June 2011: Product Solution | Case Study | Technical Story
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, is playing an increasingly important role in the drive to make buildings in the United States greener. LEED is now the most prominent and widely adopted green building certification program in the country, with architects and developers striving to earn LEED Certification, and there is an increasing number of local, state, and federal regulations beginning to incorporate LEED standards into official building codes.
A ground-breaking report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Investigation of the Impact of Commercial Building Envelope Airtightness on HVAC Energy Use, states "Despite common assumptions that envelope air leakage is not significant in office and other commercial buildings, measurements have shown that these buildings are subject to larger infiltration rates than commonly believed. Infiltration in commercial buildings can have many negative consequences, including reduced thermal comfort, interference with the proper operation of mechanical ventilation systems, degraded indoor air quality, moisture damage of building envelope components and increased energy consumption."
The NIST study's findings show that the inclusion of an air barrier system in non-residential buildings can reduce air leakage by up to 83 percent, representing a large reduction in energy consumption and operating costs: potential gas savings of greater than 40 percent and electrical savings of greater than 25 percent.
LEED Gold certification is a goal for the recent renovation of Tremco Incorporated's corporate headquarters in Beachwood, Ohio. To ensure ambitious sustainability goals of reducing energy consumption by nearly 50 percent, improving employee comfort and extending the life of the structure, the organization went even further and paid particular attention to critical transitions for continuity throughout the building enclosure.
All components within the window's glazing system (structural silicone sealants, gaskets, setting blocks) are provided by Tremco Commercial Sealants & Waterproofing and are designed and tested for compatibility and long-term performance. Tremco's ExoAir™ 110LT Self-Adhered Air & Vapor Barrier Membrane is incorporated around the rough openings where the windows will be set. For absolute assurance of a proven, secure seal from the window system to the building facade, Tremco's Proglaze® ETA Engineered Transition Assembly sealed with Spectrem® 1 Silicone Sealant has been utilized to provide the connection.
The dynamic movement of the building over time, applicator inconsistencies, sequence of installation errors and failure to validate adhesion and compatibility of building components can allow air and moisture to infiltrate a building and wreak havoc even if every effort has been made to meet published standards.
At Tremco headquarters, we have controlled air and moisture movement through the building enclosure. We are well on our way to ensuring our goals for thermal performance, energy efficiency and indoor air quality.