Zip sheathing

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Combining Sheathing With a WRB and Air Barrier

How well do Zip and ForceField sheathing integrate a structural panel with bulk water and air management?

Posted on Jun 22 2017 by Peter Yost

Full Disclosure: First, there are a lot of different ways to get continuous air and water control layers on the exterior of a building enclosure. You can use housewrap, taped-and-sealed rigid foam insulation, liquid-applied membrane, or either the Huber Zip or Georgia-Pacific ForceField system. Each approach has strengths and weaknesses.


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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: Zip sheathing - Elden Lindamood; ForceField sheathing: Georgia-Pacific
  2. Images #2 through #4: JM Huber
  3. Images #5 through #15: Peter Yost

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Zip Sheathing Tips

Specify the right roofing underlayment, install flashing at the base of your walls, and include a rainscreen gap

Posted on Jan 26 2015 by Matt Risinger

This past year I had the opportunity to build a SIP(SIP) Building panel usually made of oriented strand board (OSB) skins surrounding a core of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation. SIPs can be erected very quickly with a crane to create an energy-efficient, sturdy home. and timber-frame house designed by architects Aamodt & Plumb and built in conjunction with Bensonwood Homes, the famous timber-frame company in New Hampshire. (Side note: I first heard of Bensonwood while watching This Old House in high school. It’s a dream come true to build a house with their timber/SIP package.)

Bensonwood has been using Zip System sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. in their SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) for a few years now, and has really liked them for several reasons.


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Image Credits:

  1. All photos: Matt Risinger

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What Makes the ‘Best’ Air Barrier?

A builder weighs his many options for creating a durable air barrier in a high-performance house in Massachusetts

Posted on Aug 12 2013 by Scott Gibson

Bill L. is planning a high-performance house in Massachusetts and is wrestling with options for the air barrierBuilding assembly components that work as a system to restrict air flow through the building envelope. Air barriers may or may not act as a vapor barrier. The air barrier can be on the exterior, the interior of the assembly, or both., that all-important building detail that enhances both energy efficiency and building durability.

Above-grade walls will consist of a 2x4 structural frame sheathed in 1/2-inch plywood, followed by I-joists packed with cellulose insulationThermal insulation made from recycled newspaper or other wastepaper; often treated with borates for fire and insect protection., another layer of 1/2-inch plywood, a corrugated plastic product to provide an air space, and fiber-cement siding. The primary air-barrier plane will be at the plywood over the 2x4 studs.


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Image Credits:

  1. Martin Holladay

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