Business Advice7 min

Why Architects Value LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing in Multifamily Design

With its design flexibility, strength and cost-saving benefits, LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing has become a valuable product solution within the architectural community. As a code compliant component of 8 UL-listed and Intertek-listed wall assemblies, LP FlameBlock sheathing is being specified for multifamily projects as a valuable alternative to gypsum and other materials. Hear from a few architects on why they chose LP FlameBlock sheathing for their multifamily designs:

  • Denver-based national architecture and design firm Lantz-Boggio Architects used LP FlameBlock sheathing on Castle Pines, a 176-unit continuing care senior living campus. Dwight Miller, Associate Principal at Lantz-Boggio, explained why the 1-sided and 2-sided LP FlameBlock sheathing brought value to this design.

When using plywood or structural wood panels behind the gypsum sheathing on the exterior side of the wall, there is the material and labor cost to install at least two layers of sheathing, as well as the additional schedule time for installation and inspections of multiple layers. Secondly, to have a 2-hour exterior wall that is stacked below a 1-hour exterior wall would either require some means of transitioning between the change in plane, or to continue the third layer of gypsum sheathing up the 1-hour wall,” said Miller. “By using the 1-sided and 2-sided LP FlameBlock, I was able to overcome all of these obstacles with two products that are easily identifiable by the contractor (based on the 1-side or 2-side coating) and that install the same as regular plywood.” 

  • Grimm & Parker Architects used two-sided LP FlameBlock sheathing on a complex of student dormitories as an alternative to an assembly that would require two layers of gypsum. The design was complex, but with the two-sided LP FlameBlock sheathing, Project Manager Vinay Ganeshan was able to efficiently meet his design goals.

The structural engineer played an important role in this,” said Ganeshan. “It was a very intricate sheer design, and when they learned about the product they knew LP FlameBlock sheathing was the right choice.” 

  • Poole & Poole Architecture LLC built a 250-unit multifamily apartment complex using LP FlameBlock sheathing on the exterior walls. According to David Kelly, the Poole & Poole project manager, he recommends LP FlameBlock sheathing to others. According to Kelley, the biggest advantage of working with LP FlameBlock sheathing was that it only required a single layer of gypsum versus two layers of gypsum.

I would venture to say that the biggest advantage is the single layer,” said Kelly. “I have recommended LP FlameBlock in the past and will continue to do so.

Interested in specifying LP FlameBlock Fire-Rated Sheathing for your next project? Head over to Architect's Corner to learn which UL listed assembly is right for your project’s needs.

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Business Advice6 min

Why It’s Important To “Respect the Spec”

While it’s perfectly alright for a jazz musician to improvise, that approach doesn’t always work as well in homebuilding. Architects, specifiers, engineers and product reps spend many hours collaboratively choosing the right materials for each job – and an abrupt substitution to save a few dollars can ironically be very costly in terms of callbacks, design underperformance and even code violations. “Ideally, all parties involved – the architect, builder and developer – have reviewed the spec before it’s final and have agreed on all the products being used,” says Karen Alves, LP Brand Marketing Associate. “That’s because finding an ‘equivalent’ for siding or fire-rated sheathing involves not just the substrate but the codes that the product meets as well.”

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Business Advice4 min
Siding That’s a Cut Above

Siding installers use many different brands of circular saws, but their preferred saw may not be as important as the siding material they are cutting with it. Some builders can sometimes be a bit removed from the importance placed on saw choice and would probably rely on their subcontractors choice, like Brent Taylor. “I don’t have much of an opinion on that because I use subcontracted labor,” says Brent Taylor, owner of O.C. Taylor in Raleigh, North Carolina, who was featured in an episode of Designing Spaces on Lifetime Network renovating a century-old house using LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding.

Inspiration6 min
Budget-Friendly Architectural Styles for Modern Multifamily Builds

Masterfully achieving modern architectural styles in multifamily designs takes expertise and patience, especially when a tight budget competes with other design goals like staying on top of trends, addressing resident preferences, and seamlessly incorporating a desired look into a community. Dominic Rigosu of RIDA Architecture, PLLC, balanced all of these factors in a recent project. He designed Woodrow Wilson Townhomes, a 100-unit affordable housing development originally built in 1972 in Amsterdam, New York. It was surrounded by a mix of market-rate, well-maintained, single-family homes.