Currently Reading

BD+C's 101 Top Products: Building Envelope

75 Top Building Products

BD+C's 101 Top Products: Building Envelope

Among the best building envelope products included in BD+C's 2018 101 Top Products report are Laticrete's MVIS Veneer System, 3A Composites' Natural Terra Series, and LP's Flameblock Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing.

By BD+C Staff | January 4, 2019


1. Mirage Porcelain Veneers | Oldcastle Architectural

Designed for vertical applications, such as outdoor walls, porcelain veneers are available in a variety of colors to coordinate with the Belgard porcelain paver collection. The tiles create a balanced, harmonious visual effect when laid in a staggered pattern, with no gaps. The 4x18-inch tiles are frost-resistant, durable, and easy to clean.


2. MVIS veneer system | Laticrete

The Laticrete Masonry Veneer Installation System (MVIS) provides a permanent, high-strength installation that is freeze-thaw stable and protects from water intrusion. Installation of masonry veneers is typically performed with on-site mortar mixes that are subject to large variations in quality and performance. These installations usually include metal lath and many times provide inadequate protection from weather, resulting in water intrusion and delamination of the veneer. The Laticrete MVIS system attempts to rectify these issues by offering a comprehensive quality controlled installation system that includes a waterproofing membrane, polymer fortified adhesive mortars, scratch and brown coat mortar, masonry pointing mortar, and 100% silicone sealant.



This single-component liquid synthetic rubber air, vapor, and liquid moisture barrier is easy to apply and cures to form a tough, seamless, elastomeric membrane. The highly flexible membrane offers strong adhesion to span great lengths, ensuring a continuous barrier. It adheres to most common surfaces, various wall systems, and is suitable for both new construction and restoration. Nontoxic with low-VOC content.


4. ProGUARD DP Insulated Concrete Board | Arriscraft

The ProGuard DP Insulated Concrete Board system uses fully engineered panels that offer thermal protection with ship-lapped edges to eliminate thermal breaks and meet continuous insulation requirements. ProGuard DP is a combined system that eliminates the separate steps of the drainage plane, insulation, wire lathe, and mortar bed to cut installation time down to one-third that of traditional wall systems. The concrete board and insulation board are laminated together, which results in the use of a quarter-inch concrete board (as opposed to a half-inch) for a more lightweight assembly than in traditional systems. Can be used with thin brick, thin natural stone, thin porcelain tile, thin manufactured stone, stucco, and synthetic stucco.


5. Natural Terra Series | 3A Composites

With six textured finishes inspired by iridescent stone, this aluminum composite material line sparkles in daylight, like stone, and offers the design flexibility and light weight of ACM. Finishes include Arctic Frost, Clear Ice, Lava, Precast Grey, Sierra Sand, and Terra Cotta. The weather-resistant panels are available in 4mm thickness and with the company’s proprietary fire-resistant core.


6. Custom Metal coatings | Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings

Metal cladding panels in custom grey shades of protective PVDF coating present a modern look in a classic color palette for a 26-story Hilton Garden Inn in Chicago. The design, by GREC Architects, creates a large-scale mosaic pattern across the 10,000-sf exterior. The panels were coated with Fluropon in five colors: Midnight Blue, Stonewall, Sabre Gray, Sleigh Bells, and Horizon.


7. Perforated metal panels | Petersen Aluminum

The new Moving Everest Charter School leaves no doubt that the students are the stars of the show. The school’s exterior is clad in 16,000 sf of PAC-CLAD 7/8-inch corrugated panels finished in charcoal. One-third of these panels is perforated and installed in front of supergraphic grayscale images of students that show through the perforated metal panels. The perforations are 3/8 inch on 9/16-inch centers. The supergraphic images were printed on an aluminum composite material. A four-inch cavity between the ACM and the PAC-CLAD perforated panels creates the desired visual effect. The largest panels are 40 feet long. WBR Roofing installed all the panels and fabricated the trim, coping, and brake metal on site.


8. Tech21 panelized cladding | Dryvit Systems

Faced with accelerated schedules and a shrinking labor pool, a growing number of contractors and project teams are turning to prefabrication as a viable solution. In response, manufacturers like Dryvit Systems are developing products and programs to simplify and improve offsite construction. Its Tech 21 initiative supports the prefabrication of wall assemblies that use the company’s Outsulation systems with traditional EIFS finishes or its NewBrick cladding. The Tech 21 initiative includes a fabricator network that provides premium warranty coverage for prefab panels.


9. LP FlameBlock fire-rated OSB sheathing | LP

Designed for roof deck applications for Type III and Type V construction, this fire-rated OSB sheathing provides structural strength and fire code compliance in a single panel. Offers higher design values than FRT plywood at the same thickness, says the maker. Carries load/span and shear design values equivalent to an untreated wood structural panel in the same panel thickness category. Available in 7/16-inch thickness category. Withstands normal exposure to moisture during construction.


10. Kemperol Reflect 2K-FR roof system | Kemper System

This liquid-applied cool roof system features a bright-white formulation that has been tested to perform with an initial Solar Reflectance Index of 110. The fully-reinforced membrane is solvent-free, odor-free, and low VOC. The system cures to a bright-white finish. No topcoat is necessary, which reduces labor costs and installation time. Listed by the Cool Roof Rating Council.


11. Duro-Shield coatings | Duro-Last

This collection of roof coatings is 100% elastomeric acrylic with a brilliant-white finish that reflects the sun’s rays, which can lower heat buildup and reduce costs. The collection includes three lines: Duro-Shield 20 offers 35 mils of coverage when dry and a 20-year limited warranty; Duro-Shield 10 features 24 mils of coverage when dry and a 10-year limited warranty; Duro-Shield 5 offers 20 mils of coverage when dry and a five-year limited warranty.


12. Nature Crafted Collection shake shingles | DaVinci Roofscapes

This collection of composite shake shingles includes three colors—Aged Cedar, Mossy Cedar, and Black Oak—designed to reflect different progressive aging processes found on real shake shingles. The products have a lifetime limited warranty and will not split, crack, curl, or fade. They also resist fire, impacts, high winds, mold, algae, fungus, and insects. Available in wavy or straight grains throughout the tile.


13. Versa-Line Wall Cladding | ATAS International

Metal wall cladding profile features a concealed fastener and is designed for horizontal or vertical applications. Available in 123/8- or 163/8-inch coverage, with a one-inch panel depth, the cladding comes with pre-punched fastener slots for quick, easy installation. Panel lengths are cut to customer specifications, from two to 25 feet. A complete line of trim is offered in matching colors, gauge, and finish.


14. Garden Roof Assembly vegetated roof | AMERICAN HYDROTECH

This vegetated roof assembly combines the 50-year track record of American Hydrotech’s Monolithic Membrane 6125 with a lightweight, robust green roof system. Monolithic Membrane 6125 is a thick, flexible, self-healing material made of refined asphalts and synthetic rubbers for use in waterproofing and roofing applications. The Garden Roof Assembly can support virtually any green roof design, including extensive, intensive, lawn, and sloped (up to 2:12 without a soil confinement system).


15. Clarity | Sunbrella

Designed for applications where awnings are difficult or time-consuming to clean and maintain, this self-cleaning fabric features a durable polyurethane coating that breaks down dirt and organic material so they can be quickly washed away with water. The coating will wet out the surface rather than bead up, which eliminates streaking. Clarity is available in a wide range of fabric colors and patterns.


16. S-12 architectural wire mesh | Banker Wire

The investment firm Blackstone recently moved its Innovations & Infrastructure team to a new office in Midtown Manhattan. Before the move, the company discovered through the use of employee surveys and focus groups that its staff had a strong desire for collaboration, quiet personal workspace, access to new technology, and a non-corporate design feel. In an effort to achieve that final point, M Moser, the project architect, used Banker Wire’s S-12 architectural wire mesh throughout the hallways, breakout areas, and meeting spaces to create an industrial-inspired design element. The 2-12 pattern was woven in plain steel with a blackened finish to create decorative wall panels and partitions. The metallic transparency of the product allows only a small amount of light to diffuse through the mesh.


17. Formawall halogen-free | Centria

The Formawall line of insulated metal panels is now made with a halogen-free insulating foam core. With this sustainability enhancement, the company claims that it’s the only U.S. manufacturer to offer IMPs with halogen-free foam as a standard product. The product line has a health product declaration (HPD) through the HPD Collaborative, which provides in-depth ingredient reporting.


18. RapidGuard | Sto

Sto RapidGuard, a single-component, multi-use air barrier and waterproofing material, seals rough openings, seams, sheathing joints, cracks, penetrations, and transitions in above-grade wall construction. The fast-drying material helps avoid weather shutdowns because it adheres to damp substrates without blistering or increasing drying time. It can also be installed in near-freezing temperatures. RapidGuard’s elongation allows it to bridge cracks and seams in wall construction without tearing or compromising the air and moisture barrier.


19. Retractable canopy with Tenara Fabric | Sefar Architecture

Budweiser Beer Park, the Las Vegas Strip’s first rooftop bar and grill, at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, includes a retractable fabric canopy featuring Sefar Architecture’s Tenara Fabric. With approximately 300 days of sunshine per year in Las Vegas and the restaurant’s western orientation, Beer Park required a solution to provide shade during the day’s peak sun and allow the area to remain occupied during rain. The 3,444-sf canopy uses Tenara 4T20HF fabric, woven from ePTFE fabric and fluoropolymer-coated, making the PTFE inherent in the material. The canopy can be easily folded and unfolded without damaging its PTFE surface or losing strength. Tenara Fabric is inert to UV rays, provides high resistance to material degradation, and is Class A fire rated.


20. Aspyre Collection | James Hardie

This collection of fiber cement siding products combines two lines—the thick profiles of Artisan siding and the smooth, geometric Reveal Panel System—which can be used individually or in combination for increased design possibilities. The 5/8-inch-thick Artisan siding profiles cast deep shadow lines to create strong horizontal and vertical definition. Corners can be mitered for added detail.


21. Timber Series aluminum composite material | ALPOLIC

This line of aluminum composite material (ACM) replicates the natural look of wood in a lightweight, low-maintenance, and less expensive system. The Timber Series includes grain patterns that mimic the aesthetic of mahogany, walnut, maple, Zebrawood, teak, Oriental Cane, and bamboo. Its fluoropolymer finish is more durable than real wood, says the maker. Engineered for interior and exterior applications.


22. DensDeck Prime | Georgia-Pacific

Roof board has been enhanced with EONIC Technology, which provides improved water resistance and increased vertical pull strength. Manufacturing specifications include a surface water absorption rate of one gram and a total water absorption rate of 5%—among the most stringent in the industry. Independent testing showed ½-inch gypsum fiber board absorbed 132% more water than ½-inch DensDeck Prime with EONIC.


23. Rapidlock | Carlisle SynTec Systems

The RapidLock Roofing System, the offspring of a partnership between Carlisle SynTec Systems and the Velcro Brand, is a sustainable, adhesive-free roofing solution that allows for quicker installation in all weather conditions. The system uses Velcro Brand Securable Solution Products to fully attach Carlisle’s RL roofing membranes to RL insulation without the use of an adhesive. The VOC- and odor-free solution has no application temperature restrictions and can be installed in any weather condition. Because the product is VOC-free, contractors can safely apply the system in occupied buildings. Additionally, the lack of an adhesive means contractors can save time that is usually spent applying adhesive and waiting for flash-off. The RapidLock system consists of five main parts: FleeceBACK RL EPDM or TPO Membrane with RapidLock technology; insulation fasteners and plates; 2-inch InsulBase RL Polyiso with RapidLock technology or 0.5-inch SecurShield HD RL Polyiso; 2.4-inch InsulBase Polyiso; and a steel deck.


24. LOXON Self-Cleaning Acrylic Coating | Sherwin-Williams

Loxon Self-Cleaning Acrylic Coating is engineered for exterior, above-grade masonry to provide a clean aesthetic and high-performance protection. The coating’s self-cleaning formula sheds dirt with rain or water contact and provides advanced durability, water shedding, and wind-driven rain and dirt pickup resistance. Loxon can be applied directly to stucco, masonry, cement board, and bare or previously coated concrete that is at least seven days old and has a pH between 6 and 13. The product will soon be available in a flat sheen in a wide variety of colors.


25. 904H Coating Additive | Dow Corning

Dow Corning’s 904H Coating Additive is a silicone additive for architectural façade coatings. It reduces the “snail trail” effect that occurs when surfactants and other water-soluble ingredients in coatings formulations leach to the surface. It can also improve water resistance, repellency, and beading by increasing the hydrophobicity of coatings. It is added to an existing formulation and causes minimal impact to the remainder of the formulation.


26. HPL Wall Panels | Fabral

Made by saturating multiple layers of kraft paper with phenolic resin fused together under intense heat and pressure, Fabral High Pressure Laminate (HPL) wall panels offer a stylish, integral-surface solution for exterior applications. The panels are virtually impervious to weathering and harsh environmental conditions, and offer UV resistance and color stability, according to the maker. The closed, nonporous surface limits dirt accumulation, and it holds bolts, screws, and other fixings solidly. HPL compact panels consist of thermosetting resins, homogeneously reinforced with up to 65% wood-based fibers, sourced from FSC-certified forests.


27. Precast panels at South Washington Park | FABCON PRECAST

Designed by KSS Architects and built by IMC Construction, the South Washington Park buildings 1 and 2 in Piscataway, N.J., break the traditional warehouse aesthetic with warm accent panels made of decorative precast panels fabricated by Fabcon Precast. To highlight the buildings’ entrances, the design team mixed glass storefront assemblies with wood-look precast panels that were made using Fabcon’s horizontal wood plank formliner. To contrast the dark accent panels, Fabcon provided cool-white precast concrete panels to complete the exterior design.


28. SolarFoot | S-5!

SolarFoot is made for exposed fastener metal roofing and has four points of attachment. It provides a mounting platform to attach the L-foot of a rail-mounted solar system or other ancillaries to the roof. Each piece contains two reservoirs of a factory-applied butyl co-polymeric sealant that allows for a water-tested seal. To install, peel the release paper from the butyl sealant and fasten through the predrilled holes in the base of the SolarFoot. The bracket offers a durable weathertight solution for the life of the solar system and the roof. All S-5! zero-penetration clamps attach to standing-seam metal roofs without violating the integrity of the roof or the roof’s warranties.


29. Secure Bond Technology | Firestone Building Products

Firestone’s UltraPly TPO SA and RubberGard EPDM SA are available with the company’s Secure Bond Technology, a self-adhering membrane with a factory-applied, pressure-sensitive adhesive. The system improves installation speed over traditional TPO fully adhered systems and widens the weather window, with the ability to install down to 20 F.


30. Tropi-Cool Stop Leak | Henry

This 100% silicone spray sealer is the industry’s first permanent silicone aerosol spray sealer, according to the maker. The product creates a permanent leak-proof seal that is backed by a lifetime limited warranty. It can withstand rain within 15 minutes after application and provides a strong bond to virtually any surface—skylights, flashing, roofs, windowsills, foundations, metal, concrete, and glass.


31. Engineered shingles, Shakes | Ply GeM

Designed from hand-selected, genuine slate and milled cedar, this line of engineered slate shingles and cedar shakes utilizes digitally-scanned molds to reprint the fine details of natural shingles. Solid-core composition that includes recycled resins creates a durable roofing material that has performed well under rigorous testing conditions. Withstands hailstones, UV rays, extreme temperatures, and winds up to 190 mph.


32. Flintlastic SA | CertainTeed

Enhancements to this self-adhering SBS modified bitumen roofing material mean that the long-standing system is now able to withstand installation in near-freezing temperatures. Both the Flintlastic SA Cap and Flintlastic SA Cap FR (fire rated) cap sheets can be installed in temperatures below 40 F with the use of a hot-air welder. This enables roofers to work quickly through the winter months without fear of plunging temperatures.


33. Solar Omega | GKD

GKD’s Solar Omega stainless steel metal fabric panels are geared for sun shading. As the sun rises higher in the sky, the stacking effects of the horizontal metal rods shade the building façade. As the sun descends, more daylight is allowed through the mesh. Options include deeper horizontal rods, which increase the amount of shading while maintaining views through the fabric, and the ability to vary the open area based on the unique solar needs of the project. Flexible and rigid versions available.


34. Santa Fe Imp | Metl-Span

This insulated metal wall panel has a flat exterior profile with a heavy embossed, stucco texture that mimics the look of a masonry stucco finish. It offers the warmth of an old-world finish, but with the benefits of an insulated metal panel: durability, insulating properties, light weight, and fast installation. Its concealed fastening system provides a seamless appearance. Four panel widths: 24, 30, 36, 42 inches.


35. Colphene LM Barr | Soprema

Colphene LM Barr is the first spray-grade silyl terminated polyether (STPE) waterproofing membrane on the market. It is ideal for use in positive-side waterproofing, foundation waterproofing, and a variety of above-grade, horizontal waterproofing applications. The single-component, liquid-applied, moisture-curing elastomeric product can be applied in both vertical and horizontal applications with minimal prep work. It forms tough, elastic seals capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, building movement, and moisture.


Click here to return to the 101 Top Products for 2018 landing page

Related Stories

75 Top Building Products | Apr 22, 2024

Enter today! BD+C's 75 Top Building Products for 2024

BD+C editors are now accepting submissions for the annual 75 Top Building Products awards. The winners will be featured in the November/December 2024 issue of Building Design+Construction. 

75 Top Building Products | Dec 13, 2023

75 top building products for 2023

From a bladeless rooftop wind energy system, to a troffer light fixture with built-in continuous visible light disinfection, innovation is plentiful in Building Design+Construction's annual 75 Top Products report. 

75 Top Building Products | Nov 30, 2022

75 top building products for 2022

Each year, the Building Design+Construction editorial team evaluates the vast universe of new and updated products, materials, and systems for the U.S. building design and construction market. The best-of-the-best products make up our annual 75 Top Products report. 

75 Top Building Products | Dec 3, 2020

Top Interior Products for 2020

InPro's BioPrism solid surface material and INOX's MicroArmor are among the 10 new interior products to make Building Design + Construction's 2020 75 Top Products report.

75 Top Building Products | Dec 3, 2020

Top Plumbing Products for 2020

Kohler's Graze smart faucet and Bradley Corp.'s L-shaped WashBar are among the 5 new plumbing products to make Building Design + Construction's 2020 75 Top Products report.

75 Top Building Products | Dec 3, 2020

75 Top Products for 2020

Building Design+Construction readers and editors select their top building products for the past 12 months in the fifth annual Top Products report.

75 Top Building Products | Dec 3, 2020

Top Windows and Doors Products for 2020

ASSA ABLOY's Rockwood hands-free door pulls and Modernfold's PureView Glass Wall Partition are among the 8 new windows and doors products to make Building Design + Construction's 2020 75 Top Products report.

75 Top Building Products | Dec 3, 2020

Top Structural Products for 2020

Viewrail's Terrace floating stair system and USG's EcoSmart Panels are among the 10 new structural products to make Building Design + Construction's 2020 75 Top Products report.

75 Top Building Products | Dec 2, 2020

Top Glass and Glazing Products for 2020

Viracon's Thermal Spacer and YKK's YWW 50 TU Thermally Broken Window Wall are among the 7 new glass and glazing products to make Building Design + Construction's 2020 75 Top Products report.

75 Top Building Products | Dec 2, 2020

Top Building Systems Products for 2020

Mad Elevator's Toe-To-Go and GE's UltraFresh Washers are among the 12 new building systems products to make Building Design + Construction's 2020 75 Top Products report.


More In Category


Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021