LP FlameBlock Sheathing Used in Active Adult Townhome Community
Originally published by: LP Building Solutions — July 9, 2019
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Fleming Homes is a home building business specializing in new construction with operations in Raleigh, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee. Their team of professionals shares a common passion for quality, integrity, creative foresight, and dedication to their homeowners.
In July 2017, Fleming Homes started work on The Tapestry, a 99-unit townhome project designed for active adults, located in Garner, North Carolina. For the partition walls separating the townhome units, they used LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing in a UL Design No. 350 Type B assembly for a 2-hour partition wall that is fire rated on both sides.
Prior to this job, Fleming Homes COO Wayne Baker had used partition walls using shaft wall liner, commonly referred to as “shaft walls.”
“We were looking for an alternative to the shaft wall application because they are so difficult and aggravating to build,” said Baker. “A dealer rep at BMC told us about the FlameBlock assembly as an alternative. The city codes council reviewed the plans and found them fire code compliant.”
BMC Market Sales Manager Mike Hunsaker had learned about the LP FlameBlock U350 assembly at a marketing event about three years prior. “We hosted an LP Road Show where FlameBlock sheathing was featured,” said Hunsaker. “We learned more about FlameBlock through the LP sales reps and have started promoting it because of the quality and the labor savings that it brings to the U350 assembly.”
They were also looking for a product that would help with sound control, which is a major concern for the active adult community. “The typical ‘active adult’ is a 55+ homeowner moving into a connected unit from a single-family stand-alone home. Many have never lived in a multifamily community. They are very worried about sound control.”
In July 2017, Fleming Homes began work on the The Tapestry’s 99 townhomes. The individual units varied from 1,600 to 2,500 square feet. Approximately 2,000 square feet or 62 sheets of LP FlameBlock sheathing were used.
According to Baker, the installation went very smoothly. “Because of the ease of installation and the simplicity of the product, it saved us a lot of time. The process has gone much faster than the traditional shaft walls.”
Baker was also happy to see that the LP FlameBlock wall assembly would help with sound mitigation. “We’re going to be using the resilient channel to improve the sound reduction,” said Baker. “We did a lot of research into the active adult market. As you know, they’re popping up everywhere. I think this is going be a really good product to use knowing it has both sound and safety benefits.”
Recent product testing conducted by LP Building Products and Intertek, a product testing and certification company, showed that the UL U350 Type B assembly well-exceeded the code minimum for sound transmission with an STC rating of 62. Not only does this wall assembly carry an impressive STC rating, it also provides greater design flexibility compared to the traditional partition wall assembly using shaft wall liner. In the UL U350 Type B assembly, the two-sided layer of LP FlameBlock sheathing eliminates the heavy, 1-inch-thick gypsum and associated hardware, resulting in labor and material cost savings plus a reduction in dead load when compared to shaft wall.
It also proved to be more cost-effective when working with sub-contractors and outside laborers.
“Shaft walls use fire tape. They’re extremely cumbersome to build,” continued Baker. “Framers don’t like to build them so they charge you more per square foot just to build it. It’s just a more expensive system to use than the FlameBlock system.”
The Tapestry is expected to be completed by July 2020 and will have five distinctive villas with craftsman-style architecture and stone accents. In addition to the 99 townhome units, there will be a clubhouse featuring a card room, large stone fireplace, fitness room, and conference room that will serve as a gathering place for the community.
Baker says he plans to use LP FlameBlock sheathing on any projects that require a partition wall in the future. “Even the name ‘FlameBlock’ itself speaks volumes. If we can reassure these active adults that we’ve done everything we can for the safety and the fire rating and we use the resilient channel to cut down on the sound, we’ve met two of their biggest concerns.”