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Making the Air Barrier Argument for Tilt-Up by Kari Moosmann Photo courtesy Powers Brown Architecture FOR MANY YEARS, DESIGNERS AND CONTRACTORS HAVE ESPOUSED TILT- UP CONSTRUCTION FOR PROVIDING A MORE AIRTIGHT BUILDING ENVELOPE THAN COMPETING WALL ASSEMBLIES, SUCH AS WOOD AND METAL STUD WALL, METAL SIDING, AND CONCRETE AND BRICK MASONRY. NOW, CODE LANGUAGE MAY ALSO BE A SUPPORTING FACTOR. Air barrier requirements have become part of the 2012 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which demands performance testing of airtightness when approved construction assemblies or materials cannot be demonstrated. Once adopted by state and local code officials, all commercial buildings will need to comply with these requirements, including the ability to meet air leakage testing and verification parameters. Jim Baty, technical director for the Tilt-up Concrete Association (TCA), says the new energy standards will have significant impact. “At first glance, this new layer of performance seems a herculean task to deliver in the complex world of building construction,” he explains. “However, building technologies such as tilt-up concrete construction have decades of performance track records demonstrating the successful combination of envelope performance consistency and complex form and aesthetics. This is now essential to bring the elusive resolution to higher 64 the construction specifier | january 2013 CS_Jan2013.indd 64 12/12/12 9:35:19 AM