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Effective Air Sealing of Separation Walls in Attached Housing
Energy efficiency in new buildings has made major strides in recent years, with many of these gains driven by more stringent energy codes. Within the model energy code widely implemented by states throughout the United States, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the reduction of air leakage through the building envelope is a major focus for energy savings. The 2012, 2015, 2018, & 2021 editions of the IECC establish a field-verified airtightness specification for new homes, which is meant as a useful provision to reduce air infiltration & save energy. However, in practice, this code provision has resulted in several undesirable consequences for attached dwellings. The challenges for attached housing involve the area separation wall (ASW) between dwelling units, which must serve several functions including fire separation, structural independence, limiting sound transmission, & limiting air flow. It is complex to design, build, and code-approve ASW assemblies that clearly meet all these requirements. The project team consisting of Newport Partners, the Fire Protection Research Foundation, & Thrive Homebuilders conducted a study supported by the US Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), which evaluated different wall assemblies at a series of attached housing projects while also evaluating regulatory barriers & potential solutions. This study developed an application guide for builders, designers, & code officials that identifies the best strategies for this construction assembly, highlights code/standards barriers, & provides recommendations on steps that jurisdictions can take to address them based on the findings from field evaluations & the assessment of the code. This webinar will present the findings from this research.

Fire Protection Research Foundation 2022 Webinar Series Sponsors:
American Wood Council
AXA XL Risk Consulting
FM Global
Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc.
Telgian Engineering and Consulting
The Zurich Services Corporation

Jul 21, 2022 12:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Robby Schwarz
Founder @BUILDTank, Inc.
Robby Schwarz has been a champion of applied building science for over 25 years. He founded BUILDTank, Inc. in 2020 to be a practical building think tank whose mission is to apply building science in the field to effect meaningful change in the construction industry and to chase issues that hold the industry back and generate ideas and innovations that move sustainable buildings into mainstream buildings. Robby is a sought-after trainer and routinely presents at RESNET®, EEBA, the Colorado Chapter of the IECC®, Educode, and local Home Builders Associations, Colorado Energy Office, Xcel Energy, and more.
Christine Barbour
Senior Consultant @Newport Partners
Christine Barbour, Newport Partners, is a senior consultant with over 25 years of experience conducting building industry research. She specializes in facilitating strategic planning and moderating qualitative market research studies. Christine is a matchmaker—her favorite work involves developing partnerships and implementing programs in coordination with government and private clients. She has conducted focus groups for Fortune 500 building product companies. Christine is committed to collaborative co-design of the process, participatory decision-making, facilitation that fosters engagement, dialogue that gives all stakeholders a voice, and the use of creativity and design thinking to promote innovative and sustainable solutions. Her current projects include research on area separation walls and decarbonization.