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CavClear Masonry and Stone Mat

CavClear Masonry Mat is an airspace maintenance and drainage material designed to be installed full-height behind brick in exterior cavity wall construction… Read more
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  • Using materials recovered from the waste stream typically results in less waste, pollution, and energy use than using virgin materials. From an environmental standpoint, post-consumer is typically considered preferable to pre-consumer recycled content because post-consumer recycled materials are more likely to have been diverted from landfills.

    In some cases, we consider products with recycled content green but with some caveats regarding where they should be used. For example, rubber flooring made from recycled automobile tires should not be used in most fully enclosed indoor spaces due to the likelihood of VOC emissions.

    Recycling can have downsides. For example, some studies show that curbside collection programs and some recycling processes use more energy than they save. Closed-loop recycling is generally preferable to “down-cycling,” in which a lower-grade material is produced—but due to contamination of waste streams and the difficulty of extracting high-value ingredients, down-cycling may be as good as it gets. At times recycling can re-introduce hazardous components. Some products, like copper and aluminum, include a high level of recycled content as a matter of course—which we applaud, but don’t consider justification for listing in GreenSpec. As more complete life-cycle information on recycled materials and processes becomes available, we use that to increase our scrutiny of recycled products.

  • Before specifying efficient heating and cooling equipment, it’s important to do what we can to reduce heating and cooling loads. Insulation is one of the key products to consider here, but because there are so many insulation products on the market, we look for additional benefits. Examples include cellulose insulation with recycled content, mineral wool insulation with no flame retardants, and fiberglass insulation with no formaldehyde binders. Other products in this area are high-performance windows and glazings, products that contribute to building airtight envelopes, products that reduce thermal bridging, and window-retrofit products.

    With products in this area under constant development, we are always refining our approach. For example, as we have learned about insulation products with hazardous flame retardants and blowing agents that have high global warming potential, we have removed those products from GreenSpec, pending manufacturing changes. We encourage building professionals to pressure manufacturers for those changes through specification language and purchasing decisions.

Brent Ehrlich
Products Editor

CavClear Masonry Mat is an airspace maintenance and drainage material designed to be installed full-height behind brick in exterior cavity wall construction. The matting prevents obstruction of the cavity airspace and also prevents formation of energy-conducting mortar bridges. CavClear is a nonwoven plastic mesh made from 100% recycled plastic (25% minimum post-consumer content) and is available in thicknesses of 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1-1/4" and 1-3/4". CavClear Stone Mat—for use behind stone—comes in 3/8" and 1" thicknesses and is made from the same material. CavClear is also available bonded to EPS insulation.

Forces affecting the durability and performance of masonry wall systems include bulk water penetration, wicking of moisture, and solar-driven moisture movement. GreenSpec lists products designed to improve the durability and performance of masonry wall systems.

Masonry accessories that improve the durability and performance of masonry wall systems can include two-piece adjustable brick ties, brick veneer venting and clear cavity components. Note that clear cavity components represent a product solution that should be considered along with techniques for keeping the cavity space clear, such as loose sand and mortar cleanouts in the first course of the veneer.

LEED Credits

EAc1: Optimize Energy Performance

EAp2: Minimum Energy Performance

MRc4: Recycled Content

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