Meeting Fire Protection Requirements—Without Breaking the Bank

Designing to meet code requirements is not always an easy process- but building codes, and particularly those addressing fire, are designed to protect the lives of building occupants and first responders and therefore will continue to be a key component to the design and construction of buildings.

Fortunately, there are often multiple ways to meet code requirement with fire-rated wall assemblies and LP FlameBlock® Fire-Rated® OSB Sheathing offers architects and designers an opportunity to meet code requirements while saving money and time compared to alternative assembly options.

Featuring an ignition-resistant Pyrotite® coating, LP FlameBlockOSB is a listed component in fire-rated interior wall assemblies, exterior wall assemblies, and roof deck applications. The fire-rated structural sheathing provides 15-minute thermal barrier protection, a 30-minute Class A flame spread rating, and a combination of flame spread resistance and burn-through resistance. What’s more, it provides additional value in the form of strength, savings, and greater design flexibility and is versatile enough for use in Type II, III, and V construction.

Because structural design values for LP FlameBlock sheathing are not reduced by the fire-retardant treatment, the panel carries load/span and shear design values equivalent to an untreated wood structural panel in the same panel thickness category. Using LP FlameBlock sheathing in fire-rated wall assemblies can provide more flexibility in design of wall openings as well as more options in framing and bracing to meet structural requirements. Finally, each panel carries an Exposure 1 classification, meaning it can withstand exposure to moisture during normal construction delays.

Cost & Labor Savings

With these characteristics, LP FlameBlock sheathing can be used to create assemblies that are more efficient than those using double layers of gypsum or gypsum combined with FRT plywood, helping to improve construction timelines and reduce labor costs.

As an alternative to assemblies using FRT plywood and gypsum, LP FlameBlock OSB allows a reduction of layers which results in a thinner panel and increased design flexibility. Installation of exterior facing is simplified by fastening into and through LP FlameBlock OSB rather than a combined layer of FRT plywood and gypsum.

For example, in a two-hour rated, load-bearing partition wall, fire-rated on both sides, commonly used for multifamily projects and townhomes, the assembly consists of Type X gypsum, LP FlameBlock OSB, and fiberglass insulation on each side of a double 2x4 stud assembly. The use of LP FlameBlock OSB saves labor and reduces dead load by eliminating the use of Shaft Wall Liner. It also brings an STC rating of 62.

Such savings can be achieved on the exterior, as well. For example, Grimm+Parker Architects used LP FlameBlock OSB for a wood-over-concrete-podium mixed-use university housing project building in Maryland. The two sided LP FlameBlock Sheathing was used in place of one layer of FRT Plywood and gypsum board. Not only did this save the expense of gypsum board, but the contractor was able to use the same crews already working on site since the same tools and techniques are used to work with LP FlameBlock sheathing as with standard OSB sheathing.

Certainly, meeting codes requirements could mean increasing expenses, but advancing product technologies are offering builders and designers more options that reduce installation time and materials—helping to ease the burden on tight budgets.

Continue Reading
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.

Continue Reading
Maintenance5 min
Turn Your Tax Refund Into Lasting Home Improvement

GoBankRates.com estimates that the average tax refund this year will total about $3,000. In a survey conducted by that organization, 10 percent of respondents said they plan to splurge on a vacation or luxury item when the refund arrives. But 9 percent plan to use that money for a “major purchase.”

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.

Maintenance4 min
Outdoor Spring Cleaning Checklist: The Complete Homeowner’s Guide

Move aside, Old Man Winter—it’s officially springtime. Could your home’s exterior use some sprucing up before you’re officially ready to soak up the sun? This spring cleaning season, make sure you’re showing some TLC to both the interior and exterior of your home.