Alternatives to Conventional Z-Girts
With renewed interest in producing green buildings, ASHRAE is pushing the industry by continuously 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 are being tasked 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, reduced heating and cooling costs and, often, greater 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 major role, and 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 quite a few advantages over conventional Z-girts.
The fiberglass composite of StronGirt uses a custom fire-retardant resin system and unique laminate design to offer 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 of the main factors that contribute to energy loss are leakage and thermal bridge. Until recently thermal bridging has been ignored, however, today reducing thermal bridging has become a major focus.
When metal stud frames are used, the effective 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 really have continuous insulation in your project”? ASHRAE defines “continuous” as “without thermal bridging with an exception 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 themselves 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 the insulation is supported by the StronGirt itself, no fasteners are driven through the insulation panels, which is 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 eliminating condensation.
#2 EASY INSTALLATION
Installing conventional insulation systems can be a time-consuming and difficult 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 features a built-in tab that secures the insulation in place. This universal cladding attachment system allows almost any type of cladding to be attached directly to the StronGirt, and can be installed over almost any substrate, including masonry or metal surfaces.
By reducing the installation time, StronGirt can lead to lower labor costs and avoid unnecessary project delays.
#3 SUPERIOR DURABILITY
Steel is subject to corrosion and electrochemical reactions that will 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 impermeable to corrosion or electrochemical reactions
They are fire rated, meeting 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 unique laminate design that makes it environmentally friendly. You can also earn points toward LEED certification, thanks to the use of 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 amount of 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 can be recovered in as little as 2 to 10 years
#5 WIDE COMPATIBILITY
Traditional metal Z-Girts are not necessarily compatible with all types of insulation systems, substrates or cladding systems. StronGirt can be used 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. The product has been engineered for strength and stiffness to support cladding, insulation, and withstand wind loads, while offering a simple, durable and cost effective solution for installers.