News & Stories3 min

Structural Solutions for Fire-Resistant Building

For most builders and architects across the country, incorporating resiliency for their homeowners means selecting building materials that can help withstand the results of severe storms, wind and water. But for others, especially those in fire-prone geographies, fire-resisting properties of building materials is crucial for slowing the spread of fire and sustaining resiliency.

Using LP® FlameBlock® OSB Sheathing for Superior Fire Resistance Ratings

Installing LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing helps slow the spread of flames. LP FlameBlock panels are structural fire-rated sheathing that combines both fire resistance and structural performance in a single panel. 

To make LP FlameBlock fire-resistive panels, LP’s proprietary non-combustible, fiberglass-reinforced Pyrotite® coating is applied to the OSB panels, combining flame-spread and burn-through resistance.

What Is Fire Resistance in Buildings?

It’s important to clear up any confusion regarding terms such as fireproof, fire resistant and even fire-resistive ratings.

The term “fireproof” is often incorrectly used to mean “non-combustible.” Most fire-resistive building products are limited to materials that resist combustion, such as concrete and masonry.

Typically fire resistance refers to the ability of a fire-resistive material to help provide protection for a while. Given enough time, fire could ultimately penetrate or burn through an assembly. 

Understanding fire resistance is similar to understanding the differences between a water-resistant watch and a waterproof watch. Water resistance means the watch is impervious to the penetration of water for a period of time. But lose a water-resistant watch to the bottom of a lake, and water will ultimately penetrate the watch’s inner workings.

Differences Between One-Sided and Two-Sided Fire-Resistive Materials

The Pyrotite coating on LP FlameBlock sheathing helps give the panels flame-spread resistance. The difference between one-sided and two-sided panels is simply whether the proprietary coating is used on one side or both sides of the panels. But how to choose?

“There’s no choice; you are obligated to use what is required,” says Johnson.

“Two-sided will be used if the assembly requires it or based on the construction type. For instance, an exterior wall in Type III construction requires two-sided regardless of what the assembly says. Our ICC-ES evaluation report ESR 1365 notes where two-sided is required.”

The terms “one-sided” and “two-sided” refer to LP FlameBlock panels, which are different from assemblies that are rated one-hour and two-hour. 

As an example, the assembly U348 only requires and is listed with one-sided LP FlameBlock panels.  However, when this assembly is used as an exterior wall in Type III construction, two-sided FlameBlock sheathing is required, as noted in ESR 1365.

“Again, type of construction, occupancy group, and fire separation distance will dictate fire-resistant requirements,” says Johnson.

For additional information on fire resistance in building, take a look at fire-resistant roof sheathing and how it can help you approach building better in fire-prone areas.

Continue Reading
Business Advice6 min

Plywood Vs. LP® SmartSide® for Sheds

For years, plywood materials such as T1-11 shed siding have been a top choice for outdoor structures. They can be used for everything from shed flooring and walls to furniture, which makes them a convenient option—but they’re not the only option. Despite plywood being top-of-mind for many, engineered wood products can help boast a greater value when it comes to outdoor structures.

Continue Reading
News & Stories7 min
Learn From Industry Experts: Best Practices for Multigenerational Construction

A multigenerational workforce is not a new concept, but as a new community of tech-savvy builders enters the industry the gap between generations may seem wider than ever. Though there are some natural challenges that come with it, a multigenerational workforce also provides a more curious and diverse environment for all skill levels and ages.

Business Advice5 min
What Does Energy Star Certified Mean?

Environmentally friendly living continues to be top-of-mind for homeowners. Because many want homes that are built for energy efficiency, professional builders must prepare to discuss this topic with their clients and to provide options for a build that promotes energy efficiency and minimal environmental impact.

Business Advice6 min
Storage and Handling 101: LP Structural Solutions

Before installation begins, proper storage and handling is critical as you receive products onto the jobsite. When products are handled properly and in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, you can help avoid damage to new products, use what you order, and help ensure that the product will perform as intended once installed.