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.