A continuous air barrier shall be provided throughout the building thermal envelope. The air barriers shall be permitted to be located on the inside or outside of the building envelope, located within the assemblies composing the envelope, or any combination thereof. The air barrier shall comply with Sections C402.5.1.1 and C402.5.1.2.
Exception: Air barriers are not required in buildings located in Climate Zone 2B.
The continuous air barrier shall be constructed to comply with the following:
- The air barrier shall be continuous for all assemblies that are the thermal envelope of the building and across the joints and assemblies.
- Air barrier joints and seams shall be sealed, including sealing transitions in places and changes in materials. The joints and seals shall be securely installed in or on the joint for its entire length so as not to dislodge, loosen or otherwise impair its ability to resist positive and negative pressure from wind, stack effect and mechanical ventilation.
- Penetrations of the air barrier shall be caulked, gasketed or otherwise sealed in a manner compatible with the construction materials and location. Joints and seals associated with penetrations shall be sealed in the same manner or taped or covered with moisture vapor-permeable wrapping material. Sealing materials shall be appropriate to the construction materials being sealed and shall be securely installed around the penetration so as not to dislodge, loosen or otherwise impair the penetrations’ ability to resist positive and negative pressure from wind, stack effect and mechanical ventilation. Sealing of concealed fire sprinklers, where required, shall be in a manner that is recommended by the manufacturer. Caulking or other adhesive sealants shall not be used to fill voids between fire sprinkler cover plates and walls or ceilings.
- Recessed lighting fixtures shall comply with Section C402.5.8. Where similar objects are installed that penetrate the air barrier, provisions shall be made to maintain the integrity of the air barrier.
Materials with an air permeability not greater than 0.004 cfm/ft2 (0.02 L/s • m2) under a pressure differential of 0.3 inch water gauge (75 Pa) when tested in accordance with ASTM E 2178 shall comply with this section. Materials in Items 1 through 16 shall be deemed to comply with this section, provided joints are sealed and materials are installed as air barriers in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Plywood with a thickness of not less than 3/8 inch (10 mm).
- Oriented strand board having a thickness of not less than 3/8 inch (10 mm).
- Extruded polystyrene insulation board having a thickness of not less than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm).
- Foil-back polyisocyanurate insulation board having a thickness of not less than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm).
- Closed-cell spray foam a minimum density of 1.5 pcf (2.4 kg/m3) having a thickness of not less than 11/2 inches (38 mm).
- Open-cell spray foam with a density between 0.4 and 1.5 pcf (0.6 and 2.4 kg/m3) and having a thickness of not less than 4.5 inches (113 mm).
- Exterior or interior gypsum board having a thickness of not less than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm).
- Cement board having a thickness of not less than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm).
- Built-up roofing membrane.
- Modified bituminous roof membrane.
- Fully adhered single-ply roof membrane.
- A Portland cement/sand parge, or gypsum plaster having a thickness of not less than 5/8 inch (15.9 mm).
- Cast-in-place and precast concrete.
- Fully grouted concrete block masonry.
- Sheet steel or aluminum.
- Solid or hollow masonry constructed of clay or shale masonry units.
Assemblies of materials and components with an average air leakage not greater than 0.04 cfm/ft2 (0.2 L/s • m2) under a pressure differential of 0.3 inch of water gauge (w.g.)(75 Pa) when tested in accordance with ASTM E 2357, ASTM E 1677 or ASTM E 283 shall comply with this section. Assemblies listed in Items 1 through 3 shall be deemed to comply, provided joints are sealed and the requirements of Section C402.5.1.1 are met.
- Concrete masonry walls coated with either one application of block filler or two applications of a paint or sealer coating.
- Masonry walls constructed of clay or shale masonry units with a nominal width of 4 inches (102 mm) or more.
- A Portland cement/sand parge, stucco or plaster not less than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) in thickness.