PROJECT HIGHLIGHT:

Vehicle Storage Facility in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Photo courtesy of DPR Construction

 

Summary:  If you were planning to build a collectible vehicle storage building in Florida with millions of dollars of other people’s valuable car collections in it, you’d probably want to make sure that the building is waterproof, durable and able to withstand hurricanes.  Wouldn’t you?  Enter MaxLife Industries’ first project with ArmorWall Non Permeable (NP) Structural Insulated SheathingTM.  New to the ArmorWall product line, ArmorWall NP offers a non-permeable barrier that addresses unique needs in hot, moist and humid climates in cities like Fort Lauderdale, FL.  For this project, a building envelope system was sought after that would be highly weather resistant, allow for a very strong attachment with the exterior metal cladding and also meet the continuous insulation requirements of Florida’s energy code.  A strong supporter of continuous insulation for many years, the project architect evaluated several product options from Hunter, Kingspan and Centria before specifying ArmorWall.  And why did ArmorWall win out?  The project team realized that ArmorWall’s ability to combine several traditional components into one – while also meeting high wind zone and continuous insulation requirements – would afford the facility increased durability and weather protection while also saving time and money during the installation process. 

Building Type:  Vehicle Storage Facility, renovation/addition

Need: An incredibly durable and weather resistant building envelope system with continuous insulation to protect valuable vehicles from high winds, rains and hurricanes

Solution:  Roughly 5,000 sf of 2 ¾” ArmorWall Non Permeable (NP) Structural Insulated SheathingTM represented by Copeland Architectural Systems

Architect: DLR Group

General Contractor and Installer: DPR Construction

Story:  

If you were planning to build a collectible vehicle storage building in Florida with millions of dollars of other people’s valuable car collections in it, you’d probably want to make sure that the building is waterproof, durable and able to withstand hurricanes.  Wouldn’t you?  Enter MaxLife Industries’ first project with ArmorWall Non Permeable (NP) Structural Insulated SheathingTM.  New to the ArmorWall product line, ArmorWall NP offers a non-permeable barrier that addresses unique needs in hot, moist and humid climates in cities like Fort Lauderdale, FL. 

For this project, a building envelope system was sought after that would be highly weather resistant, allow for a very strong attachment with the exterior metal cladding and also meet the continuous insulation requirements of Florida’s energy code.  A strong supporter of continuous insulation for many years, the project architect evaluated several product options from Hunter, Kingspan and Centria before specifying ArmorWall.  And why did ArmorWall win out?  The project team realized that ArmorWall’s ability to combine several traditional components into one – while also meeting high wind zone and continuous insulation requirements – would afford the project increased durability and weather protection while also saving time and money during the installation process. 

“I’ve been heavily researching and specifying good solutions for continuous insulation since 2000,” said Kevin Leivian, the project architect with DLR Group.  “We had few options then and we still do now.  Over the years, we’ve tried a variety of grid fastener and sheathing systems including mineral board over CMU to achieve the right insulation value and material thickness that best works with fasteners and code requirements,” he said.  “For this project, we needed something stronger and more durable than what we had used before.”

According to Mr. Leivian, one of the issues with cavity walls is that when you use rigid insulation boards with masonry ties or posyties as anchors, you are putting holes in the system that cause damage and can fail code requirements.  “When you move from masonry veneer to metal panel or other types of products like stucco, you lose the true definition of continuous insulation because you aren’t able to do what you did before, which is to including the framing in the gridwork, so you’ve moved the need for studs to be on the outside,” he said.  “For this project, we looked at products from Hunter, Kingspan and Centria but couldn’t make them work.  With ArmorWall, the product’s durability and structural strength solve the framing problem, and the ability to seal the fasteners and joints quickly and easily solves the continuous insulation problem.  It’s a real game changer and a unique product in the market.”

Well-versed and experienced in building science, Mr. Leivian knew it would be a challenge to find and specify the right product for this job.  Fortunately, Clyde Copeland of Copeland Architectural Systems, the local ArmorWall Sales Representative, introduced him to ArmorWall at the right time.  “ArmorWall panels are 4’ x 8’ pieces that combine three to four individual components found in other products,” said Mr. Copeland.  “Using these Structural Insulated Panels enables designers to more easily achieve continuous insulation and thermal bridging requirements while also being able to replace metal framing due to its structural characteristics,” he said.

Specifying ArmorWall on this project wasn’t a slam dunk, however.  The General Contractor, DPR Construction, wasn’t yet familiar with ArmorWall and took some convincing.  But, as the project team began to dig in to ArmorWall’s benefits and the extensive technical literature available, they realized that it offered the best system to meeting the continuous insulation and wind zone requirements.  “It’s the simplicity of the product that I like,” said Mr. Leivian.  “Smart CI is a lot of pieces.  ArmorWall is one piece with fasteners and sealants that performs as an air and vapor barrier,” he said. 

For this project, ArmorWall helped solve the dual problem of a system that could meet the high wind velocity hurricane zone structural needs while also providing a vapor barrier on the exterior of the building enclosure, which is what is needed in warm, humid and oftentimes wet conditions that are found throughout Florida.  “ArmorWall solves several unique construction needs for new buildings and renovations here in Florida,” said Mr. Copeland.  “I certainly recommend it for many types of commercial projects across the state.” 

Once the installation was ready to begin, first-time installer Rodolfo Alayon and his crew were quick to learn how to use ArmorWall following a short training with Clyde Copeland.  To ensure that the ArmorWall system would provide the strongest and most durable building enclosure system available, fasteners were used every 4” instead of the traditional 16” or 24”.  “It’s a really nice product,” said Mr. Alayon.  “ I like everything about it, it’s working perfectly,” he said.

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