Building Science

2017 Top Texas Building Designs Stress Energy Efficiency and Severe Weather Resistance

In 2017, the top new con­struc­tion design trends in Texas aim to improve the energy effi­cien­cy and weather resis­tance in buildings. The one design trend in new con­struc­tion that umbrellas all the others is creating con­tin­u­ous­ly insulated, solid, and airtight building envelopes. The envelope is the thermal barrier that controls the flow of heat, moisture, and air between the exterior and interior of a building. The building envelope includes the walls, roof, windows and doors. The top 2017 Texas building design trends in new con­struc­tion stress energy effi­cien­cy and weather resis­tance in the walls, roofs, doors, and windows.

Energy Efficient and Weather Resistant Walls — a Top Texas Building Trend of 2017

Selection and proper instal­la­tion of energy efficient exterior walls are essential to con­struct­ing an insulated, airtight building envelope. The outer wall must resist thermal bridging and meet the 2015 IECC minimum R‑value require­ments for con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion. The exterior walls must also resist damage from wind, water, and debris during dangerous weather events. A wall assembly that reflects the 2017 building trends in Texas, with its excep­tion­al energy efficient and storm resistant features, is the Bautex™ Block Wall System.

Bautex Blocks stop thermal bridging, improve energy effi­cien­cy and resist damage from wind, rain, and debris.

Energy Efficient and Weather Resistant Windows — a Top Texas Building Trend of 2017

Windows and doors bring the outdoors inside. These openings create a natural and warm ambiance to any space. Energy-efficient windows also help lessen the heating, cooling, and lighting costs of a building. Ulti­mate­ly the energy effi­cien­cy of doors and windows is dependent on their frame, glass, design, ori­en­ta­tion and instal­la­tion. In Texas, max­i­miz­ing energy savings requires the use of windows and doors that have both low whole-unit U‑factors and low whole-unit Solar Heat Gain Coef­fi­cients (SHGC). ENERGY STAR gives rec­om­mend­ed U‑factors and SHGC for specific regions in the United States.

  • The U‑factor is the heat flow resis­tance factor of a window, door or skylight. It is the rate of non-solar heat flow through a window, door or skylight. The lower the U‑factor, the more energy-efficient the window, door or skylight.
  • The SHGC is the solar radiation that comes through a window. The lower a window’s SHGC, the less solar heat it transmits.

Because much of Texas is prone to hur­ri­canes and high wind events, windows and doors in Texas must be able to withstand damaging winds and flying debris. In fact, the 2015 Inter­na­tion­al Building Code (IBC) and Inter­na­tion­al Res­i­den­tial Code (IRC) require impact-resistant windows that have the strength to resist high wind speeds and damage from water and debris. A certified impact resistant windows must meet guide­lines set by the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM): ASTM E1886 and ASTM E1996. In Texas, new windows and doors must be both energy efficient and have the strength to resist high winds and damaging debris during dangerous weather events.

Energy Efficient and Weather Resistant Roofing — a Top Texas Building Trend of 2017

Building-Inte­grat­ed Pho­to­voltaics (BIPV) are trending in roofing materials in 2017. Pho­to­voltaics capture energy from the sun and converts it into elec­tric­i­ty. Solar tech­nol­o­gy saves energy, money and slows global warming.

In Texas, dangerous winds are a con­sid­er­a­tion in roofing design. Trending today are roofing tiles, which mimic wood and slate and can also resist high winds, hail and more. They are simple to install and have a Class A fire resis­tance, defined by the ASTM E108 standard. Ther­mo­plas­tic poly­olefin (TPO) single-ply roofing membranes are also gaining pop­u­lar­i­ty. TPO is heat-reflec­tive, energy-efficient roofing that is extremely durable and impact resistant during high wind events. A top con­sid­er­a­tion 2017 roofing trends are energy effi­cien­cy and durability.

The top Texas building design in 2017 takes into account a build­ing’s entire envelope: the walls, door, windows and roof. In 2017, a build­ing’s envelope is energy efficient, weather resistant, and durable. The Bautex Wall System is the perfect product to represent the 2017 top Texas building design trends.