Orlando, Fla. — Plastic-related products got props at the International Builders' Show with a new sealant called AeroBarrier winning both its category of most innovative building product as well as the overall best-in-show award.
A panel of 27 independent judges selected the winners for the National Association of Home Builders' sixth annual Best of IBS Awards. The judges looked at 300 entries in nine categories and considered criteria based on innovation, functionality and good design.
Manufactured by a division of Aeroseal LLC, which is based in Centerville, Ohio, AeroBarrier is a synthetic, aerosol-applied sealant that acts as an air barrier around ceilings, walls, floors, doors, windows, and electrical and plumbing fixtures.
Sealing ducts, cracks and openings reduces energy use and improves indoor air quality and comfort. AeroBarrier can button the envelope of a 2,000-square-foot house in about two hours after window, door and electrical outlets are covered and the room is pressurized with a computer-controlled atomization system. When the spraying equipment is turned on, a fog of sealant particles travels to air gaps and holes and then fills them.
In addition to the IBS awards, AeroBarrier got rave reviews from the builders of this year's model of the New American Home, which showcases the latest construction and design trends. While it was the only product with a plastic tie to win IBS awards, several other nominees were in the running, including:
• Comfort Block, which is a 16-inch-thick insulated wall of lightweight concrete and expanded polystyrene with steel reinforcements that is billed as "German masonry technology." The three layers of EPS fill 7 ½ inches of the block, providing thermal performance in addition to resistance against mold, mildew, termites and even tornadoes and hurricanes, according to the website. Comfort Block, which was in the innovative building product category, is produced by Genest Concrete in Sanford, Maine.
• EZ SIPS Do-It-Yourself jobsite panels, which are structural insulated panels filled with EPS that has twice the thermal efficiency of fiberglass. The panels allow builders to insulate walls while they frame. EZ SIPS Corp. has offices in Toronto and Wilmington, Del., but the panels are produced at 25 associate facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada.
• MeshGuard, which is a polyester screen that has been approved as a guardrail infill and was a finalist for the best outdoor living product. The screen is strong enough to be installed below the hand rails of porches and balconies without vertical posts or pickets. It meets building codes and provides safety without obstructing views. This is a new product from ScreenTight, which is based in Georgetown, S.C.
• SharkBite EvoPEX plumbing system, which offers the first push-to-connect, rough-in plumbing for new construction using SharkBite cross-linked polyethylene pipe and valves. SharkBite is a brand of Reliance Worldwide Corp., which is based in Brisbane, Australia, and has a U.S. office in Atlanta. The plumbing system won a Spark Award from the NAHB's Leading Supplier Council ahead of becoming a finalist in the most innovative product category.
• Term Barriers, which is protective wrap made up of two layers of plastic and a sealant developed by Polyguard Products Inc. of Ennis, Texas, and entomologists at Texas A&M University. A thick polyethylene backing keeps out pests like termites, and a top layer of polypropylene fabric allows concrete to bond with the fibers if used as a barrier for the underslab or foundation. The Term system also can seal plumbing openings, bath traps, base flashing, window flashing, vent holes and flooring underlayment.