August 2017

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AUGUST 2017 | 21 Building Envelope PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY DEMILEC INC. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY ENGINEERED ASSEMBLIES INC. As an architecturally desirable mate- rial, the Equitone high-density fibre cement façade has gained distinction due to its use in the commercial/retail sector. For example, Cactus Club Cafe in Abbotsford, B.C. became the first res- taurant in the chain to use the panels on both the exterior and interior of the facility, making this a distinctive visual landmark for locals as well as motorists on nearby Highway 1. As daunting as the upgraded stan- dards for building development in Canada may be, ongoing product improve- ment and innovation facilitates the task of meeting regulatory expectations. Andrew Cole, executive director of the Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association Inc. (CUFCA), says he is excited by the new blowing agents being unveiled in the spray foam sector, as they emit ultra-low GWP: "This is a huge ben- efit, because traditionally the use of spray polyurethane foam insulation has been resisted by environmentalists – even though the foam solves insulation design problems because it combined proven thermal protection, while also offering superior air barrier properties." Cole goes on to say that as codes com- pel architects to increasingly incor- porate air barriers in their designs to achieve certain levels of energy effi- ciency, "spray foam plays an integral role in air barrier assembly." Cole stresses that although meet- ing energy standards results in a more expensive building, "manufacturers are constantly working to make materials more cost efficient; plus, costs can be controlled by using the proper materi- als in the proper proportions. For exam- ple, spray foam does the same work as membranes, but frequently the two are specked to work together, which is redundant and wasteful." Cole concludes, "For the future, we have to better address the lack of under- standing of building material perfor- mance. Our association currently does things such as lunch-and-learns within the architectural sector, but overall we call for more effort to develop new and existing education programs. A better understanding of materials will inev- itably result in high-efficiency build- ing envelopes that are also more cost effective." A Cactus Club Cafe, Abbotsford, B.C. Spray polyurethane foam insulation. NorthwestLandscape.indd 1 2017-01-24 3:24

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