When selecting air barrier products to employ in building designs, architects have a broad range of choices. Spray foam insulation products are often selected because they can provide superior performance and also contribute to greater energy and operating cost savings in buildings.
The Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies at George Brown College, Toronto, in co-operation with a manufacturer is studying the performance of continuous air barrier, vapour retarder, and fibreglass insulation products.
A recent workshop on fire properties of materials concluded cross-laminated timber (CLT) and insulation applied to the exteriors of high-rise buildings are among the materials most in need of urgent research and development.
Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) are a method of construction using components manufactured from expanded polystyrene (EPS). The forms are stacked, steel-reinforced, and then filled with concrete. When completed, ICF walls provide a solid monolithic structure.
Water is the most significant factor in the premature deterioration of our buildings. Excessive moisture accumulation on porous materials can lead to water penetration, freeze-thaw damage, efflorescence, cracking, and façade soiling.
Energy efficiency, green construction, increased insulation, net-zero—all these terms imply the same expectation: to improve the performance of buildings and minimize their impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, conserving natural resources, and maximizing the service life of all building systems—all while maintaining comfortable and functional buildings.
With an increased focus on careful stewardship of resources and rapidly rising utility costs, it is now mandatory for new and remediated buildings to be more energy-efficient. This tends to be easier said than done. There are numerous challenges that must be addressed during the design and construction phases of such a project.
Insulation manufacturers have devised numerous ways to improve the thermal performance of their products, from adding specialized particles to polystyrene to refining vacuum insulated panels (VIPs) and phase-change materials to aerogels. Unfortunately, none of this matters when these high-performance products are installed ineffectively.