Design Assist: Air Barriers as an Engineered Façade

Complex wall designs often pose a challenge for design professionals to ensure acceptable building envelope performance. A properly designed air barrier system can provide the level of protection needed to preserve the aesthetics, performance, durability and energy efficiency for the complete life of the building. GCP is a global leader in air barrier systems, offering a full line of sheet and liquid, permeable and impermeable air barriers.

Air barriers are the first line of defense in maintaining energy efficiency and improving indoor air quality. As moisture and air seep into a building, its structural integrity begins to deteriorate, resulting in poor building envelope performance. Unexpected air leakage through the building envelope carries moisture that can promote mould and rust in the building structure, as well as cause higher energy consumption.

The United States Department of Energy states that up to 40 percent of heating and cooling energy can be lost through this uncontrolled movement of air, driving up energy usage and cost. The best prevention is to design an air-tight building envelope, consisting of properly installed, top quality air and moisture barrier materials.

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