Rafn's Latest and Greatest Product Reviews
Here are 3 products that we have recently used or will be using on our projects that we think are interesting. Each was created and used in response to a need in the marketplace, whether for convenience, safety, or ease of installation.
FlameBlock Fire Rated OSB Sheathing
By Gregg George, Rafn Senior Superintendent
Our new multi-family building in Wallingford is our first application of FlameBlock, fire-rated oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing. It is easy to spot because of it's white coating. This coating is Pyrotite, which slows the spread of flame and heat. The Pyrotite also seals within each sheet two quarts of water. This helps with the burn-through rating. Pyrotite is a non-combustable, non-toxic, inorganic material designed for this use. The cementitious compound releases water when exposed to heat, helping to cool the fire.
This sheathing is a compliant component of 1 and 2 hour fire rated interior and exterior wall and roof deck assemblies. Here at Wallingford it adds the structural (shear) value to certain walls, and also eliminates two layers of exterior gypsum sheathing, saving money and time. FlameBlock is rated as a 15 minute thermal barrier, and Exposure 1 rated to withstand moisture. Like any OSB, it is viewed as sustainable due to it's recycled content. And as with any product that saves time, I'm sure FlameBlock's use will increase as designers begin to specify it more.
More information at lpcorp.com/products/panels/lp-flameblock-fire-rated-osb-sheathing
Sport Court Flooring by Court Development Inc.
By Marc Mortenson, Rafn Superintendent
At our Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church renovation project we installed a basketball court style flooring in the Gym called Sport Court, which is made by Court Development Inc. Sport Court flooring consists of interlocking, 1' x 1' x 1/2" thick tiles that are installed over 1/4" foam padding. Each tile is made of injection molded plastic and is hollow underneath with a framework of reinforcing ribs.
The Sports Court flooring system had several advantages over hardwood flooring for use at this facility: material and installation costs were about half of what it would have cost to install a hardwood floor; no surface preparation was required for the existing slab-on-grade (which was unreinforced, cracked, uneven and had no vapor barrier); installation requires no special tools and could be installed with basic carpentry skills; and individual tiles could be removed and replaced in a matter of minutes with a putty knife.
More information at sportcourtwa.com/gymflooring.shtml
A/C Unit Vent Ports
By Joe Nascimento, Rafn Senior Project Manager
This air conditioner unit vent port allows the machine to be used without the need to modify windows, a convenient way to incorporate a portable air conditioning unit into a tenant's space on an as-needed basis. The port also closes when not in use and is sealed well so that it passes building pressurization tests. Combined with a dedicated GFCI outlet nearby, this set-up is the ultimate in convenience for those hot summer days, as well as having a minimal impact to a housing unit.