Building Envelope Systems for Durable, Energy-Efficient Homes

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Not all building envelope systems are the same. The differences in performance and energy efficiency that can be achieved by using DuPont™ Tyvek® weather barriers and related products can be significant over time.

As a builder, knowing the differences can add value for both you and your clients, whether you are building a single-family home or an apartment complex.

Become an Expert

Rising energy costs and concerns about water damage and mold are more important than ever. And durability never goes out of style. So knowing the science behind building envelope systems can help you create a convincing point of differentiation for today’s sophisticated consumers.

Building envelope systems should perform two key functions for proper moisture management. First, they should create a continuous seal against water (to prevent bulk water intrusion) and air (to prevent air transported moisture). Sealing against air can also improve energy efficiency.  Second, they should allow water that does get into walls to escape as vapor. The unique structure of Tyvek® allows it to do both.

The end result is energy efficiency and longer building life for customers, and added assurance against the possibility of callbacks for contractors. So superior building envelope systems can also provide peace of mind for everyone involved in a project.

The Science Behind the System

DuPont Building Envelope Systems include a full range of products, starting with DuPont™ Tyvek® HomeWrap®, a high-performance membrane specially engineered to help keep homes dry and energy efficient.

The unique material science behind Tyvek® HomeWrap® is what truly sets it apart.  It is made by spinning extremely fine high-density polyethylene (HPDE) fibers that are fused together to form a strong uniform web with millions of microscopic pores.  So it can hold out air and bulk water, while allowing for vapor permeability during evaporation within the wall assembly.

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Perforated Wraps Have Holes

Other house wraps don’t work the same way as Tyvek® weather barriers. For example, perforated house wraps have thousands of holes punched through them to achieve a degree of breathability.

While water vapor can escape through the holes, the same holes can also let air and bulk water get in – which can compromise both the durability and energy efficiency of the building.

Film Wraps Can Be Vulnerable to Damage

Another type of house wrap is low perm microporous film wrap.  This combines a coarse non-protective backing with a fragile film to meet minimum requirements for air and water resistance.  However, the delicate film layer often cannot hold up to real-world job site conditions, routinely resulting in tears and abrasions, which leads to compromised air and water management performance.

Know The Differences

When choosing among building envelope systems, it’s important to factor four important ways DuPont Building Envelope Systems can give homeowners peace of mind and save them money:

1. Keeping Water Out: Improved water hold-out can help prevent problems caused by moisture accumulation in the wall, such as water damage and wet insulation. And that can help cut down on costly repairs and wasted energy.

2. Letting Water Vapor Escape: When water does find its way into wall systems, the unique 3D microporous structure of Tyvek® lets it escape, helping to prevent mold and improve interior air quality.

3. Controlling Air Flow: Improved airtightness helps insulation perform to its installed R-value, and can improve energy efficiency significantly. Additionally, reduced air infiltration and exfiltration helps keep conditioned air where it belongs, and can contribute to lower heating and air-conditioning costs.

4. Performing As Built: Tough, tear-resistant and easy-to-repair DuPont™ Building Envelope products are designed to deliver performance on the job site, not just on paper.

An Integrated System

DuPont™ Building Envelope Systems products are designed to work together – from Tyvek® HomeWrap® to effective, easy-to-use flashing and sealant materials. The difference is in the details, and DuPont delivers full system performance that can translate to improved air and water resistance and energy efficiency.

Protection Above

A dry roof is essential to performance of any residential structure. DuPont roofing products, including DuPont™ RoofLiner, are designed to keep bulk water out of the building.

Closing The Openings

Water is relentless in its efforts to find ways inside a structure.  DuPont™ Flashing Systems products are designed to protect the home at some of its most vulnerable points, around window and door openings.  By directing water to the outside, DuPont™ Flashing Systems products help prevent water damage and the growth of mold.

A Strong Finish

With residential building performance, dry is often in the details.  DuPont Building Envelope Systems accessories, including DuPont sealants, tapes and wrap caps, put the finishing touches on the building envelope, helping to establish durable protection against air and water infiltration for years to come.

Managing The Elements

Weather is the constant adversary of any building.  Rain and wind continually threaten to compromise the integrity and performance of the building envelope. DuPont™ Tyvek® weather barrier systems are designed to withstand the elements year after year, holding out air and bulk water, while allowing interior moisture vapor to escape to the outside, so homes can remain comfortable, dry and energy efficient.

A Unique Support System, Too

DuPont™ Building Envelope Systems products are backed by a limited warranty from DuPont.  They are also supported by the DuPont™ Tyvek® Specialist Network, a national team of highly trained field specialists who can help with proper installation and provide valuable, up-to-the-moment information on energy and building code requirements.