A fire-resistant and durable siding
The rising cost and diminished quality of wood siding, along with its required maintenance, has broadened the appeal of fiber-cement siding, a mix of portland cement, sand, and cellulose fiber. The siding comes with warranties of up to 50 years. It won’t rot, split, or warp as wood siding can, and it’s noncombustible.
Like wood, fiber cement must be painted, but because it shrinks and expands less than wood, fiber-cement siding holds paint longer, lowering maintenance costs. It is more expensive to buy and install than vinyl siding but less expensive than wood, stucco, or brick. It’s usually available with factory-applied primer or paint.
Fiber-cement siding is made by at least six manufacturers in the U.S., so pricing is competitive. Durability and cost make it a very attractive alternative to wood. Its main drawback from an environmental standpoint is the embodied energy in the portland cement, as well as the long shipping distances for some of the wood fiber. Some manufacturers now achieve a 30% substitution of fly ash for portland cement in their products, and some are working toward the use of only certified wood fiber.
LINKS TO MANUFACTURERS
Detailing the bottom of a vented rain screen wall is easy: use mesh to keep out insects. But how do you let the moisture escape at the top?
This was shot at GreenBuildingAdvbisor.com’s booth at the 2009 International Builder Show in Las Vegas.