Dow Introduces New Ultra Air Barrier Wall System Solutions

Midland, MI - August 14, 2013 - Continuing its dedication to working closely with industry professionals to deliver the right solutions for the right applications, Dow Building Solutions (DBS), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company(NYSE: DOW), today introduced a new Ultra Air Barrier Wall System. Building on field input and demand, DBS developed a second Ultra Air Barrier Wall System solution for use in block backup construction as well as on metal stud walls. The Ultra Air Barrier Wall System delivers a layer of continuous insulation (ci) and a properly detailed air/vapor and water barrier together in one easy-to-install package. Industry professionals now have multiple solutions for an energy efficient wall design that integrates ci, air/vapor barrier, and moisture barrier in fewer steps than traditional construction methods.

“Dow has been in the building solutions business for more than 60 years, and it is our practice to collaborate with industry professionals like architects, designers and contractors to deliver solutions for sustainable buildings,” said Doug Todd, market manager, Dow Building Solutions. “We heard over and over again that commercial building professionals needed a wall assembly that delivers ci, air/vapor barrier, and water barrier together in one easy-to-install package. We heard the demand and are proud to introduce a new Ultra Air Barrier Wall System solution.”

The Ultra Air Barrier Wall System uses industry tested and proven Dow Building Solutions products in new and innovative combinations to deliver a three-in-one solution: ci, air/vapor and water barrier. Industry professionals have used these products separately over the years but now, used together as a system, they deliver an optimal wall solution to manage the control layers of the building envelope. Now architects, designers and contractors have two Ultra Air Barrier Wall System options for use in multiple types of backup wall construction.

One System Two Solutions

For block walls with integrated brick ties, the system uses specially sized 15 ¾” wide x 8’ long, STYROFOAM™ Brand CAVITYMATE™ Ultra Insulation boards placed between the ties. Air/vapor and water barrier properties are achieved by sealing the insulation board joints with single-component GREAT STUFF PRO™ Gaps and Crack Insulating Foam Sealant.**

For continuous metal stud back up backup walls or block walls without integrated brick ties, the larger 4’ x 8’ sheets of STYROFOAM™ Brand Ultra SL Insulation with a shiplap edge treatment (one of the most thermally efficient joint treatments) are mechanically fastened and then brick ties affixed. In this solution, air/vapor and water barrier properties are achieved by sealing the insulation board joints with WEATHERMATE™ Flashing Tape.

Industry Proven Products Working together

Ultra Air Barrier Wall System offers two solutions that both offer industry tested and trusted products. Whether the system uses STYROFOAM™ Brand CAVITYMATE™ Ultra Insulation or STYROFOAM™ Brand Ultra SL Insulation, both offer a high, R-5.6* for 1 inch product that wraps the entire wall in ci and optimizes the cavity air space effectiveness. It outperforms in severe moist environments with its additional layer of protection in the wet cavity.

GREAT STUFF PRO™ Gaps & Cracks Insulating Foam Sealant offers the air and water barrier by sealing all the joints between the square edge insulation boards and around all penetrations. The minimal expanding, single-component polyurethane foam forms an airtight and water-resistant bond to most substrate cracks and gaps up to 3” (75mm). In addition, installation is easy as the foam sealant is used to hold the insulation in place on the underlying block wall. In the new Ultra Air Barrier Wall System solution, the foam is used to seal the bottom layer of the larger STYROFOAM™ Brand Ultra SL Insulation boards along the base.

WEATHERMATE™ Flashing Tape is a self-sealing, self-healing 4” wide flashing tape. This flashing tape combines a BLUE™ high-density polyethylene (HDPE) film facer with a 20 mil butyl rubber adhesive to form a strong mechanical and chemical bond to the STYROFOAM™ Brand Ultra SL Insulation. A polymeric-coated paper release liner offers a more consistent peel than plain paper liners.

Meeting the Code

The latest industry energy codes recognize the need for both ci and air sealing for more energy efficient buildings; in fact recent ASHRAE and IECC now make both requirements mandatory in most climate zones. Industry professionals are challenged to find solutions that not only meet these requirements, but can also be easily and economically delivered in the field.

The rigid insulations used in the Ultra Air Barrier Wall System can completely block any air infiltration, meeting ASTM E2357 air barrier test requirement for a maximum air permeance no greater than 0.04 cfm/ft2. However, the board joints must be sealed to achieve the specified air barrier properties. When the joints of the insulation are sealed with either GREAT STUFF PRO™ Gaps & Cracks Insulating Foam Sealant or WEATHERMATE™ Flashing Tape – depending on the Ultra Air Barrier System solution used - the resulting layer of insulation and sealant becomes an effective air barrier. The air barrier qualities of this system have been tested using ASTM E2357 and meet the air barrier requirements of the IECC.

Ultra Air Barrier Wall System offers industry professionals with one easy-to-install system with two solutions that both deliver a layer of ci and a properly detailed air/vapor and water barrier together for steel stud and block backup walls. The wall system helps architects, designers and contractors to meet new building codes, and also offers solutions for a complete energy efficient building envelope.

For more information about Dow Building Solutions’ award-winning products and services, please visit


About Dow Building Solutions

Dow Building Solutions has a 60+ year legacy of providing energy saving solutions to the global commercial and residential new construction and remodeling industry, which began with the launch of its flagship STYROFOAM™ Brand Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Foam Insulation, one of the most recognized brands of insulation in the world. A market-facing business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, Dow Building Solutions offers insulation, air sealing and weatherization solutions backed by building science expertise to help builders, remodelers, designers, architects and home/building owners reduce energy costs and protect against wind, rain and moisture, while contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. More information about Dow Building Solutions can be found at

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture. In 2013, Dow had annual sales of more than $57 billion and employed approximately 53,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 6,000 products are manufactured at 201 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at

** Consult MSDA and label carefully before use

Jessica Robinson +1 989638-8066