It's interesting how often we, as building professionals, talk with people, even sometimes tradespeople, and they don't understand what Building Paper and Wall Underlays are for, and how important these are for the integrity of the buildings weather tightness.
All flexible wall underlays (the generic term for Building Papers and Building Wraps) are designed for two main purposes;
Firstly, and most importantly, to repel condensation, stopping it entering the wall assembly. All claddings condensate, it's just a fact, timber does, bricks do, coloursteel does, and there's actually nothing anyone, including you, can do to stop this condensation occurring, wall underlays are there to manage this condensation and deal with it effectively so it doesn't cause any harm to the wall assembly.
Secondly, they are intended to slow air movement between the cavity behind the cladding (more on that another time) and wall assembly to try to reduce the effects of air driven moisture. (again, vacuum/air driven moisture is a topic for another day)
But wall underlays do have some major drawbacks,
Firstly, most of them are only guaranteed to last 25 years in "ideal conditions".... that might sound long, but it's really not when you think of the intended life of your home.
Secondly, they have no structural integrity, meaning they often need added support using plastic strapping to prevent the insulation causing the product to bulge into the wall cavity (very bad news if you're trying to keep things dry and well ventilated, like every good home should be!)
Third, they're easily ripped or torn and if a tradesperson misses this when installing the cladding, the underlay will be completely ineffective at repelling air and moisture from the wall assembly.
Fourth, it has little or no insulation value and actually detracts from the overall effectiveness of the wall to act as a passive insulator.
And finally, they are poor at preventing airflow, meaning air/vacuum driven moisture will enter the wall cavity at some stage in the buildings life.
So what to do? Hmmmm... don't worry, we've got he answer!
The Architects and Designers at Federation Homes wanted to come up with a solution to solve these problems, building a better houe. It doesn't seem right to leave your valuable homes weather tightness to a thin piece of fabric or sticky black paper stapled to the walls afterall.
And it wasn't long before the team developed FEDFRAME. Fedframe is Federation Homes own proprietary solid air barrier. It not only makes your home up to 7x stronger than an equivalent steel framed or timber framed home, but is also 100% impervious to air movement, condensation and vacuum pressures. Not to mention it adds a significant increase to your passive thermal efficiency (ie, it dramatically increases your insulation values).
What's more, it's a proven system, Federations design team didn't look forward for the answer, but back, to the experience of the past. Using a traditional, all treated timber frames overlayed with fully treated, structural timber outer, creating a "double skin", like you find on many high-end homes of yesteryear.
And how much does this all cost you? Nothing. That's right. Nothing. Because by using the system they've developed they're able to reduce materials wastage, buy in massive bulk and reduce labour time - all while making your home warmer and stronger.
OK, I'm biased, but the truth is, what's next is up to you. Either you're going to see the immense value in having a warmer, drier, stronger home using FEDFRAME, at no extra cost to you... or you can staple sticky black paper to your walls and hope it holds up to the rigours of the real world - I know what I'd be choosing!
Until next time