Commercial buildings take advantage of a number of special technologies that are not always included in the construction of the conventional home. A large majority of the efforts are directed towards increasing efficiency and making the regulation of the internal environments much easier. Although some of these products can present considerable costs upfront, the investment is quickly offset in the savings that can be seen in the bottom line for energy consumption.
Air barriers are one prominent example of such a technology whose design has revolutionized the idea of insulation. The average home or apartment building does little more than incorporate a layer of fiberglass padding to increase the ability of the building to maintain its internal temperature. However, air barriers create an extra layer of protection that inhibits the transfer of hot and cold temperatures from the exterior environment into the internal space. In addition to guarding against extremes in temperature, air barriers provide excellent protection against damaging moisture and condensation.
Air barriers are typically installed as part of a comprehensive system of control that falls under the category of weatherization. The abilities of air barriers to provide superior protection in addition to allowing for the escape of internal water vapor make these components in building design valuable installations. There are a variety of products that can serve as the raw materials for creating air barriers on building exteriors. The key characteristics that the majority of the systems have in common are their ability to trap air in a small space in order to prevent the transfer of environmental elements. The most basic example of this type of technology is double-plated window glass that is meant to lower heating and cooling costs in the residential setting.
As the green movement fully begins to take effect in the world of business and sustainable energy practices become a necessity, we are only seeing an increase in the use of this type of weatherization. The popularity of acquiring high marks in the LEED accreditation system is also encouraging the growth. Effective air barriers earn companies considerable numbers of points within the independently-scored, LEED certification system. Air barriers are typically installed by professionals during the initial stages of construction. However, specialized products that create air barriers can be installed on existing structures. Companies whose concern is retrofitting or renovating buildings in order to increase their efficiency ratings are well-versed in assessing the possibilities for incorporating air barriers into any potential project.