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101 Top Products: Building Envelope 2018

75 Top Building Products

101 Top Products: Building Envelope 2018

Among the best building envelope products included in BD+C's Top 101 Products report are Eldorado Stone's GenFlex EPDM Adhesive, Henry Company's Henry Restoration System, and Dryvit's NewBrick Brick System.

By BD+C Staff | March 21, 2018
Dorchester building
Dorchester building


1. CR G Cap Sheets | Johns Manville

CR G Cap Sheets

New cap sheets offer the ease of installation of standard granulated cap sheets, along with the energy-efficiency benefits of a highly reflective, emissive surface. CR G cap sheets provide long-term stain resistance and can be installed with cold application adhesive, hot asphalt, or heat-weld methods. The product is listed with the Cool Roof Rating Council and has UL and FM Global approvals.


2. iso 95+ GL Polyiso | Firestone Building Products

Firestone Building Products

Firestone’s ISO 95+ GL polyiso insulation offers the highest R-value per inch in low-temperature performance, according to the maker. At low temperatures (40°F), competing polyiso boards may require additional thickness to achieve the same R-value of ISO 95+ GL. The insulation won’t soften or melt when exposed to extreme hot weather conditions.


3. Sika Solaroof | Sika Corp.

Sika Solaroof

This solar roof system involves welding PVC pads directly to the roof membrane, providing a non-penetrating, lightweight solution. Sika SolaRoof eliminates potential leakage points and the possibility for roof damage due to lateral movement. Ballast is typically not required with Sika SolaRoof installations, making it suitable for lightweight roof structures. The entire system is eligible for warranty coverage up to 20 years.


4. Mel-Prime w/B adhesive | W.R. Meadows

Mel-Prime w/B adhesive

Following a flood in 2008 that wiped out the Voxman Music Building, the University of Iowa undertook construction of the new 180,000-sf music building. The 700-seat concert hall, 200-seat recital hall, and an organ performance hall were sealed with three different products from W.R. Meadows. Mel-Prime W/B, a water-based adhesive, was applied to surfaces requiring a self-adhesive air/vapor barrier. Air-Shield, a self-adhering air/vapor and liquid moisture barrier, was used on all vertical and horizontal surfaces. Pointing Mastic, a pre-mixed, cold-applied, polymeric, single-component sealing compound, was applied to seal all vertical and horizontal terminations of the Air-Shield membranes. The combination of being built on higher ground and using a trio of air, vapor, and moisture products means the new Voxman Music Building will be protected against the elements.


5. Driplane Drainage Plane | Mortar Net Solutions

Driplane Drainage Plane

DriPlane is a new drainage plane for exterior rainscreen and adhered masonry wall applications. The easy-to-install system helps prevent peeling, cracking, and blistering by allowing the exterior finish to drain and dry quickly and completely. The material is designed for use between the structural wall and exterior cladding, and can be used with stucco, thin brick/stone, fiber cement, vinyl and wood siding, and manufactured stone. DriPlane is made from a 90% open weave polypropylene mesh with attached moisture- and vapor-permeable fabric and molded-in channels to provide clear, continuous drainage and ventilation pathways. Its black color means it is invisible through gaps in rainscreen veneers. Standard 1/4-inch-thick DriPlane comes in 4x65-foot rolls.


6. GKD Metal Mesh Screens | GKD

GKD Metal Mesh Screens

The burgeoning Chinese metropolis of Dalian is home to Eton Place Dalian, a mixed-use development of five towers and a six-story mall designed by NBBJ. The mall, with its upscale boutiques, luxury department store, restaurants, and supermarket, needed an advertising platform to underline the exclusivity of the building complex. NBBJ selected a transparent media façade system from GKD that uses Mediamesh screens of stainless steel mesh interwoven with rows of LEDs. Unlike traditional billboards and signage, the screens allow the architecture of the building to shine through the advertising. They also allow daylight to reach the rooms behind the media façade. The two screens used on the mall are 34 feet high and up to 78 feet wide and run over the corner at two entrances. In total, the system uses 11 panels that are made up of about 1,492 sf of metal mesh.


7. Isoleren RL roof panel | atas international

Isoleren RL roof panel

Insulated metal roof panel offers the appearance of standing seam metal roofing with the added benefits of thermal performance and durability. Its standing seam “T” lock design requires no lifting to engage. Available thicknesses: 2.5, three, four, five, and six inches. Nominal R-8 per inch of insulation thickness. Exterior and interior gauge: 26, 24, and 22. The panel’s core is continuously poured-in-place polyiso insulating foam.


8. GenFlex EPDM Adhesive | Genflex roofing systems

GenFlex EPDM Adhesive

Adhesive offers single-sided, wet-lay application for fast installation, with near-zero VOCs and zero odor. The solvent-free adhesive formulation allows contractors to mate the membrane as soon as it has been applied. There is no need to wait for flash-off, and no mixing is necessary. Offers a coverage rate of 120-150 sf per gallon—50% greater than other systems, according to the manufacturer.


9. Tri-flex xt underlayment | GCP Applied technologies

Tri-flex xt underlayment

This synthetic water-shedding underlayment is 20 times stronger than #30 felt and can be exposed for up to six months, making it suitable for temporarily drying in structures during construction periods. It provides a stable base for the application of mechanically attached roof coverings. Its slip-resistance coating provides improved foot traction and a safe walking surface.


10. 'vintage ranch' veneer | eldorado stone

'vintage ranch' veneer

Inspired by the color tones and textures of naturally weathered wood, Eldorado Stone’s Vintage Ranch wood plank stone profile mimics the look and feel of oak, Douglas fir, and pine. Planks milled to heights of two inches, four inches, and six inches with subtle depth variations come in an easy-to-install panelized format. The veneer can be used for indoor or outdoor spaces. Vintage Ranch is made of concrete, provides good durability, and is sustainably produced. Four color finishes are offered: Doverwood, Foxwood, Parchwood, and Saddlewood. For each color, the planks are hand painted to achieve the patina of weatherworn boards.


11. Henry Restoration System | Henry Company

Henry Restoration System

Liquid-applied roof restoration portfolio offers a cost-effective alternative to re-roofing by helping owners restore a building’s roof without the expense of removing and installing a new roof. The warranted systems are compatible with most roofing substrates, providing weather-proofing protection on both low- and steep-sloped roofs. Select products are available in premium and custom colors.


12. Dynasty Shingles | IKO

Dynasty Shingles

Architectural laminate shingles feature a nailing area that is 40% wider than standard shingle nailing zones to speed installation. Designed to resist wind speeds up to 130 mph, Dynasty shingles require only four nails per shingle—versus the typical six nails—providing project savings. A tear-resistant, reinforced woven band within the nailing zone offers fastening strength for this shingle product.


13. Thin adair limestone | Arriscraft

Thin adair limestone

Thin Adair Limestone from Arriscraft installs like tile, in dry-mount style without mortar. It can be oriented horizontally or vertically for design versatility. The thin stone product uses natural limestone quarried in Ontario, Canada. Available in three sizes—face rises of 11/4, 21/4, and 31/2  inches—and in multiple lengths. It features a random blend of natural sepia and blue-grey colors, and is offered in veined, fleuri, and cross-veined patterns. Suitable for use in adhered tile installations for both interior and exterior applications.


14. Dual-guard snow retention | s-5!

Dual-guard snow retention

The DualGard snow retention system from S-5! uses an assembly of two one-inch pipes to keep snow and ice in place while it melts, while also preserving the look of the metal roof. DualGard can be painted, powder coated, or anodized, and can be fully engineered for the specific roof and environment. The system is mounted with S-5! mini clips and comes with two sizes of snow clips to fit any seam profile. DualGard effectively protects people and property from roof snow avalanches that can occur when heavy snow begins to melt. It joins S-5!’s other snow retention systems: ColorGard, X-Gard, SnoRail, and SnoFence.


15. Newbrick brick system | Dryvit

Newbrick brick system

While traditional clay brick continues to be a workhorse material in new construction projects, it is rarely used as a structural building component. When compared to alternative nonstructural veneer options, such as precast concrete and thin-brick systems, clay brick can be excessive in terms of weight and installation time. Dryvit aims to resolve these concerns with the introduction of NewBrick, a lightweight insulated brick product that is coated with a specially formulated finish to mimic the look and feel of traditional brick. The thin-brick material is installed much like bathroom or kitchen tile. Each unit is adhesively attached to almost any substrate—concrete, masonry, air/water resistive barrier, EIFS. The joints are then sealed with conventional mortar to replicate the appearance of handlaid brick construction. An engineered drainage plane removes incidental moisture. NewBrick is 12 times lighter than conventional four-inch face brick, weighing 2.45 lb/sf compared to 29 lb/sf. This weight savings means NewBrick is easier, safer, and faster to work with.


16. StoPowerwall Drainage System | STo

StoPowerwall Drainage System

West Virginia University’s new 22,000-sf Art Museum presents a combination of modern details with a semi-traditional aesthetic. The museum stands next to the Museum Education Center (MEC), which is housed in a historic building. Stanley Beaman & Sears, the project’s architect, carried over existing datum lines from the MEC to the design of the museum in order to visually tie the two structures together. This allowed building elements like joint lines, window heads, and sills to align. Saw-stacked stone, which was already used on one of the university’s sports facilities, was chosen over brick. It was paired with Sto Corp’s StoPowerwall DrainScreen. The StoPowerwall DrainScreen is a stucco wall assembly with continuous air and moisture barrier and advanced cavity wall design that combines the strength and durability of stucco with StoGuard moisture protection and Sto high performance finishes. The completed museum is about 30% stacked stone and 70% stucco.


17. 'slenderwall' precast cladding | easi-set

'slenderwall' precast cladding

SlenderWall is an alternative to traditional precast cladding that incorporates precast’s design flexibility into a lightweight assembly with a vapor barrier, insulation, and interior framing studs. Its outer face is made of two inches of architectural precast concrete containing polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fiber and welded-wire reinforcement. Stainless-steel fasteners attach the exterior concrete to 14- or 16-gauge G90 galvanized steel studs. The resulting thermal air gap is filled with factory-applied closed-cell foam insulation. The entire assembly, including the vapor barrier, insulation, and framing studs, is only one-third of the weight of six-inch-thick precast. SlenderWall was used on the new eight-story Holiday Inn on the Cleveland Clinic campus. It was selected because of its cost savings over traditional precast concrete, including savings from eliminating large cranes required to lift precast panels.


18. Formwall imp system | Centria

Formwall imp system

Insulated metal panel system has been enhanced with the Formawall Insulated Metal Vertical (IMV) Joint (pictured) and Formawall Pressure-Equalized (PE) Seal Plate. The IMV joint provides a thermal barrier at the end joint and eliminates exposed gaskets and sealants to reduce the opportunity for streaking or staining on the panels. The PE Seal Plate provides multiple lines of defense against air and water infiltration.


19. Tapered Series Lightweight aluminum panels | Dri-Design

Tapered Series Lightweight aluminum panels

Lightweight aluminum insulated panels can be angled in any direction to varying degrees and depths, offering design freedom without the need to modify the substrate or weather barrier. Tapered Series panels are particularly well suited for retrofit applications, where uneven and leaning walls are commonplace. Panel depth can range from 1ÂĽ to four inches, depending on the severity of the taper design. Three panel sizes: 40x40, 24x72, and 24x120 inches.


20. Retro-R roofing panel | MBCI

Retro-R roofing panel

Designed for installation over existing metal roof systems, Retro-R is an exposed-fastening panel with rib spacing 12 inches on center, a rib height of 11/16 inch, and a minimum slope of 1/2:12. It has been approved as a minimum 26-gauge panel installed over an existing minimum 29-gauge PBR panel. Its integrated drip stop membrane prevents rust from the old roof from transferring to the new panel. The product recently received statewide approval for use in Florida.


21. 138T Recover System | Mcelroy Metal

138T Recover System

Standing seam metal roof system is designed to install directly over existing asphalt shingles, providing a fast, economical, and energy-efficient reroof solution. The cost of tear-off and dumping are eliminated, and the new system can be installed without the cost of an underlayment. Patent-pending clips create an energy-saving above sheathing ventilation (ASV) airspace between the existing roof and new 138T roof.


22. Highline Wall Panels | Petersen Aluminum

Highline Wall Panels

Metal wall panels feature varying rib patterns and widths for creative architectural effects. Highline panels are 13/8-inch deep, creating dramatic shadow lines. The panels can be installed horizontally or vertically for design flexibility. Options include 12- or 16-inch widths, no-clip or clip-fastened installation, and lengths up to 22 feet for aluminum and 30 feet for steel. Available in 45 colors.


23. Durastar Ultra-Cool | PPG

Durastar Ultra-Cool

New coil coatings combine an advanced silicone-modified polyester formulation with infrared-reflective pigments to extend the service life of metal roofing, siding, and panels. Polyester-based resin, cross-linking, and tinting technologies protect metal  industrial, agricultural, and storage buildings while providing chalk resistance and fade resistance. IR-reflective pigments deflect solar heat, enabling buildings to stay cooler.


24. Hp 42-inch roof shingles | Atlas Roofing

Hp 42-inch roof shingles

At 42 inches wide and 14 inches high, the HP42” shingle from Atlas Roofing is the largest shingle manufactured in the U.S., according to the maker. Its size, along with features like a 11/2-inch nailing area and a seven-course, zero-waste shingle offset, combine to speed installation and reduce waste. Based on an average 40-square job, the HP42” approach requires 320 fewer shingles to install and up to 6,000 fewer nails and penetrations. This equates to approximately $40 in savings on a 130-mph wind limited warranty installation, along with a savings of two to four hours of labor time. The HP42” format is available for the Atlas StormMaster Shake and Pinnacle Pristine shingle lines.


25. Shimmer series acm panels | Alpolic

Shimmer series acm panels

Shimmer Series finishes for aluminum composite panels add silver or gold sparkles and rich, deep colors for a bold, eye-catching style. Well suited for accent walls and detail areas, the Shimmer ACM panels offer good color and gloss retention, weathering performance, and resistance to staining and fading. Available for company’s polyethylene core and fire-retardant panels.


26. echelon masonry units | old castle architectural

echelon masonry units

Mesa (Ariz.) Community College’s new 462-seat MCC Performing Arts Center is a mason’s dream. The $10.3 million facility, which houses the school’s music and theater programs, features dramatic masonry installations made possible by Oldcastle Architectural’s Echelon brand. Brian Farling, AIA, Principal with Jones Studio, the design firm for the project, specified Trendstone ground-face masonry units, which were strategically bumped from the interior walls to better reflect theater sound. Trenwyth Trendstone walls in the Black Canyon color pattern blend into the design scheme to enhance aesthetics and acoustics. The exterior shell consists of exposed masonry and raked, unpainted cement stucco over metal stud framing. The interior transition to the exterior shell was constructed with Echelon’s matching colored concrete blocks featuring an integrated water repellent.


28. Tyvek fluid applied weather barrier+ | Dupont

Tyvek fluid applied weather barrier+

The fluid-applied weather barrier with silyl-terminated polyether (STPE) offers several inherent advantages over traditional acrylic or bitumen-based fluid-applied air and water barrier products: solid protection, energy efficiency, ease of installation, and improved sprayability. The material can be sprayed or pressure-rolled on a broad range of substrates, including concrete, concrete masonry units, and gypsum. The system is engineered to withstand nine months of UV exposure, and can be applied on damp walls and at a wide range of temperatures (between 25°F and 140°F).


29. Fluropon Effects Coatings | Valspar

Fluropon Effects Coating

Valspar offers three new color families within its Fluropon Effects line of color-shifting, sparkling 70% PVDF architectural coatings. Rustica (pictured) offers a soothing, nature-inspired palette, with rich, saturated colors, including some with subtle color-shift. Kameleon creates a iridescent, multi-toned effect with a wide spectrum of intense, vibrant colors. Nova offers a rich color collection with a vivid sparkle.


30. Motion Mesh metal fabric system creates kinetic screen | Cambridge Architectural

Editor's Pick

Motion Mesh metal fabric system creates kinetic screen

This metal fabric system allows airflow through movable flaps to create a kinetic screen that undulates with the wind or forced air (in the case of interior applications). Large panels supporting the flaps can be installed with minimal structure to create an engaging aesthetic. Motion Mesh’s flaps move 90 degrees forward or backwards, for maximum motion.


31. Forcefield Corner Seal | Georgia Pacific

Editor's Pick

Forcefield Corner Seal

This accessory to the ForceField air and water barrier system is designed to simplify the air and moisture sealing of inside and outside exterior corners—two of the most difficult areas of a building. The four-inch-wide, semi-rigid polypropylene system features a living hinge for easy installation in any corner area. Simply apply the seal material and tape the edges. Available in 200-foot rolls.


32. Metallic Series Panels | Nichiha

Editor's Pick

Metallic Series Panels

Ribbed fiber-cement panels feature a 3D design quality and metallic finish that mimics the look of brushed and precious metals. The Metallic Series complements modern materials such as block panels and glass, and can add dimension to projects with flat-panel exterior elements. Available in two colors—Mother of Pearl and Gunsmoke—and with a 50-year limited manufacturer warranty and a 10-year finish warranty. Works with the company’s Ultimate Clip, an installation system that creates a 10mm drained and back-ventilated rainscreen.


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75 Top Building Products

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