Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Vapor Barrier and Wall Systems

Because of the construction industry’s independent nature, technology typically lags. This means that roll out of new products, even some that really work, can be slow.

One of the new systems we have discovered with our multifamily projects is ZIP System. Sheathing installation followed by a “housewrap” vapor barrier had been the industry standard for years. The Zip sheathing comes with an integrated air and vapor barrier, thereby eliminating the previous two-step process. Once the Zip sheathing is applied, a water and UV resistant tape is used at the seams. We hang the panels, apply tape and we are done. The cost savings are significant, both on the initial labor and energy efficiency for the life of the building.

While traditional methodologies have worked well with the various vapor wraps, believe this one should allow us to streamline the process a bit more.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.