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Air and vapour barrier solutions for challenging weather conditions.

Mike Young, founder of Birkshire Developments, standing outside of building covered in 3M™ Air Barrier product.

Twenty years ago, Mike Young was working as a successful carpenter and bricklayer in Nova Scotia.

As the years progressed and he gained experience, he noticed a rising interest in his construction expertise. After receiving requests for assistance, he made the decision to start his own company.

Fast forward to today, and the company he created, Birkshire Developments, has been an established contractor at the top of its game for decades.

With countless years of experience in the construction industry, Young knows that the working conditions of a building project can range from sub-zero temperatures to extreme heat. The success of a job depends on a variety of factors. Anything from unpredictable weather to other unforeseen challenges can arise at any time.

Battling the elements.

Difficult weather conditions can make daily tasks difficult. However, when your company’s success relies on the ability to thrive in the cold, the stakes are higher. Challenging elements shouldn’t stop your projects – and your materials need to work as hard as you do.

Young and his team have experienced the challenges of working in freezing temperatures firsthand. In January 2019, they were in the process of completing a building project in Halifax that would put them, and the products they were using, to the ultimate test. Knowing the project timeline required the air barrier membrane application to take place in the middle of winter, Young had to be sure that the product he chose wouldn’t hinder the process.

Young relied on 3M’s Air Barrier technologies because they are designed to help contractors and installers to build smarter every day. The proprietary acrylic adhesive is specially formulated to stick at temperatures ranging from -18oC to 66oC, while also being UV-resistant for up to 12 months.

“3M™ Air Barrier with Permeable Backing 3015VP was great to work with in the winter time. The consistency of this product remained the same whether it was -15oC or warmer,” Mike says. “With 3M™ Air Barrier with Permeable Backing 3015VP, there were very few days over the course of the winter in which my guys could not install product due to the weather.”

Maximising workday efficiencies.

Along with freezing temperatures, the winter season also comes with the added obstacle of shorter workdays due to fewer hours of sunlight. Time is money, so it’s increasingly important that the products you’re using can be applied easily and efficiently.

The membrane that Young chose for the Halifax project, 3M™ Air Barrier with Permeable Backing 3015VP, can be installed either vertically or horizontally. It also includes a peel-off liner so that no time-consuming primers are needed. These features made the difference between project delays and finishing ahead of schedule.

“My team really enjoyed working with 3M™ Air Barrier with Permeable Backing 3015VP. The reverse wound roll sped up the installation and saved critical time,” Young explained. “Priming in freezing temperatures is always a huge challenge, so not having to use a primer was another major factor on why we went with this product.”

3M products are easy to apply to help you make the most of available work time. This improved installation technology enabled the team to complete the more than 40,000 square foot job ahead of schedule – besting the end date that Young had initially budgeted for by one and a half months.

Another incentive that helped keep the team on schedule? Cash bonuses. On every project that Birkshire Developments completes, they offer a cash bonus to crew members if more than six rolls of membrane are installed per day.

“This was our first job using 3M™ Air Barrier with Permeable Backing 3015VP and I was surprised at how often I had to pay up!” Mike recalls. “The guys hit the target more times than not – and that was with only a two-man crew. There were even a few days that they were able to install over ten rolls of product, which had been unheard of before we tried out 3M products.”build smarter air barrier technology application

Navigating detailing and window installation challenges.

The detailing of windows, doors, and other penetrations is another crucial part of construction projects. Even for those who are experts at flashing and sealing, certain hard-to-reach areas can prove to be a challenge.

The project in Halifax required Young’s team to handle everything from the overall window installation to the flashing. He knew that his skilled crew would be successful from start to finish, but he wanted to ensure that he was equipping them with a product that would help simplify the entire process and get the job done right.

Knowing this, he selected 3M™ Air and Vapour Barrier 3015 for the window flashing. 3M flashing accessories are extremely conformable and elongate in multiple directions, so you can get a good seal around corners and awkward shapes. It is also compatible with multiple substrates, so you have fewer worries about sticking to all the materials that come together in one place.

“Since we were also installing the windows on this building, we had absolute control over the application of the product to confirm there was no leakage. We really liked the strong adhesive because it allowed us to ensure that we had a complete seal on all of the windows,” Young said. “With 3M™ Air and Vapour Barrier 3015, we didn’t have to worry about adding too much additional product, so everything fit together perfectly.”

With high quality materials that streamlined the application process, the installation time was almost 50% faster than normal – satisfying everyone from Young and his crew to the developer.

Whether you’re facing extreme temperatures or complex penetrations, you need to know that you can rely on your products as much as you rely on your team. After implementing 3M’s Air Barrier products throughout the Halifax project, Young has found a secret weapon he can count on to build smarter. Any day. Every day.

Learn more about air and vapour barrier solutions.

To learn how 3M can help you build smarter, visit our page.

About the Author

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