Product Review

Invelope: A Breakthrough in Exterior Commercial Wall Assemblies?

Invelope is a steel and foam panel that serves as a moisture and vapor barrier, drainage plane, and insulation while also providing a mounting system for brick veneer or terra-cotta cladding.

Invelope is a unique steel and foam panel installed behind brick veneer or terra cotta in metal-framed commercial buildings. The panel serves as a moisture and vapor barrier, drainage plane, and insulation while also providing a mounting system for brick veneer or terra-cotta cladding. Manufactured by Centria, Invelope is certified Cradle-to-Cradle Silver by MBDC (see EBN Feb. 2007), using the same steel-wrapped polyisocyanurate foam construction as the company‚Äôs Formawall panels. As a backup wall, this one-piece design offers some distinct advantages over traditional assemblies.

One of the most common ways to create a commercial backup wall for steel-stud construction combines exterior drywall; an air, water, and vapor barrier; and rigid or semi-rigid insulation board. This system creates a thermal break between insulation and studs as well as a rainscreen with air space and a drainage plane that allows moisture driven behind the cladding to escape. After the backup wall is complete, masons secure anchors into the studs to support the bricks, penetrating through the insulation, barriers, and gypsum. Maintaining a weather-tight seal during installation of all the components by different trades can be a significant challenge, and once the brick is installed, air, moisture, and thermal problems are difficult to assess and remediate.

Published August 28, 2009