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Updated Code Requirements Driving Tennessee Home Builders
to Adopt New Insulation Methods
Minimum R-Value of R-20 Now Mandatory for Residential Construction

Newly adopted residential building codes set by the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) are about to become the standard for homes built in the Tennessee counties of Davidson, Williamson, Maury, Rutherford, and Sumner. Starting March 1, 2021, these counties will move from the IECC’s 2012 standards to the code’s 2018 benchmarks, which means all residential construction must meet a minimum insulation value of R-20.

The new minimum R-value ensures builders are constructing much more energy-efficient homes, enabling those homes to maintain comfortable interior temperatures over the long haul. These higher-performing buildings will reduce heating and cooling energy demands, produce savings on energy costs, help to improve indoor air quality, and increase the longevity of the structure.

For builders, selecting the right insulation method is crucial for on-time, on-budget project delivery and for compliance with the new rules. While some builders are choosing “flash-and-batt” (spray foam and fiberglass batt insulation), there is a simpler and more effective method to meeting the R-20 requirement: Continuous insulation.

“Continuous insulation is a smarter, more integrated, higher-performing solution compared to flash-and-batt,” explained Todd Gluski, director of marketing for Ox Engineered Products. “Builders are able to deliver structural sheathing, an air barrier, and a water-resistive barrier with integrated continuous insulation products while eliminating thermal bridging, which is also in line with the newly adopted energy codes. Plus, it is cost-effective and easy to install. For the long-term performance of exterior walls and the house in general, it just makes sense to go with continuous insulation over some of the traditional approaches.”

Continuous insulation eliminates the concern for condensation within walls (common with the flash-and-batt solution), and builders may still use 2×4 framing. It can also contribute to a lower Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating, enhancing the value of the home and making it even more attractive to prospective buyers.

OX-IS, developed by Ox Engineered Products, is a four-in-one product that allows builders to install the structural insulated sheathing, continuous insulation, air barrier, and water-resistive barrier simultaneously.

“When you do the math, OX-IS gets you to R-20 all at once,” Gluski noted. “Use ½” OX-IS (R-3), add in high-density batt insulation (R-15), and factor in R-2 for using continuous insulation. With OX-IS, the home immediately becomes code-compliant.”  

For builders in these Tennessee counties seeking an immediate solution for projects beginning after March 1, 2021, the following suppliers are currently carrying OX-IS:

  • 84 Lumber
    • 111 Tennessee Way, Hendersonville, TN 37075
    • 136 Wheeler St, La Vergne, TN 37086
  • Builders FirstSource
    • 712 Massman Dr, Nashville, TN 37210
    • 300 Pryor Creek Rd N, Lebanon, TN 37090
  • Kight Home Center
    • 444C Dick Buchanan St, La Vergne, TN 37086

For more information on OX-IS, visit: www.oxengineeredproducts.com/product/ox-is/

 

 

Structural Continuous Insulation: A Smarter Path to Protecting Your Structure

A Modern, Comprehensive Solution That Checks All the Boxes for Builders and Owners.

There is no controlling our seasonal distance from the sun or the warm and cold fronts that make up part of the daily forecast.

For homeowners of every kind, that means maintaining a comfortable interior temperature is a yearlong challenge that requires constant adjustment – opening or closing the blinds, moving the temperature on the thermostat up or down, opening the windows, or lighting the fireplace.

The long-term impact on this changing equation begins with the construction of the home. Smart insulation makes a discernible difference, and it start at the exterior of the structure – the first line of defense against mother nature.

Fully Integrated

Many continuous insulation products require an additional layer of structural sheathing to complete the wall system and allow for the installation of exterior finishing materials like brick or siding.

What if there was a product that provided the structural sheathing and continuous insulation in one solution?

What if that same product also included a water-resistive barrier and an air barrier?

Enter OX-IS: An integrated structural continuous insulation solution that delivers four components of the exterior wall system in one product:

  • Structural sheathing
  • Continuous insulation
  • Air barrier
  • Water-resistive barrier

A Command Performance

Thermal bridging and moisture build-up are two of the biggest concerns when it comes to exterior walls, and OX-IS is manufactured specifically to overcome these challenges.

Thermal bridging occurs when heat is transferred through an uninsulated material such as a wall stud. This occurs in wood and steel frame construction, but more so in steel because it is much more conductive than wood.

Exterior continuous insulation, such as OX-IS, prevents thermal bridging (and therefore thermal loss) by providing an uninterrupted barrier that is installed outside the studs. This allows builders to deliver high R-values even in 2×4 construction. For the owner, those hard-earned dollars spent to consistently maintain a comfortable interior temperature are not wasted.

Thermal loss can spoil comfortable interior environments and negatively impact energy consumption, but moisture penetration is an added concern that can cause permanent damage to structural components.

Continuous insulation is installed outboard of the studs, which moves the dew point from inside the wall cavity to the outer side of the sheathing. As a result, the opportunity for condensation to form within the wall cavity is dramatically reduced. This significantly decreases the risk of mold growth as well as defending against structural rot.

Ultimately, structural continuous insulation maintains the integrity of your building to keep it and its occupants healthy.

Time is Money

Performance-wise, structural continuous insulation is the optimal solution when assembling and constructing the exterior wall of any building. The solution also delivers time and cost savings on the jobsite.

OX-IS is one-third the weight on traditional OSB. This quality allows for more efficient use of labor on the jobsite, requiring less hands on deck.

In addition to the structural sheathing and continuous insulation components of OX-IS, the product features an integrated water-resistive barrier as well as an air barrier. In typical construction, OSB or another sheathing product must be installed first, then a weather-resistive barrier, and finally a layer of continuous insulation. For a single-family home, including a day for framing, that’s at least four days of labor.

With OX-IS, labor time (and ensuing costs) are cut in half: one day to install the framing and a second day to install OX-IS structural insulated sheathing.

The Total Package

Between choosing the right high-performance materials, meeting budgets, and keeping crews safe while working efficiently, construction crews are always seeking to achieve a balance. At the same time, they must deliver on the mandate from the eventual occupants of the home – a safe, comfortable house that is built to last.  

OX-IS provides a solid defense against hot/cold air transfer, moisture accumulation, mold growth, and structural rot. It’s the ultimate solution for the long term.

For builders, the product is easier to manage because of its relatively light weight, and its 4-in-1 integrated design significantly reduces jobsite installation time.

In the end, OX-IS delivers on all fronts. It removes short-term complexity, and it delivers long-term value.

To learn more about how Ox products can help drive a lower HERS rating, visit: https://www.oxengineeredproducts.com/hers/

OX ENGINEERED PRODUCTS NAMED A DAVID WEEKLEY HOMES 2020 NATIONAL PREFFERRED PARTNER

Ox Engineered Products, the innovative manufacturer of structural sheathing, structural insulated sheathing, House Warp and Roof Underlayment, is pleased to announce that it was one of the winners of the David Weekly Homes 16th annual National Preferred Partner of Choice Award. The award recognizes field and manufacturing partners that have consistently operated at world-class levels, as determined by the home builder’s supplier evaluation platform. This comprehensive process, anchored by the National Preferred Trading Partner Survey, evaluates companies in the areas of quality and customer service.

The National Preferred Trading Partner Survey format was updated in 2020 to a system of two questions with a 1-to-5 rating system for partners and is sent to David Weekley Homes team members that are currently doing business with them in their market. When the Preferred Partners receive their quarterly results, they are shown how they rank amongst National Preferred Partners in their industry as well as the contact information for each David Weekley Homes team member who completed an evaluation for them.

The evaluation process involves a comprehensive system of feedback and discussion that enables David Weekley Homes to measure world-class excellence among all established trade partners and their channel partners. Providers that receive the highest scores throughout the year are presented with the prestigious National Preferred Partners Award.

 “We could not be prouder for being recognized as a David Weekly Homes National Preferred Partner, it really reinforces everything we strive to be as a manufacturing partner” said Todd Gluski, Director of Marketing for Ox Engineered Products

Every year, David Weekley Homes recognizes the preferred partners that have gone above and beyond throughout the previous year. “Ox Engineered Products understands the challenges of our industry and is able to find solutions that continue to offer world-class performance, which is an essential part of being a National Preferred Partner.” said John Schiegg, Vice President of Supply Chain Services for David Weekley Homes.

Ox Launches New OX-IS Insulated Sheathing Video

Ox recently released a new instructional video that highlights the features and benefits or our OX-IS insulated sheathing product for builders and home owners. OX-IS allows builders to save time and money on the job site, while creating a simple path to meeting demanding continuous insulation energy codes.

Click Here to watch the video in its entirety on the Ox Engineered Products YouTube channel.

 

Ox Launches Commercial Foil Faced Seam Tape

Ox Foil Faced Commercial Seam Tape is now available for use on select Ox Building products. Ox commercial seam tape is a foil faced seam tape, designed for use as a closure system and vapor seal on Ox exterior sheathing products like Ox Strong-R and ISO Red Max. Ox Commercial Seam Tape exceeds most building code requirements and can be used for new construction as well as repair on most vapor barrier materials. Ox Commercial Seam Tape is available in 2 7/8″ x 150′ rolls.

Click Here for more information.

Ox Engineered Products Response to the APA November 2019 Product Advisory

Background:

On November 22, 2019 the APA (American Plywood Association) published a “Product Advisory: Performance of Flexible Structural Sheathing” in their November APA Update eNewsletter. In this Product Advisory they attack the structural sheathing products industry. Prior to this APA advisory, SP-1172, which has essentially identical information, was published in October of 2015 and then republished as SP-1186 in July of 2018. We would like to address this product advisory and offer the following information so you can make an informed decision on your product purchases.

Who Is the APA (Stands For: American Plywood Association)?

The APA membership is comprised of members, whose mills produce the majority of the structural wood panel products manufactured in North America, plus a host of engineered wood products that include plywood, OSB,  glued laminated timber (glulam), cross-laminated timber (CLT), wood I-joists and structural composite lumber.

The sole purpose of the APA is to represent the best interests of engineered wood products in the building materials industry.

What the APA is Not:

Based on their own disclaimer the APA is not an accredited testing organization nor do they stand behind the results of their testing. “The information contained herein is based on APA-The Engineered Wood Association’s continuing programs of laboratory testing, product research, and comprehensive field experience. Neither APA, nor its members make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the use, application of, and or reference to opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations included in this publication.”

Alternative Structural Sheathing Products: 

For over 50 years Alternative Structural Sheathing products have been accepted and used in the building industry accounting for more than 5,000,000 new homes.

Our Technical Product Evaluations:

Alternative Structural Sheathing products utilize professional third-party testing facilities that are licensed, insured and accredited within the building code industry. In addition, our 3rd party testing partner provides sealed engineering reports backing up all their test results that are applicable in all 50 states. We take great care and stand behind all of our published testing results which are available at https://www.drjcertification.org/clients/ox-engineered-products

For additional information regarding the APA Advisory SP-1186 Click Here

THE SURPRISING STRENGTH OF 4-IN-1 STRUCTURAL INSULATION PANELS

One project engineer met the challenge of a remote jobsite by rethinking the materials.

As winter creeps closer and Telluride, Colorado, gears up for a 2019-2020 season of a predicted 371” of snowfall, contractors at Chandler Homes are relieved not to have the impossible burden of packing the ski lift gondolas full of building products for a new home on the slopes.

Situated in the Rocky Mountains, not far from the ski town of Telluride, this job site sits at 11,000 feet above sea level, accessible only by a rough, unpaved road four months of the year. Builders, owners, and other stakeholders such as DCI Engineers are forced to access the custom, single-family home by gondola for the remaining eight months, meaning the exterior work must be completed while the road is accessible.

Transportation issues are coupled with heavy snowfall–Telluride is covered with snow for 40% of the year–and high winds.

Initially, traditional OSB sheathing was slated to be used on the new build, with a weather-resistant barrier and continuous insulation added later. However, a process involving multiple steps didn’t make sense in a location that could only be accessed four months out of the year.

Ultimately, the engineer on the project opted for OX Engineered Product’s OX-IS insulated sheathing structural insulation panels. This 4-in-1 product met the code requirements for structural sheathing, continuous insulation, and weather- and air-resistive barrier performance.

Lee Bybee from OX Engineered Products notes, “At 11,000 feet, the weather is challenging to say the least. The engineer recommended using our product for the high shear and wind strength it provides. The insulated panel also adds to the required insulation for the wall and provides an easier environment to heat.”

Another advantage offered by the OX-IS product was its speed of installation. “That small window that the builders have each year to do construction on the exterior of the house, they really wanted something that could be installed very quickly. That’s where we shine,” says Bybee.

At only 1/2” thick, the structural insulation panels also dispel myths about strength. Bybee states, “The lightness is often seen as a negative on the front end and a positive on the back end. Once people understand the product does provide structural value, they like the fact that it’s much more lightweight and easier to handle and work with throughout the construction process.”

Being one third of the weight of traditional OSB, the structural insulation panels reduced transportation costs and allowed the builders on the Telluride project to haul product up to the job site much more quickly.

Builders and the clients also appreciated OX’s new, limited 30-year system warranty that comes with using the panels in conjunction with construction tape.

Faced with all of the challenges of the location, gondolas and dirt tracks included, having the system warranty built in brought practical peace of mind and allowed stakeholders to focus on getting as much done as possible before the onset of winter.

 

Thermo Ply Now Backed By a 30 Year Limited System Warranty

Our ThermoPly structural sheathing is now backed by a 30-year Limited System Warranty. ThermoPly is a stable priced, lightweight alternative to OSB, which provides the builder with same structural shear values as a 7/16″ sheet of OSB or Plywood. With a built in water and air barrier it only takes one trip around the house to install saving a builder time and money in the installation process.

In order to comply with the warranty the user must follow our new ThermoPly Installation Instructions and use our new OX Seam Tape and Arctic Flash Flashing Tape on all seams and openings. 

System is defined as:

  • ThermoPly Structural Sheathing (Grades Red, Green and Blue)
  • ThermoPly AMG Structural Sheathing (Grades Red, Green and Blue)
  • Ox 2 7/8″ Seam Tape
  • Ox Arctic Flash Synthetic Flashing Tape

Warranty Coverage Includes:

  • Shall perform as a WRB (Water Resistive Barrier)
  • Shall perform as an Air Barrier

 

Architect Magazine Features OX-IS in 3 Reasons to Explore Continuous Insulation

3 Reasons to Explore Continuous Insulation

It’s time this under-loved energy-saving wonder received the credit it deserves.

Is it a silver bullet in cutting home energy costs? It comes close if it isn’t. Just consider all the ways this sometimes shunned and overlooked building component is changing home design and construction. For example:

  • Chapter 4 of the 2018 International Building Code (2018 IBC R402.1.2) makes clear the code community’s ringing endorsement.
  • Two vast and remarkably different homebuilding markets—California and Canada—have codified it by law into all future building practice.
  • It’s revitalized 2×4 framing by making it once again relevant and practical in a world of net-zero energy standards .
  • Much smaller, far less costly HVAC systems are now routinely spec’d.
  • Alternative energy sources like solar are finally viable because of the R-value punch of exterior wall assemblies.

We’re talking about continuous insulation. Today, continuous insulation is helping differentiate home energy performance across homes of all sizes, types, and budgets. Yet some architects resist the growing weight of evidence. They argue the incremental cost of continuous insulation outweighs all other considerations, including the environment.

To which veteran residential energy conservation expert Charlie Devine replies: “Don’t drop a dollar to pick up a dime.”

48% Savings

Devine is the national accounts and energy adviser to OX Engineered Products, a leading U.S. building product manufacturer. Devine believes continuous insulation’s clear advantages are shortchanged by misleading short-term thinking.

“People talk about programmable thermostats, high-efficiency HVAC systems, and LED light bulbs,” Devine says. “Where can we really squeeze energy demand out of a house? Continuous insulation is the answer. In my state, Minnesota, homes built with a single inch of continuous insulation have reduced heating costs by as much as 48 percent.”

2×4 vs. 2×6

That’s just the beginning. Take 2×4 framing. Not so long ago, the framing standard looked like it might fade away with the rise of 2×6 framing. Not so fast, Devine says.

“It’s true the deeper 2×6 cavity and fewer studs helps improve energy performance. CI levels the playing field for 2×4 builders. If it’s cheaper to add an inch of CI than to spec 2×6 framing, you can bet homebuilders are going to do it,” he says.

West Coast Foreshadowing

In California, the net-zero energy focus of Title 24, with its mandated solar photovoltaic panels, is making headlines. Why should that bother architects in Minnesota, Missouri, or Maryland? “California foreshadows things to come everywhere,” Devine says.

“Building a Title 24 house doesn’t make sense without CI. It’s the only affordable way to meet code,” he says. Adding R-6 structural sheathing like OX-IS to the exterior wall still makes standard cladding standard possible, he says.

Why Wait?

Residential designers in the Midwest aren’t. Devine says top builders in Nebraska and Iowa are all-in on CI. They understand the true cost of OSB isn’t the panel. It’s labor, housewrap, and trips around the house. Structural insulated sheathing like OX-IS simplifies in ways no OSB panel can.

Devine believes we’ll soon look back on CI and wonder: “What took them so long?”

 

Builder Magazine Features OX-IS as a Solution to 2×6 Constrution

2X4 FRAMING, 2.0

Who needs 2x6s? It’s easier than ever to meet energy code with 2×4 construction.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of 2×4 exterior wall construction are greatly exaggerated.

In fact, the outlook for 2×4 residential construction has never been brighter in spite of tough R-20 exterior wall code standards.

That’s good news to scores of local, regional and national home builders that swear by 2×4 construction. Not so long ago, many home builders feared they would be forced to scrap building plans and well-established work flows in favor of 2×6 exterior wall construction.

What changed? How did 2×4 construction go from intensive care to viability in many markets?

Say thanks to next-generation insulated structural sheathing. This game-changing framing advance rewrites the rules of what is possible from 2×4 framing. Overnight, home builders now have a strategy that can save them from a needless and difficult 2×6 framing transition.

Those observations and others are offered by Lee Bybee, a trained architect, MBA, and director of national accounts for OX Engineered Products, a leading U.S. manufacturer of wall system products.

“Most of the country has converted to R-20 exterior wall assembly,” says Bybee. “However there’s about 50% of the country that still builds with 2×4 construction.”

Why Transition?

Bybee says the push for R-20 compliance nationwide means 2×4 builders and component manufacturers must find a way to preserve their familiar 2×4 construction workflow without sacrificing the latest energy code standards.

Is that even possible?

Absolutely, reports Bybee. In fact, a surprising number of production builders are already doing just that or, more surprisingly, actively considering switching back to 2×4 studs from 2x6s.

Code-Compliant 2×4 Construction

“National and regional production builders realize they don’t have to sacrifice budgets and margins on 2×6 construction. The key is using structural continuous insulated sheathing instead of OSB to meet energy code,” says Bybee.

For example, Bybee’s company manufacturers a structural continuous insulated sheathing product called OX-IS. OX-IS outperforms OSB R-value performance by up to 1,100%, helping make “the wall cavity question” largely irrelevant, says Bybee. OX-IS also performs four-wall assembly functions in a single pass around the home – structural support, water and air barrier, and insulation (up to R-6). OX-IS sheathing is also just a third of the weight of OSB, a huge transportation advantage for component manufacturers.

2×4 2.0

Bybee says his company has relationships with most of the Top-10 national builders on code-compliant 2×4 construction. One builder is even looking to transition back over to 2×4. “We work with a lot of regional guys too,” Bybee adds.

Call it 2×4 2.0. For production-minded home builders and component manufacturers, the way forward with code-compliant 2×4 construction never looked more promising or profitable.

To learn more about energy code-compliant 2×4 construction with next-generation insulated structural sheathing, visit www.oxep.com