Moves to confront building emissions

Dow Corning’s technologies are helping make buildings energy-efficient while also providing architects greater design freedom

01 June 2013

University of Birmingham School of
Metallurgy and Materials, UK, where Dow
Corning’s near-zero-energy technologies
were used (picture courtesy of University
of Birmingham)

Dow Corning says new technologies it has devised are contributing towards near-zero-energy architecture at a time when some 40 per cent of all global carbon emissions arise from energy consumption by buildings.

The global leader in the development of silicone materials for the high-performance building industry says it is helping lay the groundwork to improve the sustainability, energy efficiency and durability of new and retrofit buildings.

Its technologies, which will be presented at the 2013 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention in Denver, Colorado (US) from June 20 to 22, feature robust silicone solutions designed not only to improve the energy efficiency of buildings but also to give architects and building system designers greater design freedom. These include:

• The Dow Corning Silicone Air Barrier System – A complete air and weather barrier solution that provides airtight moisture control for more energy-efficient building envelope designs.

• Dow Corning Architectural Insulation Modules – A design-enabling high-performance insulation solution for next-generation curtainwalls.

• The Dow Corning Building Insulation Blanket – A thin, environmentally safe insulating material that offers freedom of design coupled with improved energy efficiency.

The Dow Corning Silicone Air Barrier System is a suite of fully compatible high-performance silicone technologies designed to work in concert to help protect the entire building envelope. It includes.

• Dow Corning DefendAir 200 – A 100 per cent silicone liquid-applied air and weather barrier that cures to form a seamless, flexible membrane, Dow Corning DefendAir 200 is vapour-permeable and exceeds industry requirements for airtight performance, is able to withstand unlimited UV exposure and has an NFPA Class A fire rating. It provides fast, easy and effective protection from air infiltration and water penetration, which helps reduce energy consumption. Additionally, the formulation is solventless and low-VOC to help users meet increasingly stringent environmental codes.

• Dow Corning Silicone Transition System – Featuring high-performance pre-cured 100 per cent silicone rubber strips and corners that are easy to install using Dow Corning brand silicone sealants (rather than mechanical fasteners), this system forms a continuous airtight transition from the window to the wall.

• Dow Corning 758 Silicone Weather Barrier Sealant – Sticking to the most demanding substrates without need for a primer, this sealant  overcomes the adhesion challenges posed by plastic- and polyolefin-based window flashing and fenestration materials.

Dow Corning Architectural Insulation Modules, another Dow Corning innovation designed to help meet near-zero-energy building requirements, combines the aesthetics and convenience of curtainwall construction with the energy-savings benefits of Dow Corning Vacuum Insulation Panel. These modules are high-performance, thin-profile materials that can significantly increase thermal resistance in space-limited situations and enable slim wall constructions with high R-value performance. Available in a variety of architectural finishes, these modules give architects new design possibilities and the flexibility to better balance needs for thermal performance and visual aesthetics.

Dow Corning Building Insulation Blanket offers many of the same advantages as Dow Corning Architectural Insulation Modules, but in a thin, flexible form that is easy to install in difficult profiles such as curves and corners. This makes it an ideal solution for sealing challenging connection points in building envelopes, such as where glazing systems meet cavity walls, where above-grade and below-grade systems meet, and where parapets meet roofs.

Commenting on the technologies, Joy Govitz, Dow Corning’s global strategic marketing leader for high performance building, remarked: “Architects and building component designers need innovative new materials to help them achieve their near-zero-energy building goals.”

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