BASF is harnessing chemistry in its building envelopes to better the environmental footprint of structures, inside and out.

Against the elements

Whether it's air barriers, roof coatings, or waterproofing, building envelopes are integral to ensuring a building is energy efficient.

BASF has multiple products in its building envelope portfolio that deliver a significant sustainability benefit.

Solar reflective roof coatings, like Acronal® 4250, reflect the sun's energy and extend the life of the roof, allowing lower energy bills and reducing waste sent to the landfill. Liquid-applied air barriers like Acronal® 4511 prevent air, water, and moisture intrusion to keep occupants draft-free and more consistently comfortable. They are also one of the most economical ways to reduce energy bills and conserve natural resources. According to the United States Department of Energy (USDOE), buildings account for 39% of energy consumption, even more than transportation (28%).

Products like Instant Set® 4551 and Quick-Trigger® 4333 are patented technologies that take acrylic roof coatings to a new level. Instant Set 4551 is a one-pass technology that creates a high build in a single coating, greatly reducing labor and the carbon footprint that comes with an additional day's work applying another coat. Quick-Trigger 4333 is an additive used for achieving quick rain resistance, protecting the product from the costly expense of a ruined job due to an unexpected shower.

Waterproofing is another important pillar of building envelopes, protecting against water intrusion, preventing mold and mildew buildup, and reducing the energy load on HVAC equipment.

"The amount of moisture you get transported through a hole or leak versus through a piece of gypsum board is about 400,000 times more," says Eric O'Bryan, Market Segment Manager, Building Envelope, Construction Solutions at BASF, referencing a recent analysis from the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA). "You have to make sure your building is sealed up well and our products allow that to happen."

O'Bryan mentions how acResins used in construction as an adhesive for roofing membranes and air weather barriers has also moved into the building envelope category via a peel-and-stick version. "They found that it can save a tremendous amount of labor," he adds.

An evolving standard

As expected, environmental codes and standards are constantly on the move. O'Bryan shares how BASF sets the bar high in keeping up with those. As well as actively transitioning away from materials like APEO, he explains how formulations are altered and revisited to be more sustainable in the market.

Our roofing products are a very economical way to reduce energy costs and extend the life of the roof, reducing the high carbon footprint of replacing a roof and sending the waste to a landfill.

Eric O'Bryan

Market Segment Manager, Building Envelope, Construction Solutions at BASF

"We just did an analysis of our product line to see how it would stack up against others in the industry," O'Bryan says. "We believe our acrylic adhesive is the only solvent-free adhesive that has high strength at temperatures for roof membranes and allows jobs to be completed at a broader temperature range, which saves labor and keeps projects moving forward. Our customers have found it saves as much as 75% of labor costs."

A holistic look at sustainability

O'Bryan says that he thinks about sustainability holistically, and it's that approach that drives innovation at BASF.

"Our roofing products are a very economical way to reduce energy costs and extend the life of the roof, reducing the high carbon footprint of replacing a roof and sending the waste to a landfill," he says.

"By preventing that for 10 to 20 years, it's a great environmental benefit. Likewise, what we're doing on the waterproofing side, preventing water intrusion that can cause damage to materials where you have to rip out your basement or lower level, has tremendous environmental benefit."

Read how BASF is innovating to protect structures against the elements and explore the products in our portfolio.

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