Exclusive Research: The Building Envelope

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Builders and architects share what they are using for the home’s critical interface between interior and exterior environments.

July 03, 2014

The building shell is the core component that, when constructed properly, can meet buyers’ demands for a home that can save them money by being energy efficient and durable. Although many consumers don’t understand the importance of a higher-quality building envelope—only 35 percent of survey participants said building envelope construction was a top consideration for their customers—builders know it plays a critical role in managing issues such as solar gain, air quality, and moisture infiltration and exfiltration.

Methodology and Respondent Information
This survey was distributed between May 2 and May 6, 2014, to a random sample of Professional Builder’s print and digital readers. No incentive was offered. By closing date, a total of 355 eligible readers responded. Respondent breakdown by discipline: 30.4 percent diversified builder/remodeler; 26.4 percent custom home builder; 16.1 percent architect/designer engaged in home building; 7.7 percent production builder for move-up/move-down buyers; 3.4 percent luxury production builder; 2.6 percent multifamily; 2.3 percent production builder for first-time buyers; 2.3 percent manufactured, modular, log home, or systems builder; and 8.9 percent other. Almost 64 percent of respondents sold one to five homes in 2013, and 13.9 percent sold more than 50 homes.
Almost two-thirds of respondents indicated they are investing more resources in envelope materials and construction methods, and 54 percent are devoting more time, labor, and material to sealing the building shell with caulking and gasketing systems. See more findings in the charts below.
 
 
 
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