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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 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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Business Advice4 min

How To Protect Builds Against Rainy Climates

While many builders resort to flexible timing and weather contingency clauses to successfully navigate wet weather construction, they are still often at the mercy of the materials they use. This is why, at LP Building Solutions, we’ve been long committed to engineering building materials that stand up specifically to moisture-related challenges.

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Business Advice5 min
Defend Your Build™ In Time For Storm Seasons

Managing inclement weather in construction and avoiding costly delays in project timelines are some of the most important challenges faced by builders today.

Business Advice5 min
What Extra Durability and Resiliency Steps Should You Take in a Hot Climate?

According to recent NASA reports, global temperatures have been rising and ice sheets have been melting—both of which may be contributing factors to changing weather patterns. With these changes, resilient construction is increasingly important as builders are seeking extra durability within their builds.

Business Advice6 min
Simplifying Sustainability: Getting to Know LEED and WELL Certifications

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification and the WELL Building Standard® are particularly popular among architects. Let’s get to know how they impact the day-to-day design process and see how LP products fit into these environmental standards.