The Ultra Air Barrier Wall System: Your best bet for a better wall
Delivers exceptional long-term thermal insulating performance
By Jan McKinnon
The Ultra Air Barrier Wall System deals a winning hand to contractors. Designed with the masonry contractor in mind and easy to install, Ultra Air Barrier Wall System delivers exceptional long-term thermal insulating performance and excellent air/vapor-barrier capability in brick and block walls using trusted and familiar products: STYROFOAM™ Brand CAVITYMATE™ Ultra Insulation and GREAT STUFF PRO™ Gaps & Cracks Insulating Foam Sealant.*
In the past, contractors often installed a separate air barrier then covered it with insulation. This two-step process was not only labor-intensive and expensive, but often created issues such as maintaining continuity during installation and commissioning. Ultra Air Barrier Wall System delivers a proven, easy-to-install and economical system that delivers a continuous blanket of thermal insulating performance AND an air/vapor-barrier in brick and block cavity wall with fewer installation steps than standard construction methods.
Ultra Air Barrier Wall System at a Glance
- Ease of installation: limited rework around ties, easy-to-maintain cavity wall air gap, etc. Click here for installation details.
- Fewer steps than conventional masonry wall insulation systems saves time and money
- No extra protective measures; no overspray to clean up.
- One solution that delivers both continuous insulation and an air barrier
- Maximum effective thermal performance (R-5.6 per inch)
- Provides high moisture resistance in high moisture cavity wall environments
- Compatible with a range of complementary Dow products
- Installation under a wide set of environmental conditions to simplify scheduling
What you’re used to just got betterAvailable in special 15 ¾” widths with square edges on all four sides to accommodate slight variations in tie locations, STYROFOAM™ Brand CAVITYMATE™ Ultra Insulation easily fits between brick ties to wrap the entire wall in continuous insulation and optimize cavity air space effectiveness. Using a patented carbon black foam, this R 5.6/inch is available in thicknesses up to 3” to meet the required R-value. No special equipment is needed other than a sharp knife or hand saw.
GREAT STUFF PRO™ Gaps & Cracks Insulating Foam Sealant works in tandem with STYROFOAM™ Brand CAVITYMATE™ Ultra Insulation to provide the air barrier and make installation easy. Used to fill the horizontal and vertical board joints, around penetrations and for holding the insulation in place on the underlying block wall, the minimal-expanding, single-component polyurethane foam forms an airtight and water-resistant bond to most substrate cracks and gaps up to 3”. No respirators, protective suits, protective tenting or other special equipment required.
Inspection is easy with the Ultra Air Barrier Wall System. Because the insulation is designed to fit between the ties, the gap is designed to be filled with GREAT STUFF PRO™ Gaps & Cracks Insulating Foam Sealant, which forms the air barrier seal.
Code requirements in brick and block cavity wallsWhy Ultra Air Barrier Wall System? Model energy codes – ASHRAE 90.1 “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings” and “International Energy Conservation Code” (IECC) – recognize the need for both continuous insulation (ci) and air sealing. In fact, recent code changes now make both requirements mandatory in most climate zones. Masonry contractors need approaches that meet these requirements that can be easily and economically implemented in the field and the Ultra Air Barrier Wall System delivers on both, providing continuous insulation and an air/vapor barrier.
Why Ultra Air Barrier Wall System? Model energy codes – ASHRAE 90.1 “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings” and “International Energy Conservation Code” (IECC) – recognize the need for both continuous insulation (ci) and air sealing. In fact, recent code changes now make both requirements mandatory in most climate zones. Masonry contractors need approaches that meet these requirements that can be easily and economically implemented in the field and the Ultra Air Barrier Wall System delivers on both, providing continuous insulation and an air/vapor barrier.
STYROFOAM™ Brand CAVITYMATE™ Ultra Insulation by itself has the air barrier properties to completely block any air infiltration; it meets ASTM E2178 air barrier test requirement for a maximum air permeance no greater than 0.004 cfm/ft2. But what about the gaps between the installed boards and around penetrations? Those gaps must be sealed to achieve the specified air barrier properties.
When the board joints of STYROFOAM™ Brand CAVITYMATE™ Ultra Insulation are sealed with GREAT STUFF PRO™ Gaps & Cracks Insulating Foam Sealant in a cavity wall assembly, the resulting layer of insulation and sealant becomes an effective air barrier. The air barrier qualities of this system have been tested and meet the requirements of ASTM E2357 and meet all relevant code requirements for infiltration resistance.
For added confidence, the Ultra Air Barrier Wall System has been approved by Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) as an air barrier material and assembly.
Getting started with Ultra Air Barrier Wall SystemHere’s everything you need to start installing Ultra Air Barrier Wall System today!
- Detailed Installation Instructions
- Installation videos
- Easy access to Frequently Asked Questions
- Sales literature
- CAD details
- Guide specifications
To learn more visit us on-line at www.ultrawallsystem.com or call us at 1-866-583-BLUE (2583).
NOTICE: No freedom from any patent owned by Dow or others is to be inferred. Because use conditions and applicable laws may differ from one location to another and may change with time, Customer is responsible for determining whether products and the information in this document are appropriate for Customer’s use and for ensuring that Customer’s workplace and disposal practices are in compliance with applicable laws and other government enactments. The product shown in this literature may not be available for sale and/or available in all geographies where Dow is represented. The claims made may not have been approved for use in all countries or regions. Dow assumes no obligation or liability for the information in this document. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean the Dow legal entity selling the products to Customer unless otherwise expressly noted. NO EXPRESS WARRANTIES ARE GIVEN EXCEPT FOR ANY APPLICABLE WRITTEN WARRANTIES SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY DOW. ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES INCLUDING THOSE OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED.
STYROFOAM™ Brand Extruded Polystyrene Foam InsulationCAUTION: This product is combustible and shall only be used as specified by the local building code with respect to flame spread classification and to the use of a suitable thermal barrier. For more information, consult Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), call Dow at 1-866-583-BLUE (2583) or contact your local building inspector. In an emergency, call 1-989-636-4400.
WARNING: Rigid foam insulation does not constitute a working walkable surface or qualify as a fall protection product.
Dow Polyurethane Foam Insulation and SealantsCAUTION: When cured, these products are combustible and will burn if exposed to open flame or sparks from high-energy sources. Do not expose to temperatures above 240ºF. For more information, consult MSDS, call Dow at 1-866-583-BLUE (2583) or contact your local building inspector. In an emergency, call 1-989-636-4400.
GREAT STUFF PRO™ Insulating Foam Sealants contain isocyanate and a flammable blowing agent. Read the label and MSDS carefully before use. Eliminate all sources of ignition before use. Wear long sleeves, gloves, and safety glasses or goggles. Provide adequate ventilation or wear proper respiratory protection. Contents under pressure.
GREAT STUFF PRO™ Gun Cleaner is flammable and contains acetone and propane. Read the label and MSDS carefully before use. Eliminate all sources of ignition before use. Wear gloves, and goggles or safety glasses. Provide adequate ventilation or wear proper respiratory protection. Contents under pressure.
Building and/or construction practices unrelated to building materials could greatly affect moisture and the potential for mold formation. No material supplier including Dow can give assurance that mold will not develop in any specific system.
®™* Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") or an affiliated company of Dow
About the Author
Jan McKinnon is the Senior Communications Manager for Dow Building Solutions.