they can offer up to 22 percent savings on cooling energy costs when compared to a regular architectural coating of the same color. Overall effectiveness depends on the darkness of the coating color and how exposed the surfaces are to direct sunlight.

Radiant heat barriers
Passing on the whole exterior repaint is an option—a radiant heat barrier in the attic space, primarily designed to reduce summer heat gain and decrease cooling costs, can be considered. The barrier consists of a highly reflective material that ‘bounces’ radiant heat and reduces the radiant heat transfer from the underside of the roof to the other surfaces in the attic, such as air-conditioning ducts.10

Air barriers
A report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), “Investigation of the Impact of Commercial Building Envelope Airtightness on HVAC Energy Use,” confirms continuous air barrier systems can reduce air leakage by up to 83 percent and energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 40 percent.

In new construction where we may have been accustomed to seeing a building ‘wrap,’ air barriers are now commonly fluid-applied air and moisture barriers, providing a continuous and fully adhered membrane across the sheathing’s entire surface with obvious durability advantages gained from having a chemical and mechanical bond between the air barrier and the substrate.

Liquid technology also allows for faster, easier application of the air barrier and reduces the risk of improper installation as they are spray-, brush-, or roller-applied to the surface. The exception would be where mesh, fabric, or transition products are embedded and sealed within the fluid applied products.

As building codes continue to evolve with an emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability, the value of air barriers is becoming much more apparent. In fact, research has proven air barriers actually play a larger role in energy efficiency than exterior continuous insulation.11


This image shows a spray application of a vapor permeable fluid applied membrane.

Niche or not?
With the exception of cool roof coatings, why have the rest of these technologies not amounted to much more than niche products? There is perhaps a large amount of skepticism following early entrants in the market that made outlandish claims of paint’s insulating qualities that were revealed as scams.

For skeptics out there, look no further than the stripes on a zebra for a lesson on reducing radiant heat. The black and white pattern on these animals can reduce the animal’s surface skin temperature by 8 C (17 F). The temperature differences over the black and white stripes result in differential air pressure, which produces minute air currents that cool the surface.

As an example of biomimicry of this natural phenomenon, the concept was commercialized by Daiwa House in Japan where the interplay of black and white on the façade reduced the summer indoor air temperature by 4.4 C (8 F).

It should be noted, cool roof and IR coatings will only have an impact where cooling costs are higher than heating costs. In higher/cooler latitudes there could be a heating cost penalty during the winter as a result of using these coatings. Following the zebra’s example they are only provided with an insulating layer of fat beneath their black stripes since the tissue below the reflective white stripes does not need it.

Coatings are in no way meant to replace insulation, but they can make an effective contribution in reducing the downstream environmental impact by reducing energy usage. With new coatings in the market, and more coming in every day, these products are contributing to energy savings and reducing energy dependency.

1 Visit www.architecture2030.org/2030_challenge/the_2030_challenge. (back to top)
2 Visit www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_01.html, Department of Energy. (back to top)
3 For more on cool roofing, see “Rethinking Cool Roofing: Evaluating Effectiveness of White Roofs in Northern Climates” by Craig A. Tyler, AIA, CSI, CDT, LEED AP, in the November 2013 issue. (back to top)
4 Visit www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/pdfs/cool_roof_fact_sheet.pdf. (back to top)
5 Visit www.energy.ca.gov/2008publications/CEC-999-2008-031/CEC-999-2008-031.pdf. (back to top)
6 For more, see Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory 2009, Radiative forcing and temperature response to changes in urban albedos and associated CO2 offsets. (back to top)
7 Visit inhabitat.com/having-white-roofs-would-save-the-u-s-735-million-per-year/. (back to top)
8 For more on IRCCs, see our web-exclusive article, “Reflecting on the Versatility of IRCCS,” by Lynn Walters at www.constructionspecifier.com. (back to top)
9 Visit www.ecoevaluator.com/building/energy-efficiency/heat-reflective-paints.html. (back to top)
10 Visit www.ornl.gov/sci/ees/etsd/btric/RadiantBarrier/. There is a great fact sheet from Oak Ridge National Laboratory with more information on radiant heat barriers. (back to top)
11 See, NISTIR 7238, “Investigation of the Impact of Commercial Building Envelope Airtightness on HVAC Energy Use.” (back to top)

Rankin Jays is a product manager (coatings) for Sto Corp. He joined the company this year to oversee the coatings product line, introducing new products such as architectural coatings. Jays’ experience with coatings goes back nearly 30 years, starting as a paint maker while at Victoria University in New Zealand. He received his MBA from Massey University. Jays can be contacted by e-mail at rjays@stocorp.com.

Specifying Weather-resistant Siding: Section 1405.16

Fiber cement siding complying with International Building Code (IBC) Section 1404.10, Fiber-cement Siding, shall be permitted on exterior walls of Types I, II, III, IV, and V construction for wind pressure resistance or wind speed exposures as indicated by the manufacturer’s listing and label and approved installation instructions. Where specified, the siding should be installed over sheathing or materials listed in Section 2304.6, and conform to the water-resistive barrier (WRB) requirements in Section 1403. Siding and accessories shall be installed in accordance with approved manufacturer’s instructions. Unless otherwise specified in the approved manufacturer’s instructions, nails used to fasten the siding to wood studs must be corrosion-resistant round head smooth shank and shall be long enough to penetrate the studs at least 25 mm (1 in.). The metal framing requires all-weather screws, which must penetrate the framing at least three full threads.

To read the full article, click here.

Specifying Weather-resistant Siding

All photos courtesy James Hardie Building Products

All photos courtesy James Hardie Building Products

by Chad Diercks and Dale Knox

Severe weather can devastate communities and cause costly property damage, prompting designers and specifiers for commercial, multi-family, institutional, and industrial buildings to seek durable siding materials. Fiber cement has become a popular choice to satisfy requirements for both code compliance and improved property protection.

Storms, wildfires and other acts of nature are difficult to predict, but statistics show damage caused by these occurrences are increasingly expensive. Property damage in the United States caused by tornadoes, hail, floods, coastal storms, hurricanes, and blizzards totaled more than $26.5 trillion in 2012, according to a report from the National Weather Service.1

Further, consumer insurance website Insure.com notes six of the top 10 costliest wildfires in U.S. history have struck in the last decade.2 Four of the five most expensive hurricanes have also occurred since 2005. Hurricane Katrina is at the top with an estimated cost of $108 billion. Last year’s Hurricane Sandy, which struck the U.S. eastern seaboard in October, cost an estimated $65 billion.3

Fiber cement siding enables buildings to stand up better in both everyday and extreme weather. This photo shows fiber cement siding used to renovate an existing pool complex in Moorhaven, New York.

Fiber cement siding enables buildings to stand up better in both everyday and extreme weather. This photo shows fiber cement siding used to renovate an existing pool complex in Moorhaven, New York.

Considerations when specifying siding range from aesthetics and cost, to code compliance and safety. Two important issues for building owners are lowered maintenance and less risk—especially related to moisture.

For years, product specifiers relied on vinyl and wood siding as traditional go-to products for various projects. However, vinyl siding can be seriously damaged during storms with strong winds, hail, and flying debris. According to the National Storm Damage Center (NSDC) the most common types of storm damage to vinyl siding are cracking, chipping, and breaking.4

With the development of more durable materials, there has been growth in the use of fiber cement siding because it stands up better in both every day and extreme weather. Although the initial investment of fiber cement siding can be slightly higher than other siding options, the improved protection and lower maintenance provide a payback over the long term.

The specification process for institutional and industrial buildings can be more complex than other commercial buildings. For institutional buildings associated with a state or federal government agency, specified products are usually required to be manufactured in the United States, due to the Buy American Act. Industrial buildings involving chemicals have extra considerations related to fire and explosion prevention.

In assisting project managers with quality control by helping to navigate the complex demands large projects put forth on project teams, MasterFormat is helpful at providing the information needed to navigate such variables. It helps organize critical fire-related elements of the project so teams and owners are better aligned on the agreed-upon needs and wants required.

Fiber cement siding can be more durable than vinyl or wood for withstanding impacts from ice, hail, or storm debris. This image shows fiber cement siding on Lighthouse High School in the Bronx, New York.

Fiber cement siding can be more durable than vinyl or wood for withstanding impacts from ice, hail, or storm debris. This image shows fiber cement siding on Lighthouse High School in the Bronx, New York.

Many building plans start with evaluation of codes for fire ratings and weather hazards, which may significantly vary by region. Many state and municipal codes are based on the International Building Code (IBC) and then tailored to fit regional needs, which can make requirements stricter in some areas. IBC Section 1405.16, “Fiber-cement Siding,” specifically covers the usage and installation of the material. (See “Section 1405.16.”)

Disasters are often the impetus for regional code changes. In the 1990s, hurricanes in Florida drove regional change to the state’s building code, such as the inclusion of American Society of Civil Engineering/Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE/SEI) 7, Minimum Design Loads For Buildings and Other Structures, code adoption, and required missile impact-resistant glass and wall systems. A decade later, wildfires in California led to changes in the state building code. For example, eave, deck, and exterior wall protection, as well as elevated window fire endurance were updated. Some of these regional code changes have flowed over into the national model codes.

Due to recent storms, flooding has become a growing area of consideration, and one that will likely have more stringent codes in the future. For instance, the 2012 IBC requires exterior walls extending below the design flood elevation be constructed of flood-damage-resistant materials.

According to Section 1403.6, “Flood Resistance:”

For buildings in flood hazard areas as established in Section 1612.3, exterior walls extending below the elevation required by Section 1612 shall be constructed with flood-damage-resistant materials.

Additionally, 2012 IBC, Section 202 defines several key terms related to flood loads. They include:

  • Design flood: flood associated with the greater of the following two areas: area with a flood plain subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any year, or area designated as a flood hazard area on a community’s flood hazard map (or otherwise legally designated);
  • Design flood elevation: elevation of the ‘design flood,’ including wave height, relative to the datum specified on the community’s legally designated flood hazard map. In areas designated as Zone AO, the design flood elevation shall be the elevation of the highest existing grade of the building’s perimeter plus the depth number (in feet) specified on the flood hazard map. In areas designated as Zone AO where a depth number is not specified on the map, the depth number shall be taken as being equal to 2 ft (i.e. 610 mm);
  • Flood hazard area: the greater of the area within a flood plain subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any year, or area designated as a flood hazard area on a community’s flood hazard map; and
  • Flood damage-resistant material: any construction material capable of withstanding direct and prolonged contact with floodwaters without sustaining any damage that requires more than cosmetic repair.

However, the 2012 IBC does not list a specific standard defining flood damage-resistant materials. In lieu of a code-defined standard, one path to compliance may be to use U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Technical Bulletin 2, “Flood Damage-resistant Materials Requirements.”5

Fiber cement siding resists cracking, warping, rot, and pest damage. This image shows a panel system on a commercial building in Seattle.

Fiber cement siding resists cracking, warping, rot, and pest damage. This image shows a panel system on a commercial building in Seattle.

Fire protection
In some areas prone to wildfires, fire regulations are especially stringent. Over the last decade, wildfires have had an influence in design and construction specifications. For example, in 2006, the Wildland-Urban Interface Code was added to the California Building Code because many of the state’s buildings with combustible siding installed were damaged in wildfires.6 This code requires use of non-combustible or ignition-resistant materials (including siding) to be employed on buildings in high fire severity areas.

Fiber cement is roughly 90 percent sand and cement—materials that do not readily ignite. Fiber cement siding is also required to have a flame spread index of ‘0’ and a smoke developed index of ‘5’ or less when tested to ASTM E84, Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials. Fiber cement siding also meets the non-combustibility requirements as set forth in ASTM E136, Standard Test Method for Behavior of Materials in a Vertical Tube Furnace at 750 C (1382 F).

Some types of commercial buildings—such as hospitals—require non-combustible construction. As a non-combustible material, fiber cement siding performs well, but wood and vinyl may not be approved for certain projects. With enough heat, vinyl can soften and melt, causing the siding to sag; when it burns, it can release toxic fumes.

It is essential for a specifier to be aware of which siding choices comply with specific fire protection regulations.

For example, in addition to ASTM E84, fiber cement siding should comply with:

  • 2012 International Wildland-Urban Interface Code, where Class 1, Ignition-resistant Construction is required—Section 504.5, Exterior Walls, permits approved non-combustible materials (e.g. fiber cement) on exterior walls;
  • ASTM E136;7
  • California Building Code, Chapter 7a, “Materials and Construction Methods for Exterior Wildfire Exposure, for use in Wildland Urban Interface Areas (i.e. high fire hazard severity zones);” and
  • California’s Office of the State Fire Marshal’s (SFM) Building Materials Listing Program (BML), Section 8140, Exterior Wall Siding and Sheathing for Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), and 8160, Under Eave for Wildland Urban Interface.8

Compliance with these sections indicates that the siding is permitted to be used in Wildland-Urban Interface Fire areas.

This apartment complex in Grand Forks, North Dakota, employs fiber cement plank, panel, shingle, and trim.

This apartment complex in Grand Forks, North Dakota, employs fiber cement plank, panel, shingle, and trim.

Wind load and impact resistance
Not surprisingly, areas designated as high-velocity hurricane zones have stringent state codes. One of the strictest governing bodies is in Miami-Dade County in Florida. After Hurricane Andrew struck the state in 1992, the county’s Building Code Compliance Office was created to ensure buildings are double-checked for high-impact wind requirements.

A high wind load can create negative air pressure, which pulls siding away from a building. If installation instructions are followed per the manufacturer’s requirements, siding with the right impact-resistance and fasteners with proper hold capacity will prevent siding from being blown off buildings.

Impact by hail or storm debris can cause expensive damage to a building, prompting storm-susceptible areas to improve their building codes. Florida has a stringent code requirement for a building’s wall system to protect against debris generated by the high winds of a hurricane. Codes in some East Coast jurisdictions will likely change as a result of Hurricane Sandy. New York City’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has publicly stated he wants the city’s building code amended to address the issues presented by the ‘super-storm.’

In Freeport, New York, Hurricane Sandy brought winds in excess of 128.75 kph (80 mph) and flooding up to 2.1 m (7 ft) high. Many buildings along the water were destroyed, but the Long Island Harbor Master’s Quarters remained relatively unharmed.9 Designed with hurricanes in mind in 2007, the facility was cladded with fiber cement siding, which along with other exterior materials, protected it from wind and damage caused by impact and flooding. While many other nearby buildings needed rebuilding or extensive repair, the Harbor Master’s Quarters required no major external repair.

Flooding and moisture
According to FEMA, only Class 4 and Class 5 materials are acceptable for areas below the base flood elevation (BFE) in buildings located in special flood hazard areas.10 FEMA defines Class 5 flood-resistant materials as:

Orlando, Florida's multi-family SteelHouse building, designed by Poole & Poole Architecture, uses vertical fiber cement siding and soffit panels engineered for the climate.

Orlando, Florida’s multi-family SteelHouse building, designed by Poole & Poole Architecture, uses vertical fiber cement siding and soffit panels engineered for the climate.

highly resistant to floodwater damage, including damage caused by moving water. These materials can survive wetting and drying and may be successfully cleaned after a flood to render them free of most harmful pollutants.

Once again, specifiers need to keep in mind specific code compliance when specifying siding that will resist the effects of flooding. For example, siding listed as a Class 5 flood-resistant material by FEMA is not affected after being submerged in a 72-hour flood. Once the water is drained and the material is dried, it may be reused. Conversely, wood siding is destroyed in water submersion, though vinyl may withstand some water exposure.

In most cases, siding is not going to fully protect a building in the event of a flood because the wall behind the siding may get wet and not properly dry. Currently, there is little guidance on flood resistance in IBC, but as costal populations continue to grow, it will likely become more stringent.

To reduce moisture during rain events for multi-family structures, a rainscreen application or air gap behind fiber cement panels provides a water management strategy to prevent water from getting trapped under the siding.

Oregon Residential Specialty Code, Section R703.1, (“General,”) requires a 3.1-mm (1/8-in.) gap behind the cladding to work as a rainscreen or ventilated façade. The high moisture in that state causes water penetration and decay, so the gap can help drain moisture out of the wall system to avoid mold and rot, making the building healthier.11 This applies to multi-family dwellings and detached congregate living facilities, as well as single-family homes.


In particular, commercial and multi-family buildings have two general types of aesthetic looks: traditional (horizontal lap siding or shingles) and modern (large-format rectangular panels). For the former, fiber cement siding enables the authenticity of real wood grain, but without the associated maintenance. Traditional looks would encompass lap siding, vertical siding in a board and batten application, or shingle siding with traditional trim applications. Often, material types and colors are mixed within a single commercial or multi-family building to further advance architectural interest.

While traditional styles dominate, the modern panelized look has become more popular—particularly for office and retail buildings, transportation facilities, and apartment or condominium buildings in urban areas. The sleek appearance often features smooth panels, sharp expressed joints with deep shadow lines, and exposed fasteners. Trims and fasteners can have a painted or metal finish.

The Pacific Cannery Lofts employes fiber cement siding with attributes suitable for the Oakland, California climate. Photo © Kevin Wilcock/David Baker Architects

The Pacific Cannery Lofts employes fiber cement siding with attributes suitable for the Oakland, California climate. Photo © Kevin Wilcock/David Baker Architects

Daily wear can take its toll on siding. Regular maintenance is necessary to preserve siding’s performance and appearance. Fiber cement siding tends to have better longevity than wood or plastic-based products because it resists cracking, warping, rot, and pest damage—even after exposure to harsh temperature and moisture.

Additionally, to meet the specific needs of a region, some fiber cement siding is engineered for the particular climate in which it will be used. This includes basing the production on individual climatic variables such as temperature range, ultraviolet light, and humidity. Using this data, products designed for use in various regions of the United States are formulated to protect against individual conditions.

Among the standard choices of vinyl, wood, and fiber cement, the final product is robust enough to stand up to extreme environmental conditions for buildings. Wood or vinyl siding is traditionally found in Type V construction, where exterior walls are made of combustible or non-combustible materials. If vinyl or wood siding is specified in Types I, II, III, and IV construction (i.e. non-combustible exterior walls), there must be compliance with limitations within the building code (e.g. 2012 IBC, Section 1406.2,Combustible exterior wall coverings). Fiber cement siding is permitted on exterior walls of Type I, II, III, IV, and V construction; this includes construction where exterior walls are required to be of non-combustible materials.

With growing concern to choose building products that preserve property investments for many years to come, product specifiers can feel confident about fiber cement siding to meet customer needs and regulatory requirements for a safe and durable structure.

1 For more, visit the weather statics report from the National Weather Service at www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats/sum12.pdf. (back to top)
2 Read the June 2013 article “The 10 costliest wildfires,” by Barbara Marquand at www.insure.com/home-insurance/costliest-wildfires.html. (back to top)
3 Read Chris Dolce’s June 2013 article “Top 10 Costliest Hurricanes,” at www.weather.com/news/weather-hurricanes/ten-most-costly-hurricanes-20130524?pageno=1. (back to top)
4 Read the full article about vinyl siding damage at www.stormdamagecenter.org/siding-damage.html. (back to top)
5 For more, see www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1502-20490-4764/fema_tb_2_rev1.pdf. (back to top)
6 Learn more about California’s Wildland-Urban Interface Code at www.fire.ca.gov/fire_prevention/fire_prevention_wildland_codes.php. (back to top)
7 Reference ESR-1844, ESR-2290, and NER-405 published by International Code Council-Evaluation Service (ICC-ES). (back to top)
8 Review listings at osfm.fire.ca.gov/strucfireengineer/strucfireengineer_bml.php. (back to top)
9 For more information about how the Long Island Harbor Master’s Quarters held up after Hurricane Sandy at go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfdmuOkl6Aw&list=UUUpRl607QVjsTMX6NRsQEfw. (back to top)
10 See material class descriptions on page 6 of the FEMA technical bulletin, “Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements,” at www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1502-20490-4764/fema_tb_2_rev1.pdf. (back to top)
11 For more, see chapter seven of the 2011 Oregon Residential Specialty Code. Visit at ecodes.biz/ecodes_support/free_resources/Oregon/11_Residential/PDFs/Chapter%207_Wall%20Covering.pdf. (back to top)

Chad Diercks oversees product compliance and sustainability at James Hardie Building Products, which includes product testing and engineering, codes and standards development, warranty claims, and product technical support for North America. He has worked with the company for 14 years. Diercks is an officer on ASTM technical committee C17 on fiber-reinforced cement products, and sits on numerous other ASTM and ANSI technical committees related to the building industry. He can be reached at chad.diercks@jameshardie.com.

Dale Knox is a product manager at James Hardie Building Products, where he oversees the development and implementation of new products and specifications for the multi-family and commercial market segments. He is a civil engineer by training, with background in research and development, and his past roles at James Hardie include technical manager and research engineer. Knox has had the responsibility for product performance, installation practices, and building science. He can be reached at dale.knox@jhresearchusa.com.