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  • Remove facet 07 00 00: Thermal and Moisture Protection
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The energy efficiency of the building envelope is critical to the overall energy efficiency of a building—especially in homes and smaller commercial buildings, in which heating and cooling loads come primarily from heat loss or gain through the skin.

Energy efficiency is also linked closely with moisture management. As we reduce the amount of heat and air moving through the building envelope we reduce the ability for the envelope to dry out after getting wet. Our choices of materials—insulation, cladding, vapor retarders, flashing—are important, but even more critical in terms of overall performance is how all those materials are combined into a high-performing assembly.

Insulation products

Some insulation products do a better job than others at blocking air leakage, while others are less expensive or easier to install without specialized equipment. Insulation products come in many forms, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. How well the insulation does the job of slowing heat transfer is the critical variable (commonly known as R-value), but what it’s made of and how those ingredients affect the environment are important as well.

Cladding options

Cladding options vary widely, offering a range of environmental and functional performance choices. The best systems are mounted as part of a rain screen assembly, in which an air space is behind the cladding helps protect the wall assembly from rain penetration.

Roofing (sloped and low-slope, including green roofs)

Roofing choices are generally divided into those intended for low-slope roofs, and those designed to go on pitched roofs, although there is some overlap between the two.

In addition to shedding water and withstanding the attack of ultraviolet radiation in sunlight, roofing might be called upon to allow foot traffic (for maintenance of equipment), to reflect heat, and even to generate power. Rainwater collecting on roof surfaces might also be stored, typically only for irrigation or toilet flushing. All these functions affect the optimal choice of roofing material.

Water running off of roofs is a major source of stormwater, which can cause erosion and flooding, so cisterns that can store runoff or vegetated roof systems that hold some water and delay the flow of runoff offer important benefits in densely populated areas.

Foundation waterproofing

Below-grade water is also a significant source of moisture problems in buildings, and a combination of good drainage around the foundation and effective waterproofing on walls below grade are important to keep that moisture out. Tar is commonly used for that purpose, but it’s better to use products that don’t release toxic chemicals to the air or water.

Joint sealants

Any weather barrier is only as good as its weakest link, and that weak link is often at the joints. Joint sealants have to keep water out while allowing for expansion and contraction of the surrounding materials.

The energy efficiency of the building envelope is critical to the overall energy efficiency of a building—especially in homes and smaller commercial buildings, in which heating and cooling loads come primarily from heat loss or gain through the skin.

  • Gutex Ultratherm Roof Insulation and Underlayment
  • Gutex Ultratherm Roof Insulation and Underlayment
  • Four Seven Five
  • Gutex Ultratherm Roof Insulation and Underlayment
    Four Seven Five
    Ultratherm is a moisture-resistant, rigid roof insulation and underlayment made from 95% wood fiber, 4% polyurethane binders, and 0.5% paraffin. Manufactured in Germany, these panels are engineered with tongue and groove edges to improve weather resistance and ease of installation. These panels act as a subroof for pitches greater than 15° without need for taping the tongue and groove or sealing nails, according to the company. The 2-3/8"-thick, 86.6"-long, 29.5"-wide panels have an R-value of 3.4 per inch and a perm rating of 18. Custom sizes are available.
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  • Thermostat Plywood Radiant Barrier Sheathing
  • Thermostat Plywood Radiant Barrier Sheathing
  • Georgia-Pacific Building Products
  • Thermostat Plywood Radiant Barrier Sheathing
    Georgia-Pacific Building Products
    Thermostat incorporates a radiant barrier onto Georgia-Pacific's Plytanium plywood sheathing, combining the performance of plywood and an emissivity of 0.03 (97% reflectance) to help keep attics cooler. These 4'x8' sheathing panels are available in 15/32" and 19/32" thicknesses.
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  • Weyerhaeuser Radiant Barrier Sheathing
  • Weyerhaeuser Radiant Barrier Sheathing
  • Weyerhaeuser
  • Weyerhaeuser Radiant Barrier Sheathing
    Weyerhaeuser
    Weyerhaeuser’s Radiant Barrier Sheathing (RBS) is an OSB roof sheathing with a radiant-foil overlay to minimize radiant heat gain. This sheathing is typically placed under the outer layer of wood and shingles on a roof. Similar to most sheathing products, RBS uses low-emitting phenol formaldehyde resins. RBS comes in 4'x8' sheets and is available in 7/16", 15/32", and 19/32" thicknesses.
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  • GR Green Cedar and GR Green Slate Shingles
  • GR Green Cedar and GR Green Slate Shingles
  • GR Green Building Products
  • GR Green Cedar and GR Green Slate Shingles
    GR Green Building Products
    GR Green Cedar and GR Green Slate are synthetic roofing shingles composed of 20% post-consumer thermoplastic from recycled milk cartons and plastic bags and 80% limestone. Both products meet industry testing standards for heat aging (ASTM D790-07) and water resistance (CCMC Section 6.4.2). GR Green slate tiles are 18" long and 10" wide. GR Green Cedar tiles are 18" long and come with four different widths supplied in each bundle: 11", 7", 5.5", and 4". The company provides a 50 year limited warranty.
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  • Ecocell Cellulose Batts and Blanket Insulation
  • Ecocell Cellulose Batts and Blanket Insulation
  • Cellulose Material Solutions
  • Ecocell Cellulose Batts and Blanket Insulation
    Cellulose Material Solutions
    Cellulose Material Solutions offers Ecocell batts and blankets that are made of 60% cellulose from recycled paper, along with cotton, and jute with a polyethylene binder. Ecocell achieves a Class A fire rating (ASTM E-84 Standard) using borates, which also prevent pest intrusion. Ecocell blankets are R-3.7 while the batts are R-3.6, with a density of 2.5 pcf. The batts also achieve an acoustical rating of STC 50. Batts are available in 16" and 24" widths (0.4m and 0.6m) and 94" and 96" (2.4m) lengths. Blankets are 48" x 96" (1.2m x 2.4m) or 48" x 108" (1.2m x 2.7m).
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  • Xero Flor Green Roofs
  • Xero Flor Green Roofs
  • Xero Flor America
  • Xero Flor Green Roofs
    Xero Flor America
    Xero Flor green roofs utilize pre-vegetated mats on a textile base so that the mats roll out like sod. The system's components consist of a geotextile carrier, a water retention fleece, drain mat, and root barrier, all made of 90% recycled fiber content. Vegetation is regionally sourced. The system weighs 8–10 psf and can be installed on slopes of up to 45 degrees. Xero Flor mats can be custom sized.
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  • Grow-In-Place Mushroom Insulation
  • Grow-In-Place Mushroom Insulation
  • Ecovative Design LLC
  • Grow-In-Place Mushroom Insulation
    Ecovative Design LLC
    Ecovative offers Grow-In-Place Mushroom Insulation for pre-fabricated, controlled conditions. The foam, which consists of mycelium (mushroom “roots”) bonded to agricultural byproducts, takes about a month to grow in a factory setting, according to the company. Then it is allowed to dry out, producing a solidified, airtight, structural wall assembly. The insulation is Class A fire rated without any added flame retardants, has an R-vale of 3.6 per inch, and a compressive strength of 0.3–6.7 psi at 10% (ASTM D695). Growing the insulation allows it to be self-sealing and reduces thermal bridging.
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  • Dow Corning Building Insulation Blanket
  • Dow Corning Building Insulation Blanket
  • Dow Corning Corp.
  • Dow Corning Building Insulation Blanket
    Dow Corning Corp.
    Dow Corning's Building Insulation Blanket is a flexible sheet impregnated with aerogel particles that imparts very high insulation value relative to its thin profile. The HPI-1000 Building Insulation Blanket offers R-9.6 per inch in a 10 mm (0.4") thickness, for a unit value of R-3.84, and a Class A fire rating. The silica aerogel particles are embedded in a proprietary polymer that contains neither PVC nor flame retardant chemicals, according to Dow Corning. The HPI-1100 Building Insulation Blanket offers R-8.1/inch for the same thickness, and its aerogel is embedded in a nonwoven glass substrate, making it noncombustible. Both products are relatively expensive, at about $10/ft2, and are intended as thermal breaks in difficult-to-insulate applications like slab edges. According to Dow Corning, the blankets are easy to cut, bend, and glue, and are hydrophobic, while being vapor-permeable.
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  • MM6125-EV Modified Bituminous Membrane
  • MM6125-EV Modified Bituminous Membrane
  • American Hydrotech, Inc.
  • MM6125-EV Modified Bituminous Membrane
    American Hydrotech, Inc.
    MM6125-EV is a roofing membrane consisting of reclaimed rubber and recycled oil. This membrane is most often used in an insulated roof membrane assembly (IRMA). It can also be applied to foundation walls, parking decks, tunnels or planters, but is not intended to be exposed or traffic-bearing. Weight of the installed membrane is 1.17 psf for the standard assembly.
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  • SIGA Majvest Weather-Resistive Barrier
  • SIGA Majvest Weather-Resistive Barrier
  • Small Planet Workshop
  • SIGA Majvest Weather-Resistive Barrier
    Small Planet Workshop
    Majvest, from the Swiss company SIGA, is a high-performance weather-resistive barrier for use on exterior walls. The half-millimeter-thick WRB effectively blocks rain and wind, yet provides high vapor permeability with 68 perms (U.S.). The product ships in 3-meter (9.8') rolls 50 m (164') long. Edges should be taped with high-performance tapes, also made by SIGA. SIGA WRBs and tapes are distributed in the U.S. by Small Planet Workshop in Olympia, Washington.
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  • GSB-88 Pavement Sealer-Binder
  • GSB-88 Pavement Sealer-Binder
  • Asphalt Systems Inc.
  • GSB-88 Pavement Sealer-Binder
    Asphalt Systems Inc.
    GSB-88 is an pavement sealer and rejuvenator that uses oils and resins that emit zero VOCs, according to the manufacturer, Asphalt Systems, Inc. According to the company one coat is effective for 3–6 years. It contains asphalt, gilsonite, aromatic oil, emulsifier, and water.
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  • Englert Standing Seam Metal Roofing
  • Englert Standing Seam Metal Roofing
  • Englert Inc.
  • Englert Standing Seam Metal Roofing
    Englert Inc.
    Englert manufactures Galvalume standing seam metal roofing, a variation on galvanized steel that uses an aluminum-zinc coating for improved corrosion resistance. Englert’s Ultra-Cool coatings, in a variety of colors, come as a standard option and meet Energy Star requirements. Englert offers a variety of warranties, including a 25-year limited warranty on all Galvalume and painted aluminum roofing material and a 20–35 year limited warranty on its coatings. Galvalume has an average recycled content of 30%.
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  • Cascadia Clip
  • Cascadia Clip
  • Cascadia Windows and Doors
  • Cascadia Clip
    Cascadia Windows and Doors
    The Cascadia Clip is a fiberglass spacer designed for installing cladding over insulation, while reducing thermal bridging through the insulation. Offered in lengths of 2", 2.5", 4", 5", and 6" sizes, the Cascadia Clip offers both support for cladding and a thermal break for all-weather exterior insulation applications.
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  • Columbia Green AVRS Green Roofs
  • Columbia Green AVRS Green Roofs
  • Columbia Green Technologies
  • Columbia Green AVRS Green Roofs
    Columbia Green Technologies
    Columbia Green offers two versions of its Advanced Vegetative Roof System (AVRS). The AVRS Tray System uses interlocking, overlapping modular trays that allow overfill so deeper growth medium can be added, up to 8" total depth. The trays also allow airflow to the tray bottoms to improve plant health and manage wind uplift. The company’s Multilayer system is engineered with a drainage layer and a water retention layer. Both of these products contain high amounts of recycled content; the trays and multilayered drainage layer are 88% and 40% post-consumer polypropylene, respectively, and the multilayered retention layer is 100% pre-consumer polypropylene. The growing media are chosen depending on project needs and plants can be regionally grown.
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  • BlueskinVP Water-Resistive Barrier
  • BlueskinVP Water-Resistive Barrier
  • Henry Company
  • BlueskinVP Water-Resistive Barrier
    Henry Company
    Henry Company’s BlueskinVP house wrap is a water-resistive, vapor-permeable, air barrier membrane that contains a permeable adhesive layer, so it does not require mechanical attachment. BlueskinVP can seal a building envelope while providing a continuous drainage plane, meeting ASTM E2357 for air barrier assemblies. BlueskinVP is available as BlueskinVP 100 for residential construction and BlueskinVP 160 for commercial applications.
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