Open Innovation Challenges

Multi-functional exterior wall separation materials
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Open Challenge:

Multi-functional exterior wall separation materials
Building Material
Deadline for concept summaries: August 29, 2019

Problem

Separation materials are used in wall construction to separate exterior from interior environments. Multiple components are generally needed to perform all the “barrier” jobs necessary (air, water, vapor, fire, sound, and thermal).

Desired properties

  • Materials that provide superior properties such as structural support and wind load resistance
  • Innovative wall assemblies that take advantage of prefabrication and modular construction
  • Ability to “tune” individual properties (e.g. vapor permeance) in the factory or on-site

Specifications

Category 2: Multi-functional exterior wall separation materials

Improve building performance while minimizing cost and complexity

Problem statement

Separation materials are used in wall construction to separate exterior from interior environments. Multiple components are generally needed to perform all the “barrier” jobs necessary (air, water, vapor, fire, sound, and thermal). Construction miscues such as reverse lapping of housewraps or water infiltration at fasteners can compromise in-service performance. To the extent that one component can do multiple jobs, other layers can be eliminated, saving on materials, labor, and miscues.

One separation layer can perform multiple functions. For example, gypsum sheathing can be both a fire barrier and a sound barrier. Air barriers can resist air leakage, water penetration, and vapor diffusion while remaining relatively thin and inexpensive. Adding more multi-functionality to separation layers would improve building performance at lower cost and complexity.

Possible approaches

Any solutions that add multi-functionality to separation materials will be considered. Traditional separation materials include board products such as gypsum board, spray-applied products such as fluid-applied air barriers, sheet goods such as building papers and felts, and polymeric water-resistive barriers. Example solutions include waterborne coatings applied with airless spray equipment or by brush/roller to wood and gypsum based sheathing substrates or coated fabric laminates for factory application onto sheathing.

Known approaches not of interest

Unless significant performance/cost breakthroughs or innovative applications can be achieved, the following materials represent known state-of-the-art and are thus not of interest:

  • Common air barriers such as Polymeric housewraps (e.g. Dupont Tyvek), peel and stick membrane products (e.g. Henry Blueskin), and fluid applied products (e.g. Prosoco R-Guard)
  • Factory-laminated sheathing panels (e.g. USG, Huber Engineered Woods), laminated insulation for cement board (e.g. ThermaDry), and other multi-functional wall separation materials that fail to exceed the performance, cost, or innovativeness of existing state-of-the-art solutions
Key success criteria

Required:

  • Performs all existing functions (e.g. air barrier, fire resistance, etc.) without adding layers
  • Adds new functionality (e.g. 3D texture for water drainage, acoustic insulation, etc.)
  • Can be easily installed on-site or pre-applied to existing layers (e.g. sheathing) in-factory

 

Desired:

  • Materials that provide superior properties such as structural support and wind load resistance
  • Innovative wall assemblies that take advantage of prefabrication and modular construction
  • Ability to “tune” individual properties (e.g. vapor permeance) in the factory or on-site
  • Fire resistance, which is a highly desired property, is being addressed separately (Category 3)

Technical specifications [Cat. 2]: Multi-functional exterior wall separation materials

PropertyStandardRequirement
Air leakage
resistance
ASTM E2178Less than 0.02 L/s/m² at 50 Pa
Water
penetration
resistance
ASTM E9655 cm water column – 5 hours without water entry through joint or into
sheathing
Water vapor
transmission
ASTM E96Greater than 10 perms for permeable membrane
Less than 0.1 perms for impermeable membrane
Restrained
environmental
conditioning
ICC ES AC
212, Section 4.7
No cracking or water penetration after structural transverse loading
and structural racking, followed by cycles of wetting, drying, and changes in
temperature, and water penetration test
Volatile
organic
compounds
SCAQMD
Rule 1113
Less than 50 g/L
Sound control
(desired,
not required)
ASTM E119Increase STC or OITC wall assembly rating by 5 units
Drainage
(desired,
not required)
ASTM E119Greater than 90% drainage efficiency
Surface burning
(desired,
not required)
ASTM E119Flame spread less than 25
Smoke developed less than 75
Fire resistance
(desired,
not required)
ASTM E1191 hour rating as free film or as applied coating or laminate to
combustible wood-based sheathing or non-rated gypsum sheathing
Combustibility
(desired,
not required)
ASTM E136
or NFPA 220
Noncombustible
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Building Material

Problem
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Desired properties
Commercially available in 3 to 5 years
Produced from biological / natural processes

Building Material

Problem
The service life of architectural coatings significantly impacts building maintenance costs.
Desired properties
Cost does not exceed that of currently available top-quality coatings (i.e. $0.30 per square foot)

Building Material

Problem
The practice of utilizing multiple layers of sheathing in wall assemblies to achieve required levels of fire resistance is costly, and in fact it provides the bare minimum amount of protection in the event of a growing fire.
Desired properties
Enhanced sheathing provides air and moisture barrier functionality
Water drainage capacity