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Foam and Coatings Job Profiles >> SPF Air Barrier Expected to Last for the Life of the Building

SPF Air Barrier Expected to Last for the Life of the Building

During the summer of 2002, Great Northern Insulation installed 22,000 ft2 of the BASF WALLTITE® Insulating Air Barrier System on the new Robarts Research Institute in London, Ontario. Tillmann Ruth Mocellin Architects specified the project, which took 12 weeks to complete.

According to Rob Tereschyn, Great Northern project manager, they applied sheet membrane to transitions around windows and doors, as well as masonry membranes and flashings. After investigating WALLTITE's® vapor permeance, the architects decided that no additional vapor barrier was needed. Next, the crew sprayed 2 inches of WALLTITE® directly onto the block backup and curtain wall. Installation began at the footings of the 24,000 ft2 building and went to the top using an 8-ft wide by 30-ft long, gas-powered climbing platform.

"We were able to complete the project quickly because we can spray WALLTITE® directly to the block back-up," says Tereschyn. "There was no need for a vapor barrier, or fasteners. You get insulation, vapor retarder and air barrier in one application."

WALLTITE® sprayed polyurethane foam is seamless, monolithic and has almost zero air permeability, creating an excellent air barrier component.

It is also an excellent insulating material. "Now that the building is insulated with WALLTITE®, it can be left exposed to the elements without risk because of the closed-cell formulation of the foam," says Tereschyn. "That provides a lot of peace of mind should anything happen to delay the next phase of construction."

Tereschyn reports that one of the reasons WALLTITE® was selected for the project is its high approval ratings. These include the Air Barrier Association of America and the Canadian Construction Materials Centre (part of the National Research Council of Canada). It also meets or exceeds new energy and building codes.

"We estimate the air barrier we just installed at Robarts should last the life of the building," says Tereschyn. "We were able to complete the job quickly, install a product we know will perform well for a long time, and come away with happy customers at the end of the day."