Inspiration2 min

How Fire-Rated OSB Outperforms FRT Plywood

Both fire-rated OSB and Fire Retardant Treated (FRT) plywood are commonly used in fire-rated wall sheathing and roof deck applications. Because these materials are always evolving, it’s good for architects and builders to know how they compare to each other.

An engineered wood product like LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing combines a layer of ignition-resistant, cementitious coating with a layer of OSB. It carries an Exposure 1 classification, which means it can withstand normal exposure to moisture during construction. In contrast, some fire-retardant treatments are applied after the plywood is manufactured – and the treatment is sometimes water-soluble, requiring it to be protected from moisture during construction. 

A fire-rated OSB product like LP FlameBlock offers both flame-spread resistance and burn-through resistance in the same panel, as verified in tests like the 30-minute Class A Flame Spread Rating (ASTM E84, UL723) and 15-minute Thermal Barrier Protection test (UBC 26-2).  FRT plywood has a flame spread rating, but no rating for burn-through resistance. 

Fire-rated OSB sheathing has load/span and shear design values that are superior to FRT plywood at the same thickness. In addition, engineered wood sheathing reduces dead load and wall thickness versus FRT plywood. This gives architects more flexibility in designing wall openings, plus more options in framing and bracing to meet structural requirements.

When architects specify fire-rated OSB sheathing, it’s important for builders and subcontractors to “respect the spec” and stick with a material like LP FlameBlock that has so many advantages over FRT plywood.

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Industry Trends5 min

Helping Small Builders Compete Against the Giants

Big builder market share has doubled in the last 25 years and now represents about 50 percent of housing starts nationwide – and even 75 percent in some major metro areas. These mega-builders have huge budgets for both land development and marketing. It’s increasingly difficult for small and medium-sized builders to compete, but LP is committed to helping them prosper.

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Leading the Way in Supply Chain Innovation

To better serve its customers in areas of order accuracy and delivery predictability, LP has set some of the industry’s most aspirational supply chain goals. Senior leaders meet regularly with experts at Gartner, arguably the nation’s best consulting firm in the realm of supply chain optimization. The aim is to apply best practices in procurement, logistics and working capital across more than $1 billion of addressable spend.

Business Advice5 min
The Importance Of Vapor Permeability In Building Envelopes

For weather-resistant barriers (WRBs), ASTM has developed rigorous tests for water resistance and water penetration, plus an air barrier assembly test. But an equally important test is ASTM E96, which measures water vapor permeability over a 24-hour period.

Industry Trends5 min
How “Attainable” Are New Homes?

When people talk about home “affordability” it boils down to one number: the asking price. But home “attainability” is a more complex equation. Attainability refers to a prospective buyer’s ability to find an entry-level home (no easy task these days), obtain a loan and pay for 30 years of ancillary costs like utilities, maintenance and insurance.