Building professionals need to not just anticipate failures, but also understand how structures fail. Exterior wall systems designed to recover when exposed to failure must be employed to make the building envelope truly robust.
Applying the right barrier in the appropriate place can help building professionals protect their designs well into the future and improve the overall performance as well as the appearance of a structure.
Fiber cement can increase the resilience of homes and other structures in the face of environmental threats posed by the sun, precipitation, wind, and fire. In order to maximize the performance of fiber cement against the elements and to successfully install them, owners and builders must be aware of clearances, flashing, placement of joints, proper installation tools, and other requirements provided by manufacturers.
With the recent focus on occupant comfort and safety, building material manufacturers have begun to use mineral wool for thermal control in exterior wall systems, as it is noncombustible and provides good acoustical performance.
The conversation about the cavity in masonry wall systems, to say the least, is ongoing. There is a general agreement on the need for separation between the backside of the veneer and the exterior face of the structural backup wall. However, there is some discussion about the functions this cavity performs and their prioritization.