The WRB/AB That Helps Achieve Faster Dry-in
Sponsored Feature by Georgia-Pacific
John Chamberlin / September 2022
The building products the architect chooses during design and mock-up aren’t always what make it to final construction. Weather conditions, budget constraints, product availability, aesthetic choices and other unforeseen factors can mean a change of plan. And the building envelope design must give way to the realities of construction and in-field installation.
The right materials give everyone from architects to construction teams what they want: design integrity with installation efficiency that ultimately means a better building envelope.
A Better Building Envelope
For advanced protection that doesn’t compromise performance or design, building professionals are opting for an integrated WRB/AB gypsum sheathing system that provides a water-resistive barrier and air barrier (WRB/AB). An advanced WRB/AB helps protect structures against water intrusion and mitigate the risk of unwanted air movement.
To help ensure the continuity of a structure’s WRB/AB, these smarter sheathing systems offer the following advantages:
Cladding versatility—works behind multiple cladding types to provide a continuous water-resistive barrier.
Weather flexibility—can be installed in a broad range of temperatures and conditions including during wet weather events.
Faster to done—can be installed in fewer steps by removing the need for a separate WRB/AB, allowing for faster dry-in that can help to accelerate schedules.
Quality control—helps eliminate some quality-control challenges posed by building wraps as well as self-adhered and fluid-applied membranes.
Design simplicity—removes the need for a separate WRB/AB when properly sealed with flashing, allowing for more straightforward design of critical details.
Advancing the industry’s use of innovative gypsum sheathing solutions, Georgia-Pacific’s DensElement® Barrier System is a high-performance gypsum WRB/AB system that helps protect the building envelope design while achieving faster dry-in. DensDefy™ Products complete the system, including DensDefy™ Liquid Barrier, which can work across multiple substrates.
Solving Material Compatibility Issues
Not all WRB/AB products are created equal and not all are compatible with each other. During the renovation of Brentwood Elementary School in Austin, Texas, general contractor Bartlett Cocke discovered the material they planned on using couldn’t make the grade.
With DensElement® Sheathing specified and on site, it wasn’t until work had already started that project manager Ryan Rios realized the original liquid barrier product specified for CMU walls was not sticking in the pull test. That’s when he turned to Jay Metcalf, their Georgia-Pacific field sales manager, to help them find a product compatible with DensElement Barrier System.
“We actually ran into a few issues at first with compatibility with another product trying to tie in with the GP DensElement Barrier System. And whenever we ran into that, we reached out to GP, said ‘Hey, we have this issue,’” Rios said. “Jay Metcalf was very quick to respond and get back with us and say, ‘Hey, you know what? We may have something in the works that could maybe solve your situation or issue that’s currently happening.’”
Dedicated to finding innovative solutions, Metcalf worked with Rios and found that the solution was new DensDefy Liquid Barrier to protect against water intrusion and complete the WRB/AB. DensDefy Liquid Barrier produces a seamless, durable membrane across substrates and can help create a more energy-efficient structure.
In the Brentwood Elementary School project, they used 70,000 square feet of DensElement Sheathing and 15,000 square feet of DensDefy Liquid Barrier. Working as one system, DensElement Barrier System and DensDefy Liquid Barrier received top marks from everyone on the project.
In-Field Support from a Trusted Partner
Not only did Georgia-Pacific’s technical support team provide a solution with DensDefy Liquid Barrier, but they also showed up onsite to make sure Rios and his team of 30 subcontractors—including Lasco Acoustics & Drywall and Division 7 Waterproofing—were comfortable with the product to avoid downtime.
Darren Clayton of Lasco Acoustics & Drywall was impressed by their collaboration with Georgia-Pacific on the mock-up, which laid the foundation for a positive experience. Once they got going and became more familiar with the building products, Clayton and his team found there was nothing to be nervous about when it came to installing the full system.
“We did a mock-up, and we had GP’s rep come out to kind of coach our guys through the install of the DensElement and DensDefy. Spent two or three hours easily on the install, covered all those questions that, if there were any, would come up. And that was a huge part for us, for our success to start off the project on the right note,” Clayton said.
With a Georgia-Pacific rep available at every step of the process, the team was able to find a solution to their product compatibility issues, learn installation techniques and ensure the continuity of their WRB/AB across all wall structures on the project.
Single-Warranty Ownership from One Manufacturer
As if a high-performance WRB/AB and support throughout the project weren’t enough, Rios and the team had the added peace of mind of guaranteed system compatibility, as well as single-warranty protection from one manufacturer.
Faster Dry-in While Mitigating Installation Risks
DensElement® Barrier System delivered everything the team needed to help build a better building envelope at Brentwood Elementary.
Visit DensElement.com/Together to hear their full story and learn how DensElement Barrier System with DensDefy Products is the WRB/AB system you can count on from the company as strong as you.
John Chamberlin is a director of product management for Georgia-Pacific Building Products. He has worked in the construction products industry throughout his entire career, focusing on new product development for disruptive technologies in the building envelope space. Chamberlin is also on multiple boards and committees in the building industry.