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Business Advice7 min

Why Architects Value LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing in Multifamily Design

With its design flexibility, strength and cost-saving benefits, LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing has become a valuable product solution within the architectural community. As an approved component of 8 UL-listed and Intertek-listed wall assemblies, LP FlameBlock sheathing is being specified for multifamily projects as a valuable alternative to potentially reduce or eliminate the use of exterior gypsum. Hear from a few architects on why they chose LP FlameBlock sheathing for their multifamily designs:

  • Denver-based national architecture and design firm Lantz-Boggio Architects used LP FlameBlock sheathing on Castle Pines, a 176-unit continuing care senior living campus. Dwight Miller, Associate Principal at Lantz-Boggio, explained why the 1-sided and 2-sided LP FlameBlock sheathing brought value to this design.

When using plywood or structural wood panels behind the gypsum sheathing on the exterior side of the wall, there is the material and labor cost to install at least two layers of sheathing, as well as the additional schedule time for installation and inspections of multiple layers. Secondly, to have a 2-hour exterior wall that is stacked below a 1-hour exterior wall would either require some means of transitioning between the change in plane, or to continue the third layer of gypsum sheathing up the 1-hour wall,” said Miller. “By using the 1-sided and 2-sided LP FlameBlock, I was able to overcome all of these obstacles with two products that are easily identifiable by the contractor (based on the 1-side or 2-side coating) and that install the same as regular plywood.” 

  • Grimm & Parker Architects used two-sided LP FlameBlock sheathing on a complex of student dormitories as an alternative to an assembly that would require two layers of exterior gypsum. The design was complex, but with the two-sided LP FlameBlock sheathing, Project Manager Vinay Ganeshan was able to efficiently meet his design goals.

The structural engineer played an important role in this,” said Ganeshan. “It was a very intricate shear design, and when they learned about the product they knew LP FlameBlock sheathing was the right choice.” 

  • Poole & Poole Architecture LLC built a 250-unit multifamily apartment complex using LP FlameBlock sheathing on the exterior walls. According to David Kelly, the Poole & Poole project manager, he recommends LP FlameBlock sheathing to others. According to Kelley, the biggest advantage of working with LP FlameBlock sheathing was that it only required a single layer of gypsum versus two layers of exterior gypsum.

I would venture to say that the biggest advantage is that it eliminates an exterior layer,” said Kelly. “I have recommended LP FlameBlock in the past and will continue to do so.

Interested in specifying LP FlameBlock Fire-Rated Sheathing for your next project? Head over to Architect's Corner to learn which UL listed assembly is right for your project’s needs.

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