Used in Europe since the 1800s, zinc exterior wall cladding has gained popularity in the united states during the last few decades. As a proven and dependable material, architectural rolled zinc products complement both contemporary and traditional designs. As buildings weather and age, their zinc façades develop a recognizable patina that are unique to the projects’ sites.
As manufacturers introduce materials with new properties and attempt to push the boundaries of building envelope construction, it is crucial the industry agrees on terminology for communicating the specific functions and purpose of these materials to avoid confusion and costly errors. In this regard, the term ‘air/vapor barrier’ is misleading and should be replaced with more appropriate terminology.
Building industry professionals largely agree on the importance of moisture control methods, but there is frequent confusion about the use of vapor and air barriers. To make the right decision on which methods and materials to include in a building envelope, it is critical to understand the simple, yet significant, differences between air and vapor barriers, and their role as part of an effective system.
Buildings account for as much as 40 percent of all energy consumed in the United States according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).1 If the country is to address carbon emissions and its contribution to climate change, this needle must move.