Today’s high performance building market is driven by increasingly stringent energy codes and a growing demand for greater efficiency, sustainability and affordability of buildings. This means that the specification and construction of masonry cavity walls and bonded masonry walls with materials working together as a functional system is more critical than ever. When designing a highly functional masonry wall, the list of wall system performance criteria that an architect must consider is daunting.
The wall must offer thermal efficiency, often with several types of insulation. Additionally, it must offer air resistance while managing moisture with properly designed and placed Water Resistant Barriers (WRBs). In addition, the assembly must resist water leaks. However, when water does enter, it must be able to drain out of the cavity or behind the bonded masonry veneer.
Due to their porous nature, masonry cavity walls are considered “rain walls” and should allow water to enter the cavity. Therefore, they must be designed to allow drainage and drying. Modern building science has shown that high quality bonded masonry walls such as stucco, stone and thin brick must also include drainage. The wall must resist vapor permeation, but when the vapor penetrates, it must be able to dry, even when wetting and drying conflict.
Structural connections are needed to keep the entire system safe, and at least three different fire resistance modes must be considered, with multiple product warranties handled with those modes. Architects must provide the contractor with a complete list of material and system specifications to ensure that the project can
be bid accurately. An article in our latest sponsored ebook discusses best practices for masonry wall systems and insulation.
This and two other articles appear in our latest ebook “Insulation Best Practices”, a free downloadable resource. To get your copy in pdf or digital format, visit www.constructioncanada.net/ebook/owens-corning-insulation-best-practices-e-book.