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.

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Business Advice4 min

Best House Sheathing for Cold Climates

With temperatures dropping, insulation and protecting new construction against the elements are top of mind. Of course, builders must consider how insulated wall sheathing can help meet code requirements and contribute to the overall performance of the building envelope. However, they must also carefully consider potential moisture problems both during and after the build and the potential impacts of freeze/thaw cycles. With the season of potential hard freezes followed by fast warm-ups upon us, let’s explore methods for choosing the best house sheathing for cold climates.

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Business Advice5 min
Building a House During Winter: Cold Weather Construction Safety Tips

With housing demand at an all-time high, builders do not have the ability to halt home construction during the winter months. Builders can work safely year round, even building houses during winter with planning and preparation. Advanced products and installation methods allow work to be performed during wet and very cold temperatures, but builders also need to consider winter safety for construction workers.

Business Advice4 min
Engineered Wood Siding in Multifamily Developments

Engineered wood siding has long been considered a trustworthy exterior product for single-family homes, but it is often overlooked for multifamily and commercial construction. LP® SmartSide® products are versatile enough for a range of builds beyond traditional single-family homes. Take a look at the homes featured in Madison Parade of Homes for siding inspiration and to see how LP SmartSide Trim & Siding might suit your building needs.

News & Stories7 min
Predictions for 2022 from LP Execs

If 2020 was the year of uncertainty, then 2021 was a year spent adjusting to new norms. What kind of year will 2022 be? We checked in with LP Building Solutions executives to reflect on the past year and to get their predictions for the year to come.