Owens Corning® Thermafiber® Mineral Wool

Moisture resistance of Owens Corning® Thermafiber® Mineral Wool on display at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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November 04, 2019 |

Contrary to plot lines in art heist films, the biggest threats to museum exhibits are moisture, fire and humidity. When the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) underwent a 235,000-square-foot expansion, the multi-disciplinary project team was challenged to achieve the sensitive moisture balance levels in the highly-regulated museum spaces without excessive energy usage.

Due to the sophisticated build considerations, Owens Corning’s building science experts joined the Norwegian firm Snøhetta, Canyon Insulation, Res-Com Insulation, Inc. insulation contractors and  Kreysler & Associates custom fabricators to consult on the three-year construction project.

To help the remain on track with the construction goals, the team recommended four Owens Corning® Thermafiber® mineral wool insulation solutions that would deliver exceptional moisture and thermal control performance benefits, energy conservation and fire safety and support goals for attaining the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED®) gold standard.

With a minimum of 70 percent recycled content and proven moisture resistive properties,  the multi-faceted Thermafiber® mineral wool solutions were ultimately incorporated into cutting-edge applications across the museum’s interior walls, mechanical HVAC systems and exterior façade.


A Closer Look

The application of Thermafiber® RainBarrier® 45 Continuous Insulation helped to efficiently drain water from the wall cavity system so the building could breathe and ultimately manage interior thermal moisture levels needed to help protect the art displayed in the galleries. The semi-rigid composition of this insulation was ideal for conforming to irregular spaces, delivering a more continuous thermal barrier and an energy-saving R value of 4.3 per inch of thickness.

The multi-purpose Thermafiber® VersaBoard® 60 Multi-Purpose Insulation was also used in the exposed and unexposed interior mechanical spaces to repel moisture while also providing fire resistance and enhanced acoustical performance.

The Thermafiber® perimeter fire containment assembly was a natural choice for this project based on its well-documented ability to resist temperatures over 2000°F for a two-hour rated assembly for containing fire in the event of a fire.

As part of this system, Thermafiber® FireSpan® 90 Curtain Wall Insulation and Thermafiber® Safing Insulation were installed to achieve outstanding fire protection in compliance with International Building Code (IBC) fire requirements. The team also specified Thermafiber Safing™ in head of wall fire-rated wall assemblies for mechanical and electrical fire rated penetrations.

When the SFMOMA reopened in May 2016 as the largest modern and contemporary art museum in America, the renovation was viewed as an architectural masterpiece blending form and function for exceptional results. For more information on the Owens Corning® Thermafiber® mineral wool insulation solutions featured in the SFMOMA renovation, visit www.owenscorning.com/thermafiber

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