DuPont: Tackling Global Energy Issues One Home at a Time
When building a home, it’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics and flashy technologies involved, yet often the things under the surface can be the most important. They affect functionality, efficiency, safety and the comfort of a home. DuPont understands this fact better than most, and designs full house weatherization systems that improve the energy efficiency, durability, and performance of any building, while remaining quietly behind the walls.
A Sustainable Leader on All Fronts
DuPont designs products that inherently help to increase sustainability and they make it an integral part of their operations. From how they power their facilities, the materials in their products, to the way they interact with builders, DuPont tries to make sustainability a key part of all their decisions. DuPont like others has set the goal of having carbon neutral operations by 2050, but where they differ is in the efforts they have already made, and continue to make, to reach this goal.
One of the most notable progressions towards this goal is DuPont’s use of diverse renewable energy sources to power many of its different facilities. DuPont’s Nutrition and Bioscience site in Denmark has replaced its coal-fired fuel sources with sustainably sourced wood chips and both DuPont’s sites in Spain acquire 100% of their energy through renewable sources. Many other DuPont facilities have begun transitioning to renewable energy sources as well.
Products that Speak for Themselves
DuPont upholds sustainability values in their products as well, “Whenever we develop a new product, we have a sustainability checklist” says Laura Dwyer, New Business Development Leader, for DuPont’s Performance Building Solutions Portfolio.
“We continually completely invent categories of products, like we invented the wrap category to make buildings more durable… and it was sold as an air barrier to improve energy efficiency even before we realized how important managing water is for durability.”
HomeWrap: An Iconic Weather Barrier
DuPont has continued to redefine its HomeWrap system since its inception, which has led to a product that does far more than what was initially intended. DuPont’s Tyvek HomeWrap system is designed with a unique, non-woven, structure that keeps air and water out, while still allowing water vapor to escape. This keeps insulation dry, allowing it to perform closer to its intended R-value.
More Than Just Tape
To help secure the places in which the HomeWrap doesn’t cover such as windows and doors, DuPont has Flashing Tape to seal the building envelope. Much like the HomeWrap, DuPont’s Flashing Tape helps to protect from water damage, and covers the nooks and crannies where air can creep in. It can be installed in temperatures as low as 25°F and can handle UV exposure for up to 120 days.
Protection from Every Angle
As a final level of security DuPont’s Tyvek Weatherization Systems combine the use of multiple products to provide a water and air barrier on the inside of the walls. This weatherization system is made up of products like DuPont’s Flex Wrap, Wrap Cap fasteners, and DuPont’s Water-Resistive Barriers (WRB). All of these products are made to allow for complete coverage of a surface no matter of obtuse angles and objects. DuPont’s Weatherization System does this by tightly wrapping and sealing to varying surfaces through custom cutting the flex wrap material to the size of awkward objects. Once these surfaces are warped either DuPont’s Tyvek Wrap Caps or Tape can be used to secure it in place finalizing the water-resistant and air barrier.
“Where I think we differentiate from our competition is really beyond the material itself,” ” says Laura Dwyer. “It’s that we engineer full systems… Not only do we create the system we have a network of 165 specialists in the field that can help our customers install.”
Green Builder and DuPont
Ron Jones, the President of Green Builder Media, knew DuPont was the preferred way to go for weatherization on his Mariposa Meadows project in the wilds of Colorado. The company also will be installing product in the ReVISION House Scottsdale, under the supervision of building scientist Steve Easley. Green Builder has been working with DuPont for over four decades, using their systems in many of their projects to increase energy efficiency, durability, and the longevity of their homes.
“DuPont’s suite of weatherization products provide solid peace of mind that the structure is enjoying maximum protection that will last far into the life of the building. They have taken the guesswork out of the process with a set of integrated components and the technical support to assist when necessary.” said Ron Jones.
“With the products we use at Mariposa, it's really around making sure that we build an air and watertight envelope, and when you make it airtight you improve the energy efficiency of the structure by not allowing alpine air to come in and rob your heating and cooling” says Laura Dwyer.
DuPont isn’t only focused on energy efficiency either, with Ron Jones saying “The growing body of building science has shown us that energy efficiency and durability go hand in hand when DuPont’s solutions are applied.” and “The installation is easy to learn, predictable and consistent. These qualities give builders tremendous confidence that their projects will perform well.”
As a concluding note Laura Dwyer said, “I have really enjoyed the Mariposa project and working with Green Builder Media. I think they are leaders in trying to help change how we build to be more sustainable, more durable, and have less impact on our environment”
For the Buyer, the Builder, and the Environment
DuPont makes increasing the sustainability of your home easy by providing all the weatherization products you need in one place and offering in field installation support, all while pushing for sustainable endeavors from the sourcing of materials, manufacturing processes, to corporate initiatives. “Buildings use 40% of the energy in the world, so anything we can do to help reduce that, we feel is a move in the right direction” says Laura Dwyer.
Not only is reducing buildings energy use incredibly important for the environment, it is also economically beneficial for individual home builders and buyers. By using DuPont’s line of weatherization products, you can lower your energy bills from increased efficiency, protect your home from water damage, and increase the durability of your home by cutting down on repairs and helping it to hold market value. “We are looking at solutions for all six sides of a building, to help improve the overall performance for energy efficiency and ventilate appropriately to improve IAQ” says Laura Dwyer.
DuPont helps to make homes safe and comfortable for buyers, helps builders gain the knowledge they need through in field support, and prioritizes the environment both on the corporate side and through the products they produce.