Posts tagged with "insulation":

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New eco-friendly weather and air barriers help to lower energy costs

Even the highest performing facades can be undone by gaps or by under-utilizing insulation. Weather and air barriers have expanded to fill a variety of niches, from eco-friendly insulation to ready-to-install sealant.

Rizza Partition Closure System Balco

This compression seal is perfect for vertical junctures and joints between the ends of partitions, curtain walls, and glazing. It measures 100 feet in length, reducing multiple splicing, and is made from 100 percent silicone—making it an effective solution for sound/vibration transmission, thermal transfer, and dirt/dust infiltration.

Spectrem Restoration Overlay Tremco

Sloped glazing can be difficult to maintain, but this UV-resistant overlay provides superior protection against air and water leakages. Instead of having to completely replace degraded sealant, this gasket system is easy to install, has a high tolerance for temperatures, and can be color-matched.

AFB evo ROCKWOOL

Available in thicknesses of 1 to 6 inches, AFB evo meets all of the same specifications of the original ROCKWOOL AFB, while also conforming to sustainability standards such as LEEDv4. This light-weight batt insulation contains no added formaldehyde and is a great choice for schools and hospitals.

Air-Bloc 16MR Henry

A fire-resistant air and vapor barrier applied as a liquid, Air-Bloc includes anti-microbial properties to create a mold-resistant membrane when set. Once cured, Air-Bloc forms a tough, rubber-like barrier without any seams, and can be applied in temperatures as low as 2o℉.

   

[SPONSORED] Humanscale Coming soon from Humanscale Design Studio: Summa – a new movement in conference seating.

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Product> insulation and building wraps

Innovations in insulation and building wraps are cutting down on cost, installation time, and amounts of materials used, allowing more design freedom for architects.

HPI-1000 Building Insulation Blanket Dow Corning

An ultrathin insulation allows for design flexibility and easy installation, while improving thermal resistance—especially in tight curves or nontraditionally shaped spaces. The blanket is made of a vapor-permeable solid material that delivers an R-value of 9.6. Additionally, it is fire-resistant, hydrophobic, and does not settle over time.

Drain-N-Dry Lath Boral

This product incorporates three materials rolled into one: a fiberglass lath, a rain screen, and a secondary water-resistant barrier. The system comes on a 46-foot-long roll that allows for very easy installation. The fiberglass lath has a thicker weave every six inches that alerts installers as to where fasteners need to be placed. This three-in-one system also provides draining and drying and eliminates the need for a second weather barrier.

Heatlok High Lift Spray Demilec

New innovations allow up to four inches of foam insulation to be applied in one pass, making it easy to meet the high industry standards for insulation thickness. Heatlok is comprised of 22 percent renewable and recycled content, and can earn projects up to 10 LEED certification points.

FlatWrap UV Housewrap Benjamin Obdyke

This updated water-resistive barrier has been specifically designed for projects that feature rain screens and incorporate open joint claddings. UV Housewrap has a tri-laminate design with superior UV resistance, as well as a vapor permeability of 35 perms. It is available in 500-square-foot rolls, allowing for one-person installation. Additionally, it does not require seams to be taped, and is virtually invisible in an open-wall assembly.

DensElement Barrier System Georgia-Pacific

A new water-resistive and air-barrier (WRP-AB) system from Georgia-Pacific, DensElementsheathing, integrates the WRP-AB inside the gypsum’s core, eliminating the need for a second WRP-AB. PROSCO R-guard Fast Flash liquid flashing can be applied on or over joints, fasteners, and openings with no need to coat the entire outer surface.

LP FlameBlock LP Building Products

In addition to being an ICC-certified component of fire-rated wall and roof-deck applications, LP FlameBlock offers architects design flexibility for wall openings. This sheathing has load and span capabilities superior to those of fire-retardant treated wood panels of the same thickness, and LP FlameBlock eliminates the need to install an external layer of gypsum, cutting labor and material costs.

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Packard Foundation Goes Green With EHDD

Net zero energy, LEED Platinum project raises the bar on eco-friendly office design.

For its new headquarters in Los Altos, California, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation put its building budget where its mouth is. The philanthropic organization, whose four program areas include conservation and science, asked San Francisco-based EHDD to design a net zero energy, LEED Platinum building that would serve as a model of cutting-edge green building techniques. “They wanted to achieve net zero in a way that was replicable, and that showed the path forward for others to follow,” said project manager Brad Jacobson. “It was not just a one-off thing, not just a showcase.” The building’s facade was fundamental to its success as an example of sustainable design. “We were surprised at how significant the envelope is, even in the most benign climate,” said Jacobson. “Pushing the envelope to really high performance made significant energy and comfort impacts, and could be justified even on a first-cost basis.” EHDD began by considering the building’s siting. Because the street grid in Los Altos is angled 40 degrees to the south, orienting to the street would result in a long southwest elevation. The architects asked daylighting consultants Loisos + Ubbelohde what penalty this would entail. “They said you have to keep all solar gain out of the southwest facade; if you do that, the energy penalty will be in the realm of less than five percent,” recalled Jacobson. “But you really have to do an excellent job on sunshading. That was our mission.” EHDD designed deep overhangs over much of the facade’s southwest face, and added balconies and shade trees for additional protection. Where the glazing remained exposed, they installed external movable blinds from Nysan that operate on an astronomic time clock. “The blinds worked really well,” said Jacobson. “We were surprised how easy they were to commission and get working, and how relatively robust they are.”
  • Facade Manufacturer Serious Materials (glazing; now Alpen HPP)
  • Architects EHDD
  • Facade Consultants Integral Group (energy), Atelier Ten (thermal modeling of wall), Loisos + Ubbelohde (daylighting)
  • Facade Installer AGA (glazing), DPR Construction (general contractor)
  • Location Los Altos, CA
  • Date of Completion 2013
  • System advanced framing wood stud walls with mineral wallboard insulation, triple element windows, external blinds, FSC western red cedar cladding, Mt. Moriah stone, copper cladding
  • Products Nysan external movable blinds, Roxul insulation, Serious Materials triple-element Windows, FSC-certified red cedar, locally-sourced stone, architectural copper
Thermal bridging was another area of concern for the architects. EHDD worked with Atelier Ten on thermal modeling of the wall, and discovered that any metal stud wall would sacrifice performance. They opted instead for wood stud construction, and switched to 24 on center framing to reduce thermal bridging through the framing structure. For insulation, the architects added one-inch external mineral wallboard from Roxul. On advice from structural engineers Tipping Mar, they installed FRP plates to separate external elements like balconies from the main structure. Because of the building’s location, EHDD did not initially consider triple glazing for the Packard Foundation offices. “We wrote it off at first,” said Jacobson. “We thought, that can’t be cost effective in this climate.” But Integral Group’s energy analysis convinced the design team otherwise. The improvement in comfort allowed by triple element windows from Serious Materials (now Alpen HPP) was such that the architects were able to eliminate a planned perimeter heating system, resulting in an estimated savings of twice the cost of the glazing upgrade. “It’s a really good envelope,” said Jacobson. “We did heat sensor testing of the building, and you can really see that it’s working as it’s supposed to. You don’t see the studs, and the windows are not leaking a lot of heat, so that’s been a real success.” The architects clad the building in local and sustainable materials, including FSC-certified western red cedar, stone sourced from within a 500-mile radius, and architectural copper. “Architectural copper is a really interesting material,” observed Jacobson. “It’s actually about 80-90 percent recycled because it’s valued. It doesn’t need refinishing and it patinas nicely. For a building being built to last 100 years, it has a good shot at never needing to be refinished or replaced.” Jacobson summarizes his firm’s approach to the design of the Packard Foundation headquarters as “Passive House light.” “At the same time we were doing a Passive House for a climate science researcher we’d worked with in the past,” he said. “We were working on both and learning from each. It’s a different type of building, but a lot of the same principles apply: good air sealing, eliminating thermal bridging, and pushing the envelope further than you think makes sense.”
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Senior Housing in Oakland Pushes the Building Envelope

Sustainability and high design meet in Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects' affordable housing complex.

Designing a sustainable building on a budget is tricky enough. But for the Merritt Crossing senior housing complex in Oakland, California, non-profit developer Satellite Affordable Housing Associates upped the ante, asking Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects to follow not one but two green-building ratings systems. "They wanted to push the envelope of what they typically do and decided to pursue not only the LEED rating, but also the GreenPoint system," said principal Richard Stacy. "So we actually did both, which is kind of crazy." Wrapped in a colorful cement-composite rain screen system punctuated by high performance windows, Merritt Crossing achieved LEED for Homes Mid-Rise Pilot Program Platinum and earned 206 points on the Build-It-Green GreenPoint scale. The building was also the first Energy Star Rated multi-family residence in California, and was awarded 104 points by Bay-Friendly Landscaping. Merritt Crossing’s 70 apartments serve low-income seniors with incomes between 30 and 50 percent of the area median. More than half of the units are reserved for residents at risk of homelessness or living with HIV/AIDS. Stacy explains that in the context of affordable housing, sustainability means two things. The first is quality of life for the residents, "the sorts of things that have a direct benefit to the people living there," such as natural daylighting and indoor air quality. The second is energy efficiency. "Both non-profits and [their] residents have limited financial capabilities," said Stacy. "The one time they have funding for that kind of thing is when they’re building a building. So we focused a lot on the building envelope in terms of energy efficiency. At the same time, we wanted to have ample daylight and controlled ventilation.” Finding themselves with unused contingency funds during construction Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects upgraded the exterior skin to a rain screen system of SWISSPEARL cement composite. "We worked pretty closely with the SWISSPEARL company," said Stacy, who noted that Merritt Crossing may be the first building in the United States to use the system. Though the panels are installed like lap siding they offer "the benefits of a rain screen in terms of cooling and waterproofing issues," he explained. To accommodate the thicker skin, window manufacturer Torrance Aluminum designed custom trim pieces, which "had the added benefit of giving us the appearance of deeply recessed windows," said Stacy.
  • Facade Manufacturer Eternit Switzerland SWISSPEARL
  • Architects Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
  • Facade Distributer Western Specialty Fabrications
  • Facade Installer PCI
  • Location Oakland, CA
  • Date of Completion 2012
  • System Cement composite rain screen
  • Products SWISSPEARL cement composite, GreenScreen modular trellising, Torrance Aluminum windows with custom trim pieces, Dow Corning polyiso insulation, Grace Perm-A-Barrier VPS vapor permeable membrane
Insulation was a special concern for the architects, both because Merritt Crossing was built using metal frame construction, and to minimize air infiltration in keeping with the green ratings systems. The building’s exterior walls are wrapped in 1-inch-thick high performance polyiso insulation from Dow Corning with a Grace Perm-A-Barrier VPS vapor permeable membrane. "As a result we ended up with a very, very tight building from an air insulation standpoint, which means you have to pay more attention to air ventilation," said Stacy. To compensate, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects’ mechanical engineers designed a special air filtration system for the building’s roof, complete with built-in HEPA filters. The building’s southwest facade faces a freeway, presenting potential noise and privacy issues in addition to exposure to the western sun. "We did a highly layered facade on that [side] where the actual exterior wall is back three to four feet from another screen wall," said Stacy. The outer wall "is a combination of typical wall assembly as well as GreenScreen panels that form a webbing of open areas and solid areas that help with sunshading as well as acoustical [dampening] and privacy." Greenery in balcony planters will eventually grow up and over the screens. On the ground floor, the garage is also enclosed in GreenScreen trellising, to enhance pedestrians’ view without sacrificing ventilation. Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects’ Merritt Crossing proves that affordable housing does not have to look institutional. The facade’s vibrant colors—green on the northeast elevation, red on the southwest—and playful punched texture pay homage to the neighborhood’s patchwork of architectural styles and building uses. The first major building in the planned redevelopment of the area around the Lake Merritt BART regional transit station, Merritt Crossing sets the bar high for future developments.