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Wood Structural Panels as an Air Barrier

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Wood Structural Panels as an Air Barrier

September 19 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

This session describes the advantages of using continuous wood structural panel (WSP) wall sheathing as part of an air barrier and air barrier system. Participants will learn the different characteristics and installation methods used in residential markets and see examples of successful and unsuccessful systems with side-by-side comparisons. Details will demonstrate how continuously sheathing walls with wood structural panels is a good air barrier system that is impermeable, continuous, strong and durable and not only has air barrier advantages but an excellent nail base for brick ties, siding and trim. With increasing weather variability in high wind prone areas experiencing more storms, wood structural panels provide greater resistance to wind-born projectiles that can penetrate other air barrier methods. As society seeks a more sustainable future, all components of a building should be considered when designing for sustainability, resiliency, low environmental impact. Participants will also learn about helpful APA resources that reiterate the basis for testing and code compliance, along with cost and energy tradeoffs.

Learning Objectives:

  1.  Recognize the challenges associated with using different types of air barrier systems and materials
  2.  Review performance criteria of air barriers (air barrier checklist, testing and what data means)
  3.  Observe properly and poorly installed air barrier systems through as built examples promoting the use of continuous wsp
  4.  Introduce examples of marketing techniques that can help a builder quantify the benefits of energy efficiency and occupant comfort

Stephanie Thomas-Rees          

From her location  in Central Florida, Stephanie  consults  with builders, designers, code officials and suppliers  on using engineered wood products efficiently and cost effectively.   Stephanie  is  an experienced designer and energy professional  with a bachelor’s degree in architectural design from Clemson University and a master’s degree in energy efficient building from Oxford Brookes University. As a building science professional,  Stephanie’s past roles include  project architect, designated energy efficiency coordinator,  code coordinator and  adjunct professor teaching sustainable design and building materials.


September 19
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
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