Alternatives to Conventional Z-Girts
With renewed interest in producing green buildings, ASHRAE is pushing the industry by raising the bar on performance criteria for building envelope systems. Initiatives such as the AIA 2030 Commitment and the Department of Energy Building Technologies Program’s energy-saving goals are pushing the industry towards Net-Zero solutions and low-passive design strategies to achieve maximum energy efficiency.
Architects and designers need to find and implement product solutions that support energy demands that are both practical and economical.
An efficient building has many benefits, including reduced energy usage, a lower environmental impact, and reduced heating and cooling costs. And often, more significant tax incentives. Exterior insulation is one of the most practical, economical, and cost-efficient ways to meet these requirements and provide improved thermal performance. However, attachment strategy plays a significant role. Selecting the wrong attachments can affect thermal performance, sequencing, and system cost.
As part of Strongwell’s continuous insulation system, the thermally insulated StronGirt sub-girt offers several advantages over conventional Z-girts.
The fiberglass composite of StronGirt uses a custom fire-retardant resin system. The unique laminate design offers superior pull-out strength, excellent thermal efficiency, and the ability to work with any non-proprietary insulation. It creates an energy-efficient and secure attachment system for the wall cladding and encapsulates the insulation completely, creating a weather-tight seal that reduces energy costs.
Here are a few of the reasons to use StronGirt in your next project instead of conventional Z-Girts:
#1 INCREASED ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Two main factors contributing to energy loss are leakage and thermal bridge. Until recently, thermal bridging has been ignored. However, today reducing thermal bridging has become a significant focus.
When metal stud frames are used, the practical R-value is reduced by over 40%, so continuous insulation is used to increase this value to meet ASHRAE and IECC codes. But the question arises, “Do you have continuous insulation in your project”? ASHRAE defines “continuous” as “without thermal bridging, except for fasteners.”
So, what happens when traditional z-girts pass through continuous insulation? It creates a breach in the cavity and compromises the enclosure creating an area for thermal bridging.
Because StronGirt is made with a 100% FRP system (no metal to rust or react to chemicals), the girts prevent heat from transferring between the interior and exterior of a building while providing an insulated surface for fastener attachments. StronGirt also features a double fastening system on the flange, providing a seal and securing the insulation. Because StronGirt supports the insulation, no fasteners are driven through the insulation panels, another common source of thermal bridging in other insulation systems.
By eliminating the common causes of thermal bridging, the StronGirt system provides a more efficient outer envelope for a building, reducing energy usage and condensation.
#2 EASY INSTALLATION
Installing conventional insulation systems can be a time-consuming and challenging process. Thanks to the innovative features of StronGirt, installation of the StrongWell system can take as little as a third of the time versus other conventional insulation systems. With fewer components than competing systems, the installation is simple and efficient.
StrongWell’s sub girts can be installed horizontally or vertically and feature a built-in tab that secures insulation. This universal cladding attachment system allows almost any type of cladding to be attached directly to the StronGirt. Subs can install over practically any substrate, including masonry or metal surfaces.
By reducing the installation time, StronGirt can lower labor costs and avoid unnecessary project delays.
#3 SUPERIOR DURABILITY
Steel is subject to corrosion and electrochemical reactions that weaken it over time, possibly leading to structural failure. Due to the composite construction of StronGirt, they are as strong as steel Z-girts in similar applications and are impervious to corrosion or electrochemical reactions.
They are fire-rated, meet Class 1, UL94 V0, and ASTM E84 standards, and support deadloads and wind loads of more than 100 pounds per square foot.
StronGirt uses a custom fire-retardant resin system and a unique laminate design that makes it environmentally friendly. You can also earn points toward LEED certification thanks to using environmentally conscious materials and thermal efficiency.
#4 REDUCED COSTS
The quick and easy installation process of StronGirt allows for immediate cost savings due to the lower labor required.
Over time the StronGirt system will significantly reduce heating and cooling costs due to the increased thermal performance over competing insulation systems. This leads to a reduction in energy costs over the life of a building, and the initial investment in the Strongwell system is recoverable in as little as 2 to 10 years.
#5 WIDE COMPATIBILITY
Traditional metal Z-Girts are incompatible with all insulation systems, substrates, or cladding systems. Contractors can use StronGirt with nearly any type of insulation, including Polyisocyanurate or polystyrene foam panels, mineral wool, or sprayed foam insulation.
StronGirt provides an attractive alternative to conventional Z-girt systems and their associated insulation and cladding systems. They are energy efficient, as strong as steel Z-girts, easy to install, environmentally friendly, and can reduce energy costs significantly over the lifetime of the building.
The geometry of STRONGIRT™ offers self-draining to clear rainwater, and weep holes can be prefabricated or added in the field for additional drainage needs. Engineered for strength and stiffness, it supports cladding and insulation. And it withstands wind loads while offering installers a simple, durable, cost-effective solution.