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Wall Control Layers, and How Zip System Products Work with Wall Panels and Roof panels to Keep Buildings Dry (VIDEO)

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Posted by: Rate It Green Team

What is the "perfect wall"?

10 Years ago, Dr. Joseph Lstiburek, building science expert, published an article detailing the "Perfect Wall."  The wall is an assembly that is designed to "keep the outside out and the inside in."  This philosophy makes building more energy efficient, while increasing the lifespan of the structure and providing the occupants with better indoor air quality.  There are many different variations to this approach, however there are 4 "control layers" that are necessary regardless of the materials used in the assembly:

  • A Rain control layer 
  • An Air control layer
  • A Vapor control layer
  • A Thermal control layer

To see how all of these control layers can work together for both residential and commercial construction, The Building Science Corporation has shared this article with the general public to help advance these building science principles:

Huber Engineered Woods has come up with a product called the Zip System that addresses several of these control layers.  This is the same manufacturer that brought Advantech subfloor decking to the market.  Their standard Zip Wall has a "vapor control" layer added to the structural sheathing in the factory.  Most OSB or plywood panels do not have this so you have to apply a building wrap or liquid applied membrane to them to create the vapor control needed to meet the minimal building code standards.  When the joints and edges of Zip System are sealed it also acts as the "air control" layer.  They also created another product called Zip R which has a layer of insulation added to it which provides an additional "thermal control" layer.  

Most builders use the standard system which helps with 50% of the control layers by helping control the water vapor that migrates through the wall assembly while keeping bulk moisture out.  They also provide several options to seal the joints to include a tape for the seams or a liquid applied sealant that can be used on the seams and the edges.

In this video, Green Builder Matt Hoots interviews a Huber Engineering representative (Nick) to learn how the Zip System helps reduce energy loss and air leakage, whether for a high performance home or for renovation or energy efficiency improvements, and how these products work with respect to wall panels and roof panels to keep buildings dry.

Have you tried out this system before on your projects?

Do you have any tips/ tricks to share with the Rate It Green Community?

We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.



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