Inspiration10 min

The Smart Alternative to Shaft Wall Liner

Building professionals who work on townhomes are likely familiar with area separation walls that use shaft wall liner, often referred to as shaft walls. Though commonly specified, assemblies using shaft wall liner come with an assortment of building challenges and complexities.

As the leader in high-performance building solutions, LP Building Solutions offers an alternative to assemblies that use shaft wall liner. The UL Design U350 assembly using LP® FlameBlock® sheathing meets code for 2-hour partition walls used in townhomes. New data reveals the performance of assemblies using shaft wall liner versus the UL U350 assembly using LP FlameBlock Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing

As the infographic demonstrates, the UL U350 assembly can save on construction costs, is 30% lighter, and can provide more square footage compared to assemblies with shaft wall liner. For these reasons, more and more building professionals are ditching the complex shaft wall for the UL U350 assembly.

The UL U350 assembly was recently used on a Habitat for Humanity project in Wilmington, Delaware. The Director of Construction and Real Estate for Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County, Sean Allen, was thrilled with the UL U350 assembly and plans to use it on other townhome projects moving forward.

“Our volunteers range from people who have never touched a hammer to semi-professional framers,” said Allen. “The typical party wall uses a heavier material. Because we are using volunteers, the party walls were becoming especially cumbersome and posing safety issues.” Because the LP FlameBlock UL U350 assembly eliminates the heavy, one-inch-thick gypsum and associated hardware that is typically required in an assembly using a shaft wall liner, the volunteers were able to build the assemblies much faster.

In Burleson, Texas real estate and development company, Bransom Homes used the UL U350 assembly on 16 townhomes for the Heritage Village project. After hearing about the performance and structural benefits of LP FlameBlock sheathing with the UL U350 assembly, Superintendent Jake McWhirter and his team decided to make the switch. 

According to McWhirter, the job went smoother and faster with the use of LP FlameBlock sheathing. “The FlameBlock goes in just as fast as sheet rock. The fact that it can also be used in the roof deck makes the job so much easier.”

To learn more about the UL U350 assembly using LP FlameBlock sheathing, visit: https://lpcorp.com/products/panels/lp-flameblock-fire-rated-osb-sheathing/assemblies/.

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Industry Trends6 min

55+ Housing Is Booming Coast to Coast

The mood of builders in the 55+ single-family sector can be described in just two words: very optimistic. Earlier this year, the NAHB 55+ Housing Market Index scored its highest builder confidence rating since the index was introduced in 2008.

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