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.