Liquid-Applied, Vapor-Permeable Air Barrier Is NFPA-285 Fire Rated

KARNAK launches K-NRG Seal VPKARNAK launches K-NRG Seal VP, a high-performance vapor-permeable air barrier for above-grade wall application. The seamless elastomeric membrane seals the building envelope, preventing air passage while allowing vapor permeability. The product is designed to provide the building envelope with superior energy efficiency and mold resistance.

According to the manufacturer, the new liquid-applied, fire-rated vapor-permeable air barrier, evaluated by the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA), meets the highest industry standards. K-NRG Seal VP has been tested by UL Laboratories and passes NFPA 285 Fire Test, making it compliant with IBC 2012 and allowing flexibility in choice of insulating materials. It also exceeds ASTM E2357 and ASTM E2178.

The liquid-applied air barrier strongly adheres to most wall construction materials, including exterior gypsum boards, CMU, stone, wood, metal, and damp or dry concrete, making it ideal for multi-story applications. K-NRG Seal VP requires easy spray application using standard spray equipment. When combined with KARNAK sealants and accessories, K-NRG Seal VP forms a complete vapor-permeable wall air-barrier system.

According to the company, With K-NRG Seal VP, building owners can reduce energy costs, improve overall building functionality and safety, as well as contribute to potential LEED certification. “We are proud to launch an air barrier product that offers long-term sustainability and durability in building envelope protection. From architect or specifier, to installer, to building owner and building occupant, K-NRG Seal VP is a product that will benefit everyone,” said Chris Salazar, Chief Operating Officer of KARNAK.

For more information, visit www.karnakcorp.com.

Georgia-Pacific Introduces DensElement Project Map

Georgia-Pacific has introduced the DensElement Barrier System Project Map. This online, interactive map identifies the location of projects using DensElement, in addition to each project’s architect and general contractor.

The map showcases the growing number of job sites adopting DensElement Barrier System as their preferred sheathing solution across the United States. Using the project map, online visitors can explore projects by location, or project type (e.g., sports/recreation, education, healthcare, government/municipality, etc.).

This new tool creates a visual way for architects, engineers, contractors and building owners to gain perspective on the accelerating adoption of DensElement Barrier System on high-profile projects across the country. “DensElement is an innovative, proven solution progressive architects and contractors can rely on, and we want to share the successes that these customers are experiencing,” said Jason Peace, Senior Director of Marketing and Product Management for Georgia-Pacific Gypsum.

The DensElement Barrier System, with AquaKOR Technology, integrates the water-resistive and air barrier (WRB-AB) directly into its gypsum core, beneath the fiberglass mat to create a consistent, performance-tested WRB-AB. According to the manufacturer, the product eliminates the need for building wrap, fluid-applied membranes or peel-and-stick membranes. It’s faster to install and can be installed when it’s wet outside, saving time and labor. The all-in-one Dens brand system is finished with PROSOCO R-Guard FastFlash liquid flashing to fill and seal joints, fasteners, openings, penetrations and transitions. DensElement Barrier System is ABAA listed and WRB-AB approved, and has a customized MasterSpec® specification – 061656 Air and Water Resistive Sheathing Board.

For more information, visit DensElement.com/map.

Acrylic Air Barrier Lowers Installed Costs

The acrylic air barrier resists air and water infiltration, saving energy and preventing moisture build-up.

The acrylic air barrier resists air and water infiltration, saving energy and preventing moisture build-up.

Kemper System America Inc. offers Wall Guardian FW-100A, a liquid-applied fibered acrylic air barrier that also acts as a water/weather barrier and vapor retarder. Evaluated by the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA), it delivers air barrier performance – and value.

Wall Guardian FW-100A exceeds ASTM E2357 (Standard Test Method for Determining Air Leakage of Air Barrier Assemblies) with an air leakage rate of just 0.0004 cfm/ft2 @ 1.57 psf – 100 times better than the test requirement. Notably, the liquid-applied air barrier exceeded the standard in a single coat at 40 mils wet film thickness.

The engineered system is designed to resist air and water infiltration, saving energy and preventing moisture build-up that can lead to mildew and mold. Compared to house wraps and mechanically-fastened weather barriers, Wall Guardian FW-100A can be applied to building material surfaces with a sprayer, roller or brush.

The liquid-applied air barrier offers unified substrate protection, even on curved or other unconventionally shaped walls. The water-based coating is a low VOC product and meets LEED intent at 25 percent recycled content. The applied coating is also Class A fire rated.

In addition to Wall Guardian FW-100A, Kemper System also offers related air barrier component products through its STS Coatings line acquired in 2016. These include GreatSeal LT-100 polyether Liquid Tape for board-to-board joints, windows, doors, masonry, roof flashings, etc., and UT-40 Universal Tape for sealing cracks, transitions, penetrations and seams in exterior substrate and insulation board.

For over 60 years, Kemper System has been a leader in cold liquid-applied, reinforced roofing and waterproofing, having invented the technology. The company offers a full range of Building Envelope solutions to protect against weather, preserve the integrity of surfaces, and enhance the comfort and value of buildings. This encompasses Wall Guardian fibered acrylic air barrier, Roof Guardian Technologies elastomer-based roof coatings, and HeatBloc-ULTRATM radiant heat barrier. Other brands include COLEAN traffic coating systems, and the company flagship for exterior and interior waterproofing, Kemperol reinforced membrane systems.

To learn more, contact Kemper System at inquiry@kempersystem.net or call (800) 541-5455.

Vapor-Permeable, Liquid-Applied Technology Provides Continuous Air Barrier

Soprema introduces SOPRASEAL LM 204 VPSoprema introduces SOPRASEAL LM 204 VP—a one-component, 98 percent solids content, low-odor, vapor-permeable, liquid-applied polyether air barrier product. According to the manufacturer, this new, hybrid STPE technology provides excellent air infiltration and moisture protection while also offering ease of use in low- and high-temperature applications, superior elastomeric performance and tie-in compatibility.

A fully adhered, monolithic membrane option, SOPRASEAL LM 204 VP offers a continuous air barrier that works well even in applications where conformity to complex geometries is a must. It is ultra-low-VOC and moisture curable in low relative humidity and low-temperature applications, while exhibiting excellent freeze-thaw characteristics. It does not shrink and requires less wet film to achieve dry film thickness, according to the company.

The product can be applied in temperatures down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit without the use of additional additives. It is also available in an accessory product, SOPRASEAL® Liquid Flashing—a high-quality, 100 percent solid, low-odor, STPE membrane designed to provide air and water protection to critical rough openings while sealing joints and creating a seamless transition to air barrier membranes.

“We are pleased to offer customers even more choices when waterproofing wall systems with the latest expansion of our SOPRASEAL liquid membrane product line,” says Sara Jonas, Marketing Manager, Soprema. “We want to make it as easy as possible for contractors to keep structures energy efficient and comfortable year-round, and with SOPRASEAL LM 204 VP air barrier technology, they now have a strong option for moisture protection behind wall claddings ranging from brick to siding to metal panels, EIFS and stucco.”

Kemper System Announces Acquisition of STS Coatings Inc.

Kemper System America Inc. announces that it is building on its strength in liquid-applied waterproofing with the acquisition of STS Coatings Inc. and its four major brands to address more than waterproofing across the building envelope.

“Specifiers want to work with suppliers that can solve multiple building envelope challenges, including walls and foundations, and this extends our range,” says Richard Doornink, president and managing director, Kemper System America.

“These brands offer cost-performance advantages, and will continue to be available through existing and new distribution channels, including retail. Liquid-applied products are easy to transport to the jobsite, are economic to install, and can be applied to a variety of surfaces.”

  • Wall Guardian Air Barrier – This spray- or brush-applied water-based liquid air barrier system offers three benefits in one — air barrier, water barrier, and vapor retarder. It is for use in cavity-wall constructions, including CMU/brick veneer, steel stud, insulated (continuous insulation), and insulated tilt-up construction.
  • Roof Guardian Technologies (RGT) – These liquid-applied elastomeric roof coating systems help prolong the life of roofs, including metal, smooth-surfaced BUR, polymer-modified asphalt and single-ply roof systems. The RGT line includes 12 products including two Cool Roof rated systems, and two ENERGY STAR certified systems.
  • HeatBloc Ultra Radiant Barrier – This low-emissivity, water-based (low-e) aluminum coating is engineered for attic spaces. Applied to interior underside of the roof deck, it can block over 80 percent of radiant heat to reduce cooling requirements.
  • GreatSeal Construction Sealants – This premium line of caulks and sealants is used on doors and windows, masonry, roofing and siding. All products in the GreatSeal line are 100 percent solids, with no solvents and very low VOCs, and formulated for performance even in damp, dry or cold conditions down to 40F.

Synergies

“There are synergies with distribution and our existing lines, and we intend to build these in the marketplace,” Doornink states. “For example, Roof Guardian Technologies elastomeric coatings now make us competitive on more building envelope projects with a lower price point. In addition, HeatBloc moves us into retail, which creates a trail for other opportunities.”

Doornink says the news is also in keeping with Kemper System America’s vision for 2020. “We intend to continue growing through strategic acquisitions as we become more than waterproofing for our building products customers.”

Kemper System America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kemper System GmbH & Co. KG | Holländische Straße 32-36 | D-34246 Vellmar. Kemper System is part of the IBG group of Companies, a mid-sized industrial holding company with more than 50 sales and distribution, as well as production companies all over the world.

For more information, visit STS Coatings Inc. or contact Kemper System at inquiry@kempersystem.net, or call (800)541-5455.

RCI Announces Speakers for October Building Envelope Technology Symposium

Raleigh, N.C.-based RCI Inc. has assembled a panel of expert speakers to discuss methods for designing sound building exteriors. More than 300 building designers and construction professionals are expected to be in attendance at the association’s annual Building Envelope Technology Symposium, which will be held Oct. 17-18 at the Westin Galleria Houston, Texas.

The program features 12 educational sessions presented by leading building envelope designers. Speakers offer their experience-based insight for specification of sound, durable exterior enve- lopes. Most programs focus on repair and/or sustainable design methods for strengthening and improving existing structures.

Attendees can earn up to 12 continuing-education credits from RCI and the American Institute of Architects, Washington, D.C. An evening reception after the close of the first day’s meeting will allow those in attendance to network and mingle with fellow professionals.

This year’s topics and speakers include:

The Performance of Weather-Resistant Barriers in Stucco Assemblies
Karim P. Allana, RRC, RWC, P.E. | Allana Buick & Bers Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.

Aluminum Windowsill Anchors and Supplemental Waterproof Flashing Design Practices
Rocco Romero, AIA | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., Seattle

The Ideal Third-party Warranty: A Risk-managed Approach
Lorne Ricketts, P.Eng. | RDH Building Science Inc., Vancouver

Playing Against a Stacked Deck: Restoration of a Stone Fin Façade
Matthew C. Farmer, P.E. | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Fairfax, Va.

Everyone Loves a Pool, But What’s Lurking Beneath the Surface?
Rob Holmer, P.E., GE | Terracon Consulting Engineers, Sacramento, Calif.
Michael Phifer | Terracon Consulting Engineers, Sacramento

Design Principles for Tower and Steeple Restoration
Robert L. Fulmer | Fulmer Associates Building Exterior Consultants LLC, North Conway, N.H.

When the Numbers Don’t Work: Engineering Judgement Tips for Historical Buildings
Rachel L. Will, P.E. | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Chicago
Edward A. Gerns, RA, LEED AP | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Chicago

Air Barrier Integration: Don’t Entangle Yourself with These Common Pitfalls
Timothy A. Mills, P.E., LEED AP, CIT | TAM Consultants Inc., Williamsburg, Va.

Upgrading the Performance of Heritage Windows to Suit Modern Design Conditions
Scott Tomlinson, P.Eng. | Morrison Hershfield, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Design Considerations for Renewing Podium Waterproofing
Bereket Alazar, RRO, LEED AP BD+C | Morrison Hershfield, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Stéphane P. Hoffman, P.E. | Morrison Hershfield, Seattle

Fully Soldered Metal Roofing: More Complicated Than You Think
Nicholas T. Floyd, P.E., LEED AP | Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Waltham, Mass.

A Case History of ETFE on Today’s Projects
Lee Durston | Morrison Hershfield, St. Paul, Minn.
Shawn Robinson | Morrison Hershfield, Atlanta

For more information, visit RCI’s website, or call (800) 828-1902.

VaproShield’s Self-Adhered System Obtains a Declare Label

VaproShield announces the WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System has completed the process of obtaining a Declare label. The Declare program was launched in 2014 by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), founder of the Living Building Challenge, to promote greater transparency in the building products industry. Referred to as a “nutrition label” for building products, Declare labels list all of the materials found in a given product, as well as its assembly site, life expectancy, and other key details to facilitate informed decisions toward positive human and environmental health. The Declare program aims to give people and businesses greater power when deciding what products to surround themselves with in their home or office.

“While VaproShield products undergo numerous internal and external audits to ensure overall healthfulness and sustainability, finally the Declare label makes it easy to present this information in a tangible way,” says Phil Johnson, managing partner. “We are excited to give our business partners the power to know exactly what goes into the product that is held within the walls of their structure.”

WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System is the first water-resistive barrier (WRB)/air barrier self-adhered sheet good membrane system to earn a Declare label placing the system at the forefront of the transparency movement. In order to qualify for a Declare label, a building product must either be free of, or declare any harmful Red List chemicals, and meet all Appropriate Sourcing Imperatives as determined by the ILFI. WrapShield SA Self-Adhered required no changes to its formulation or material components, because it was designed to be free of harmful ingredients.

“We are excited to participate in such an innovative program,” says Johnson. “It embodies our own sustainability philosophy in that [VaproShield] believes sustainability is as much about creating positive environmental impacts as it is about reducing negative ones.”

Domestically produced in the Midwest, the WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System creates a breathable, energy-efficient, continuous air barrier system that helps prevent moisture from becoming trapped in the building envelope. This can reduce instances of mold, mildew and rot, while helping maintain better indoor air quality and a more enduring building structure. An entirely self-adhering product, WrapShield SA Self-Adhered allows for quick installation that never requires the use of chemical primers.

Air and Vapor Barrier Creates a Seal Between a Low-slope Roofing System and the Building Below

F1 Air & Vapor Barrier from Mule-Hide Products Co.

F5 Air & Vapor Barrier from Mule-Hide Products Co.

F5 Air & Vapor Barrier from Mule-Hide Products Co. allows contractors to quickly and easily create an air- and vapor-tight seal between a low-slope roofing system and the building below.

F5 Air & Vapor Barrier is compatible with a wide variety of roofing systems and can be used on primed substrates, including concrete, plywood, exterior gypsum, DensDeck Prime and SECUROCK. It also can serve as a temporary roof for up to 120 days while work on the finished roofing system is completed.

The membrane is a 40 mil-thick composite consisting of 35 mils of self-adhering rubberized asphalt laminated to a 5 mil-thick woven polypropylene film. Rolls are 39 inches wide and 75 feet long and cover approximately 244 square feet of substrate surface.

F5 Air & Vapor Barrier’s factory-controlled thickness helps ensure that the membrane has uniform barrier properties, reducing moisture movement through the roofing system and helping keep conditioned air inside the building and unconditioned air outside. The woven polypropylene film makes the membrane highly resistant to tears and punctures. The non-skid surface helps keep contractors safe on the job site and is suitable for the bonding of subsequent layers of the roofing system.

A siliconized one-piece release liner prevents the material from bonding to itself in the roll and is easily removed during installation of the barrier.

VaproShield Used on Housing Prototype Commissioned by New York’s Office of Emergency Management

VaproShield was honored to have WrapShield SA Self-Adhered Water Resistive Vapor Permeable Air Barrier Sheet selected for use on an experimental, post-disaster housing prototype located in Brooklyn, N.Y. In development since 2008, the prototype was commissioned by New York’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) with funding from FEMA. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was designated as project manager for the prototype’s construction. Designed by Garrison Architects, the “townhouse” style post-disaster housing consists of five modular units—fabricated by Mark Line Industries—which are stacked on top of each other.

“This is an exciting innovation,” comments Phil Johnson, VaproShield Managing Partner. “These [post-disaster housing] units have the potential to provide safe, reliable housing to the victims of natural disaster as they work to rebuild their communities. VaproShield is a proud contributor.”

While the post-disaster prototype will be on-site in Brooklyn for a year, the modular units are designed to be mobile. The modular units were constructed for easy installation, deconstruction and transport.

“The idea is that no matter where a disaster occurs, these modular units can be placed on a truck and taken there,” says Johnson. “The units need to perform well in every climate, as there is no telling where they may end up, and WrapShield SA Self-Adhered helps with that.”

WrapShield SA Self-Adhered Water Resistive Vapor Permeable Air Barrier Sheet helps to regulate air flow to keep units cool in the summer and warm in the winter, thus reducing energy costs. WrapShield SA Self-Adhered was selected for use on this initial prototype as it provides superior weather protection as well as the durability to withstand exposure in a wide variety of climates.

Vapor Retarders

The need for, use and design of a vapor retarder in the design of a roof system used to be a hotly debated topic. It appears now—when vapor retarders are needed more than ever—the design community seems to have lost interest, which is not good, considering how codes and standards (altered through concerns for energy savings) have changed how buildings are designed, constructed and operated. Most notably, positive building pressures are changing the game.

If not controlled, constructiongenerated moisture can have deleterious effects on new roof systems.

PHOTO 1: If not controlled, construction-generated
moisture can have
deleterious effects on new
roof systems.

A vapor retarder is a material or system that is designed as part of the roof system to substantially reduce the movement of water vapor into the roof system, where it can condense. Everyone knows that water in roof systems is never a positive. Typically, a vapor retarder has to have a perm rating of 1.0 or less to be successful. Through my recent observations, the lack of or poorly constructed vapor retarders contribute to ice under the membrane, soaked insulation facers, destabilized insulation, rusting roof decks, dripping water down screw-fastener threads, compromised fiber board and perlite integrity, mold on organic facers and loss of adhesion on adhered systems, just to name a few. Oh, and did I fail to mention the litigation that follows?

The codes’ “air-barrier requirements” have confused roof system designers. Codes and standards are being driven by the need for energy savings and, as a consequence, buildings are becoming tighter and tighter, as well as more sophisticated. This article will discuss preventing air and vapor transport of interior conditioned air into the roof system and the need for a vapor retarder. The responsibility of incorporating a vapor retarder or air retarder into a roof system is that of the licensed design professional and not that of the contractor or roof system material supplier.

It should be noted that all vapor retarders are air barriers but not all air barriers are vapor retarders. In so much that the roof membrane can often serve as an air barrier, it does nothing to prevent this interior air transport.

WHEN TO USE A VAPOR RETARDER

So the question arises: “When is it prudent to use a vapor retarder?” This is not a simple question and has been complicated by codes, standards, costs and building construction, changing roof membranes and confusion about air barriers. Then, there is the difference in new-construction design and roof removal and replacement design. Historically, it was said that a vapor retarder should be used if the interior use of the building was “wet”, such as a pool room, kitchen, locker shower rooms, etc.; outside temperature in the winter was 40 F or below; or when in doubt, leave it out. In my experience, changes in the building and construction industry have now made the determination criteria more complex.

I find there are typically three primary scenarios that suggest a vapor barrier is prudent. The first is the interior use of the building. The second is consideration for the control of construction-generated moisture, so that the roof can make it to the building’s intended use (see photo 1). The third consideration is the sequence of construction. In all three situations I like to specify a robust vapor retarder that “dries in” the building so that interior work and construction work above the vapor retarder can take place without compromising the finished roof. Consider the following:

BUILDING USE

This characteristic is often the most determinant. If the interior use of the building requires conditioned air and has relative-humidity percentages great enough to condense if the exterior temperatures get cold enough, a vapor retarder is needed to prevent the movement of this conditioned air into the roof system where it can condense and become problematic.

Most designers consider building use only in their design thinking, and it is often in error as the roof system can be compromised during construction and commissioning (through interior building flushing, which can drive moist air into the roof system) before occupancy.

To seal two-ply asphaltic felts set in hot asphalt on a concrete roof deck, an asphaltic glaze coat was applied at the end of the day. Because of the inherent tackiness of the asphalt until it oxidizes, Hutch has been specifying a smooth-surfaced modified bitumen cap sheet, eliminating the glaze coat.

PHOTO 2: To seal two-ply asphaltic felts set in hot asphalt on a concrete roof deck, an asphaltic glaze coat was applied at the end of the day. Because of the
inherent tackiness of the asphalt until it oxidizes, Hutch has been specifying a smooth-surfaced modified bitumen cap
sheet, eliminating the glaze coat.

CONTROL OF CONSTRUCTION-GENERATED MOISTURE

I have seen roof systems on office buildings severely compromised by construction- generated moisture caused by concrete pours, combustion heaters, block laying, fireproofing, drywall taping and painting. Thus, a simple vapor retarder should be considered in these situations to control rising moisture vapor during construction, which includes the flushing of the building if required for commissioning.

CONSTRUCTION SEQUENCING AND MATERIALS

Building construction takes place year round. It is unfortunate decision makers in the roofing industry who are pushing low-VOC and/or water-based adhesives do not understand this; problems with their decisions are for another article. If the roof is to be installed in late fall (in the Midwest) and interior concrete work and/or large amounts of moisture-producing construction, such as concrete-block laying, plastering, drywall taping or painting, are to take place, a vapor retarder should be considered.

How will the building, especially the façades, be constructed? Will they be installed after the finished roof? This creates a scenario for a damaged “completed” roof system.

PHOTOS: Hutchinson Design Group Ltd.

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