Suburbia: It has been a panacea and an expletive. Touted for affordability and maligned for automobile dependence, suburbia is a fact of life in the U.S.
101 Best New Products: Structural, Insulation & Housewrap
Boise Cascade engineered wood
The entire engineered wood product line from Boise Cascade is now available as FSC Chain-of-Custody-certified through the Forest Stewardship Council, helping builders earn credits toward green building rating programs such as USGBC’s LEED for Homes. The standard ensures that FSC-certified wood is accounted for as it passes along the supply chain and that it is not mixed with wood from controversial sources.
New pointSIX Flooring from Ainsworth features a patented tapered-edge technology whereby a thin layer of the highly compressed fiber along all four edges of the OSB panel is milled off, removing the part of the subfloor that’s most prone to swelling. The product takes its name from research results indicating a .6mm taper depth to be the most effective in reducing edge swell.
Durock Next Gen
The lightest cement board on the market, Durock Next Gen from USG combines lightweight cellular concrete technology, including a water-repellant perlite filler, with a combination of raw materials to make a board that is 25 percent lighter than traditional Durock cement board. The board is easy to cut and fasten and can be installed 20 percent faster than traditional cement board, according to the maker.
Acoustic engineers at United Plastics Corp. realized that plastic scraps being thrown into landfills by luxury automakers had acoustic properties that could be utilized in sound barrier systems for walls and floors. The dB-4looring sub-floor sound suppressor can reduce noise transmission by 75 percent. It installs under drywall and flooring and weighs far less than drywall-based sound solutions.
Originally designed as an economical solution for temporary housing in disaster relief situations, the Bolt-A-Blok concrete block wall system is also suitable for permanent residential construction applications. The system combines the strength of steel and concrete to permit unskilled labor to quickly assemble hurricane- and earthquake-resistant structures. The concrete blocks are connected mechanically with anti-corrosive steel fasteners and bars, providing post tensioning that increases the overall capacity and acts as steel reinforcement to the wall.
CalStar Face Brick
CalStar Products’ Face Brick offers the aesthetic of clay architectural facing brick with a significantly reduced environmental footprint. The company’s production process, which utilizes fly ash, generates 85 percent less CO2 and uses 85 percent less energy than traditional fired clay. The product also incorporates 40 percent recycled content.
Pro Series Lumber
Weyerhaeuser’s Pro Series Lumber line utilizes the company’s proprietary technology and quality control checks to remove boards that have a greater tendency to crook, twist, or bow, saving time on the jobsite by minimizing the need to cull through piles of boards. Pro Series Lumber is treated with a mold inhibitor to help lower product loss rates and the risk of callbacks. The product also is green-approved for use under the National Green Building Standard.
Surround SR Underlayment
With Fiberweb’s new Surround SR Underlayment, a Typar brand, roofing professionals now have a synthetic underlayment option that offers secondary weather protection and easy installation. Unlike traditional asphalt roofing felt, Surround SR Underlayment is tear-resistant, offers exceptional water holdout, and won’t wrinkle or absorb water when wet.
Created by applying a patented, non-combustible Pyrotite coating to LP OSB panels, LP’s FlameBlock Sheathing is an ICC-certified, structural, fire-rated sheathing that provides extended burn-through resistance, delivering a 20-minute thermal barrier. It contains no hazardous chemicals and is Exposure-1 rated to withstand weather during normal construction delays.
DensDeck Roof Board
Georgia-Pacific Gypsum’s assembly for retrofitting lightweight commercial roof decks based on its DensDeck Roof Board product can reduce sound penetration by more than 50 percent. According to the results of acoustical performance tests conducted in December 2009 by Architectural Testing Inc., the Georgia-Pacific Gypsum roof deck assembly with remediation components received a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of 54, versus a rating of 43 for the baseline assembly alone. This 11-decibel improvement equals a reduction in sound penetration of more than 50 percent.
Knauf EcoBatt Glasswool
EcoBatt Glasswool Insulation represents Knauf Insulation’s next generation of sustainable insulation. The product combines a minimum of 35 percent (and up to 50 percent) post-consumer recycled glass, and sand, with the new Ecose Technology. These products improve the already exceptional environmental credentials of fiberglass insulation.
Enerflex, a highly reflective, double-sided, multilayered material, blocks up to 96 percent of radiant energy. It installs between rafters to the underside of a roof and on other vertical surfaces in an attic to reduce solar heat gain into the home. Enerflex offers panels that are precut to 16 and 24 inches on center and does not require tools to install. Enerflex is available in rolls and panels, is backed by a 15-year limited warranty, and qualifies for federal tax credits.
QuietRock ES soundproof drywall with EZ-SNAP Technologyfrom Serious Materials is 4X easier to score and snap than other brands. QuietRock ES is the lowest-cost, sound-reducing Type X drywall available today and the only one without any paper in the middle. The advanced, patent-pending approach incorporates new gypsum core technology, which offers greater strength, enhanced fire resistance, and easier and cleaner score and snap than even standard gypsum board.
The new Platinum Series insulating concrete forms (ICF) from Logix are made with BASF’s patented Neopor beads. Tiny graphite particles give Neopor its platinum color, which acts as an infrared absorber and heat reflector to reduce thermal conductivity. The standard 2-3/4” Platinum panel delivers up to R27, and panels can be used to construct Logix forms that deliver up to R74. The panel’s platinum color also eliminates sun glare issues that can occur with white panels.