Kemper System Announces Acquisition of STS Coatings Inc.

Kemper System America Inc. announces that it is building on its strength in liquid-applied waterproofing with the acquisition of STS Coatings Inc. and its four major brands to address more than waterproofing across the building envelope.

“Specifiers want to work with suppliers that can solve multiple building envelope challenges, including walls and foundations, and this extends our range,” says Richard Doornink, president and managing director, Kemper System America.

“These brands offer cost-performance advantages, and will continue to be available through existing and new distribution channels, including retail. Liquid-applied products are easy to transport to the jobsite, are economic to install, and can be applied to a variety of surfaces.”

  • Wall Guardian Air Barrier – This spray- or brush-applied water-based liquid air barrier system offers three benefits in one — air barrier, water barrier, and vapor retarder. It is for use in cavity-wall constructions, including CMU/brick veneer, steel stud, insulated (continuous insulation), and insulated tilt-up construction.
  • Roof Guardian Technologies (RGT) – These liquid-applied elastomeric roof coating systems help prolong the life of roofs, including metal, smooth-surfaced BUR, polymer-modified asphalt and single-ply roof systems. The RGT line includes 12 products including two Cool Roof rated systems, and two ENERGY STAR certified systems.
  • HeatBloc Ultra Radiant Barrier – This low-emissivity, water-based (low-e) aluminum coating is engineered for attic spaces. Applied to interior underside of the roof deck, it can block over 80 percent of radiant heat to reduce cooling requirements.
  • GreatSeal Construction Sealants – This premium line of caulks and sealants is used on doors and windows, masonry, roofing and siding. All products in the GreatSeal line are 100 percent solids, with no solvents and very low VOCs, and formulated for performance even in damp, dry or cold conditions down to 40F.

Synergies

“There are synergies with distribution and our existing lines, and we intend to build these in the marketplace,” Doornink states. “For example, Roof Guardian Technologies elastomeric coatings now make us competitive on more building envelope projects with a lower price point. In addition, HeatBloc moves us into retail, which creates a trail for other opportunities.”

Doornink says the news is also in keeping with Kemper System America’s vision for 2020. “We intend to continue growing through strategic acquisitions as we become more than waterproofing for our building products customers.”

Kemper System America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kemper System GmbH & Co. KG | Holländische Straße 32-36 | D-34246 Vellmar. Kemper System is part of the IBG group of Companies, a mid-sized industrial holding company with more than 50 sales and distribution, as well as production companies all over the world.

For more information, visit STS Coatings Inc. or contact Kemper System at inquiry@kempersystem.net, or call (800)541-5455.

RCI Announces Speakers for October Building Envelope Technology Symposium

Raleigh, N.C.-based RCI Inc. has assembled a panel of expert speakers to discuss methods for designing sound building exteriors. More than 300 building designers and construction professionals are expected to be in attendance at the association’s annual Building Envelope Technology Symposium, which will be held Oct. 17-18 at the Westin Galleria Houston, Texas.

The program features 12 educational sessions presented by leading building envelope designers. Speakers offer their experience-based insight for specification of sound, durable exterior enve- lopes. Most programs focus on repair and/or sustainable design methods for strengthening and improving existing structures.

Attendees can earn up to 12 continuing-education credits from RCI and the American Institute of Architects, Washington, D.C. An evening reception after the close of the first day’s meeting will allow those in attendance to network and mingle with fellow professionals.

This year’s topics and speakers include:

The Performance of Weather-Resistant Barriers in Stucco Assemblies
Karim P. Allana, RRC, RWC, P.E. | Allana Buick & Bers Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.

Aluminum Windowsill Anchors and Supplemental Waterproof Flashing Design Practices
Rocco Romero, AIA | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., Seattle

The Ideal Third-party Warranty: A Risk-managed Approach
Lorne Ricketts, P.Eng. | RDH Building Science Inc., Vancouver

Playing Against a Stacked Deck: Restoration of a Stone Fin Façade
Matthew C. Farmer, P.E. | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Fairfax, Va.

Everyone Loves a Pool, But What’s Lurking Beneath the Surface?
Rob Holmer, P.E., GE | Terracon Consulting Engineers, Sacramento, Calif.
Michael Phifer | Terracon Consulting Engineers, Sacramento

Design Principles for Tower and Steeple Restoration
Robert L. Fulmer | Fulmer Associates Building Exterior Consultants LLC, North Conway, N.H.

When the Numbers Don’t Work: Engineering Judgement Tips for Historical Buildings
Rachel L. Will, P.E. | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Chicago
Edward A. Gerns, RA, LEED AP | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Chicago

Air Barrier Integration: Don’t Entangle Yourself with These Common Pitfalls
Timothy A. Mills, P.E., LEED AP, CIT | TAM Consultants Inc., Williamsburg, Va.

Upgrading the Performance of Heritage Windows to Suit Modern Design Conditions
Scott Tomlinson, P.Eng. | Morrison Hershfield, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Design Considerations for Renewing Podium Waterproofing
Bereket Alazar, RRO, LEED AP BD+C | Morrison Hershfield, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Stéphane P. Hoffman, P.E. | Morrison Hershfield, Seattle

Fully Soldered Metal Roofing: More Complicated Than You Think
Nicholas T. Floyd, P.E., LEED AP | Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Waltham, Mass.

A Case History of ETFE on Today’s Projects
Lee Durston | Morrison Hershfield, St. Paul, Minn.
Shawn Robinson | Morrison Hershfield, Atlanta

For more information, visit RCI’s website, or call (800) 828-1902.

VaproShield’s Self-Adhered System Obtains a Declare Label

VaproShield announces the WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System has completed the process of obtaining a Declare label. The Declare program was launched in 2014 by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), founder of the Living Building Challenge, to promote greater transparency in the building products industry. Referred to as a “nutrition label” for building products, Declare labels list all of the materials found in a given product, as well as its assembly site, life expectancy, and other key details to facilitate informed decisions toward positive human and environmental health. The Declare program aims to give people and businesses greater power when deciding what products to surround themselves with in their home or office.

“While VaproShield products undergo numerous internal and external audits to ensure overall healthfulness and sustainability, finally the Declare label makes it easy to present this information in a tangible way,” says Phil Johnson, managing partner. “We are excited to give our business partners the power to know exactly what goes into the product that is held within the walls of their structure.”

WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System is the first water-resistive barrier (WRB)/air barrier self-adhered sheet good membrane system to earn a Declare label placing the system at the forefront of the transparency movement. In order to qualify for a Declare label, a building product must either be free of, or declare any harmful Red List chemicals, and meet all Appropriate Sourcing Imperatives as determined by the ILFI. WrapShield SA Self-Adhered required no changes to its formulation or material components, because it was designed to be free of harmful ingredients.

“We are excited to participate in such an innovative program,” says Johnson. “It embodies our own sustainability philosophy in that [VaproShield] believes sustainability is as much about creating positive environmental impacts as it is about reducing negative ones.”

Domestically produced in the Midwest, the WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System creates a breathable, energy-efficient, continuous air barrier system that helps prevent moisture from becoming trapped in the building envelope. This can reduce instances of mold, mildew and rot, while helping maintain better indoor air quality and a more enduring building structure. An entirely self-adhering product, WrapShield SA Self-Adhered allows for quick installation that never requires the use of chemical primers.

Air and Vapor Barrier Creates a Seal Between a Low-slope Roofing System and the Building Below

F1 Air & Vapor Barrier from Mule-Hide Products Co.

F5 Air & Vapor Barrier from Mule-Hide Products Co.

F5 Air & Vapor Barrier from Mule-Hide Products Co. allows contractors to quickly and easily create an air- and vapor-tight seal between a low-slope roofing system and the building below.

F5 Air & Vapor Barrier is compatible with a wide variety of roofing systems and can be used on primed substrates, including concrete, plywood, exterior gypsum, DensDeck Prime and SECUROCK. It also can serve as a temporary roof for up to 120 days while work on the finished roofing system is completed.

The membrane is a 40 mil-thick composite consisting of 35 mils of self-adhering rubberized asphalt laminated to a 5 mil-thick woven polypropylene film. Rolls are 39 inches wide and 75 feet long and cover approximately 244 square feet of substrate surface.

F5 Air & Vapor Barrier’s factory-controlled thickness helps ensure that the membrane has uniform barrier properties, reducing moisture movement through the roofing system and helping keep conditioned air inside the building and unconditioned air outside. The woven polypropylene film makes the membrane highly resistant to tears and punctures. The non-skid surface helps keep contractors safe on the job site and is suitable for the bonding of subsequent layers of the roofing system.

A siliconized one-piece release liner prevents the material from bonding to itself in the roll and is easily removed during installation of the barrier.

VaproShield Used on Housing Prototype Commissioned by New York’s Office of Emergency Management

VaproShield was honored to have WrapShield SA Self-Adhered Water Resistive Vapor Permeable Air Barrier Sheet selected for use on an experimental, post-disaster housing prototype located in Brooklyn, N.Y. In development since 2008, the prototype was commissioned by New York’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) with funding from FEMA. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was designated as project manager for the prototype’s construction. Designed by Garrison Architects, the “townhouse” style post-disaster housing consists of five modular units—fabricated by Mark Line Industries—which are stacked on top of each other.

“This is an exciting innovation,” comments Phil Johnson, VaproShield Managing Partner. “These [post-disaster housing] units have the potential to provide safe, reliable housing to the victims of natural disaster as they work to rebuild their communities. VaproShield is a proud contributor.”

While the post-disaster prototype will be on-site in Brooklyn for a year, the modular units are designed to be mobile. The modular units were constructed for easy installation, deconstruction and transport.

“The idea is that no matter where a disaster occurs, these modular units can be placed on a truck and taken there,” says Johnson. “The units need to perform well in every climate, as there is no telling where they may end up, and WrapShield SA Self-Adhered helps with that.”

WrapShield SA Self-Adhered Water Resistive Vapor Permeable Air Barrier Sheet helps to regulate air flow to keep units cool in the summer and warm in the winter, thus reducing energy costs. WrapShield SA Self-Adhered was selected for use on this initial prototype as it provides superior weather protection as well as the durability to withstand exposure in a wide variety of climates.

Vapor Retarders

The need for, use and design of a vapor retarder in the design of a roof system used to be a hotly debated topic. It appears now—when vapor retarders are needed more than ever—the design community seems to have lost interest, which is not good, considering how codes and standards (altered through concerns for energy savings) have changed how buildings are designed, constructed and operated. Most notably, positive building pressures are changing the game.

If not controlled, constructiongenerated moisture can have deleterious effects on new roof systems.

PHOTO 1: If not controlled, construction-generated
moisture can have
deleterious effects on new
roof systems.

A vapor retarder is a material or system that is designed as part of the roof system to substantially reduce the movement of water vapor into the roof system, where it can condense. Everyone knows that water in roof systems is never a positive. Typically, a vapor retarder has to have a perm rating of 1.0 or less to be successful. Through my recent observations, the lack of or poorly constructed vapor retarders contribute to ice under the membrane, soaked insulation facers, destabilized insulation, rusting roof decks, dripping water down screw-fastener threads, compromised fiber board and perlite integrity, mold on organic facers and loss of adhesion on adhered systems, just to name a few. Oh, and did I fail to mention the litigation that follows?

The codes’ “air-barrier requirements” have confused roof system designers. Codes and standards are being driven by the need for energy savings and, as a consequence, buildings are becoming tighter and tighter, as well as more sophisticated. This article will discuss preventing air and vapor transport of interior conditioned air into the roof system and the need for a vapor retarder. The responsibility of incorporating a vapor retarder or air retarder into a roof system is that of the licensed design professional and not that of the contractor or roof system material supplier.

It should be noted that all vapor retarders are air barriers but not all air barriers are vapor retarders. In so much that the roof membrane can often serve as an air barrier, it does nothing to prevent this interior air transport.

WHEN TO USE A VAPOR RETARDER

So the question arises: “When is it prudent to use a vapor retarder?” This is not a simple question and has been complicated by codes, standards, costs and building construction, changing roof membranes and confusion about air barriers. Then, there is the difference in new-construction design and roof removal and replacement design. Historically, it was said that a vapor retarder should be used if the interior use of the building was “wet”, such as a pool room, kitchen, locker shower rooms, etc.; outside temperature in the winter was 40 F or below; or when in doubt, leave it out. In my experience, changes in the building and construction industry have now made the determination criteria more complex.

I find there are typically three primary scenarios that suggest a vapor barrier is prudent. The first is the interior use of the building. The second is consideration for the control of construction-generated moisture, so that the roof can make it to the building’s intended use (see photo 1). The third consideration is the sequence of construction. In all three situations I like to specify a robust vapor retarder that “dries in” the building so that interior work and construction work above the vapor retarder can take place without compromising the finished roof. Consider the following:

BUILDING USE

This characteristic is often the most determinant. If the interior use of the building requires conditioned air and has relative-humidity percentages great enough to condense if the exterior temperatures get cold enough, a vapor retarder is needed to prevent the movement of this conditioned air into the roof system where it can condense and become problematic.

Most designers consider building use only in their design thinking, and it is often in error as the roof system can be compromised during construction and commissioning (through interior building flushing, which can drive moist air into the roof system) before occupancy.

To seal two-ply asphaltic felts set in hot asphalt on a concrete roof deck, an asphaltic glaze coat was applied at the end of the day. Because of the inherent tackiness of the asphalt until it oxidizes, Hutch has been specifying a smooth-surfaced modified bitumen cap sheet, eliminating the glaze coat.

PHOTO 2: To seal two-ply asphaltic felts set in hot asphalt on a concrete roof deck, an asphaltic glaze coat was applied at the end of the day. Because of the
inherent tackiness of the asphalt until it oxidizes, Hutch has been specifying a smooth-surfaced modified bitumen cap
sheet, eliminating the glaze coat.

CONTROL OF CONSTRUCTION-GENERATED MOISTURE

I have seen roof systems on office buildings severely compromised by construction- generated moisture caused by concrete pours, combustion heaters, block laying, fireproofing, drywall taping and painting. Thus, a simple vapor retarder should be considered in these situations to control rising moisture vapor during construction, which includes the flushing of the building if required for commissioning.

CONSTRUCTION SEQUENCING AND MATERIALS

Building construction takes place year round. It is unfortunate decision makers in the roofing industry who are pushing low-VOC and/or water-based adhesives do not understand this; problems with their decisions are for another article. If the roof is to be installed in late fall (in the Midwest) and interior concrete work and/or large amounts of moisture-producing construction, such as concrete-block laying, plastering, drywall taping or painting, are to take place, a vapor retarder should be considered.

How will the building, especially the façades, be constructed? Will they be installed after the finished roof? This creates a scenario for a damaged “completed” roof system.

PHOTOS: Hutchinson Design Group Ltd.

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Vapor Retarder, Air Barrier Contributes to Thermal and Waterproofing Performance

Duro-Last Inc. has added to its Duro-Guard product line with Duro-Guard SOPRAVAP'R, a vapor retarder and air barrier membrane.

Duro-Last Inc. has added to its Duro-Guard product line with Duro-Guard SOPRAVAP’R, a vapor retarder and air barrier membrane.

Duro-Last Inc. has added to its Duro-Guard product line with Duro-Guard SOPRAVAP’R, a vapor retarder and air barrier membrane. This product is composed of a self-adhesive SBS modified bitumen with a polyethylene facer on the top surface and a silicone release film on bottom. Duro-Guard SOPRAVAP’R addresses the movement of air in roof assemblies as required in the 2012 International Energy Code.

When correctly engineered into a roof assembly, it will contribute to long-lasting thermal and waterproofing performance in all climate zones for all colors including white membranes provided by Duro-Last. Duro-Guard SOPRAVAP’R can also be used as a temporary roof in new construction or roof tear offs. Duro-Guard SOPRAVAP’R can be installed on steel, plywood, gypsum, concrete board, asphalt panel or concrete deck. The addition of the Duro-Guard SOPRAVAP’R provides Duro-Last customers with another Edge-to-Edge & Deck-to-Sky solution.

Air, Vapor and Water Barrier Products for All Six Sides of the Building Envelope

Garland Aero-Block product line offers solutions for all six sides of the building enclosure

The Garland Aero-Block product line offers solutions for all six sides of the building enclosure.

As the push for more energy-efficient buildings continues, numerous building codes are now including air barrier requirements. To address these changing standards, Garland has engineered a new product line of high-performance solutions that prevent unwanted air, vapor and water from penetrating the building envelope. The Garland Aero-Block product line offers solutions for all six sides of the building enclosure, as well as for gaps in walls or between sections of walls.

This new polymer-modified-asphalt technology is available in three formats. The fluid-applied solvent-based polymer and fluid-applied water-based polymer versions can be applied by brush, spray or roller. There is also a pre-fabricated, self-adhering multi-layer membrane. The entire Aero-Block family create vapor-closed protection, meeting the requirements for a Class I air/vapor barrier.

A companion vapor-open product line, Aero-Perm, will become available later this year. Aero-Perm will offer the same capabilities as Aero-Block systems, while providing permeability to water vapor.

Attention Roof System Designers: Numerous Roof Components Work Together to Affect a Building

There has been a great deal of opinion expressed in the past 15 years related to the roof cover(s), or the top surface of a roof system, such as “it can save you energy” and “it will reduce urban heat islands”. These opinions consequently have resulted in standards and code revisions that have had an extraordinary effect on the roofing industry.

The building type should influence the type of roof system designed. Some spaces, like this steel plant, are unconditioned, so insulation in the roof system is not desired.

The building type should influence the type of roof system designed. Some spaces, like this steel plant, are unconditioned, so insulation in the roof system is not desired.

Let’s say it loud and clear, “A single component, does not a roof make!”. Roofs are systems, composed of numerous components that work and interact together to affect the building in question. Regardless of your concern or goal—energy performance, urban heat-island minimization, long-term service life (in my opinion, the essence of sustainability) or protection from the elements—the performance is the result of an assembled set of roof system components.

Roof System Components

Energy conservation is an often-discussed potential of roofs, but many seem to think it is the result of only the roof-cover color. I think not. Energy performance is the result of many factors, including but not limited to:

Building use: Is the building an office, school, hospital, warehouse, fabrication facility, etc.? Each type of building use places different requirements on the roof system.

Spatial use and function be low the roof deck: It is not uncommon in urban areas to have mechanical rooms or interstitial spaces below the roof—spaces that require little to no heating or cooling. These spaces are typically unconditioned and unoccupied and receive no material benefit from the roof system in regard to energy savings.

Roof-deck type: The type of roof deck—whether steel; cast-in-place, precast and post-tensioned concrete; gypsum; cementitious wood fiber; or (don’t kill the messenger) plywood, which is a West Coast anomaly—affects air and moisture transport toward the exterior, as well as the type of roof system.

Roof-to-wall transition(s): The transition of the roofing to walls often results in unresolved design issues, as well as cavities that allow moisture and vapor transport.

Meanwhile others, like this indoor pool, require extreme care in design and should include a vapor retarder and insulation.

Meanwhile others, like this indoor pool, require extreme care in design and
should include a vapor retarder and insulation.

Roof air and/or vapor barrier: Its integration into the wall air barrier is very important. Failure to tie the two together creates a breach in the barrier.

Substrate board: Steel roof decks often require a substrate board to support the air and vapor barrier membranes. The substrate board also can be the first layer of the roof system to provide wind-uplift resistance.

Insulation type: Each insulation type—whether polyisocyanurate, expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene, wood fiber, foam glass or mineral wool—has differing R-values, some of which drop with time. Many insulation types have differing facer options and densities.

The number of insulation layers: This is very important! A single layer of insulation results in a high level of energy loss; 7 percent is the industry standard. When installing multiple layers of insulation, the joints should be offset from layer to layer to avoid vapor movement and thermal shorts.

Sealing: Voids between rooftop penetrations, adjacent board and the roof-edge perimeters can create large avenues for heat loss.

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