The team responsible for bringing any building to life faces increased pressure to deliver on energy efficiency and design innovation. Construction professionals today must consider a wide array of variables when selecting the optimal building envelope product, such as climate in the region, how the building will be used, how it will consume energy based on all these conditions, and its appearance.
Research conducted by Connor and researcher colleagues at the University of Alaska sought to expand the understanding of how both rigid foam insulations (XPS and EPS) perform over time when confronted by harsh conditions in below-grade applications. The most recent study, conducted in 2019, built on previous findings from research done in Alaska and Canada, examines the use of insulation in roadway embankments and airport runways.
Water intrusion causes significant problems for buildings and can go as far as damaging the structure. The building products industry is continuously looking for new technologies to assist with the prevention of water damage. Nature, as a notorious problem solver, often inspires solutions within the industry.
How can designers, specifiers, and contractors capitalize on the growing trend of multiple aesthetic looks for a building’s exterior while ensuring the structural stability of a building enclosure? The connective tissue to solve this equation lies beneath what the eye can see. It is a singular, cohesive building envelope which relies on exterior continuous insulation (ci). Employing materials to work in concert with each other can deliver key value propositions, such as design freedom, long-term performance, potential cost savings, and peace of mind.
Using a fully adhered air barrier, whether sheet-applied or fluid-applied, is essential in creating a continuous barrier which will minimize air leakage. How well the membrane is bonded to the wall substrate will greatly affect the barrier’s performance. This adhesion is a critically important, yet often overlooked, factor in air barrier selection, and it impacts the building envelope’s performance from the day it is installed and throughout the life of the building.
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