H Hotel

Dow Building Solutions

Home to The Dow Chemical Company headquarters, it is fitting that the city of Midland, Mich., is the site of the historic first exterior use of THERMAX™ (ci) Exterior Insulation. And the timing couldn’t be better, with the new ASHRAE prescriptive requirements for continuous insulation in most U.S. climate zones.

“For more than 30 years, THERMAX™ products have been widely recognized for excellent thermal performance in commercial, residential, agricultural and metal buildings as interior insulation and finish boards,” said Mike Kontranowski, senior market manager, Dow Building Solutions. “Based on its proven performance in high-humidity interior environments, we knew our heavy-duty THERMAX™ Insulation offered the right balance of durability, moisture resistance and insulation value for exterior sheathing applications.”

World-Class Destination

The 131-room H Hotel has earned a reputation as the Midland area’s most complete meeting and conference facility. Major renovation plans coincided with new management and a Dow leadership decision to locate its H.H. Dow Leadership Academy within the hotel, conveniently situated in the heart of downtown Midland and near the corporate headquarters. Plans called for The H to be transformed from a regional gem to a world-class conference center hotel destination, with a new fitness center, upscale signature restaurant and European-style bistro.

From the beautifully appointed guest rooms to the technologically advanced meeting spaces, every detail in The H was selected for the comfort, convenience and maximum enjoyment of its clientele. But the quality of the facility goes well beyond its amenities and inner beauty. The wall assembly plays a major role in creating and maintaining a comfortable indoor environment and a more sustainable building.

“A wall assembly featuring lightweight THERMAX™ (ci) Exterior Insulation offers a simpler, more energy-efficient alternative to the conventional gypsum-based wall system,” said Kontranowski. “Moreover, the heavy-duty THERMAX™ is highly durable and meets ASHRAE 90.1 prescriptive requirements for continuous insulation. We also recommend taping the sheathing joints with WEATHERMATE™ Straight Flashing to help further protect the wall assembly from moisture entry.”

THERMAX™ (ci) Exterior Insulation enables efficiency at many levels: simplified design, faster and easier installation – plus outstanding insulation value for reduced energy consumption year after year.

Premium Products Make the Difference

Using THERMAX™ (ci) Exterior Insulation provides premium performance without a premium price tag.

THERMAX™ Insulation minimizes thermal shorts, saving energy and money. As a continuous insulation, it also moderates the temperature of the wall cavity, reducing the potential for dew point condensation. An integral, durable acrylic-coated aluminum facer provides a drainage plane and water-resistive barrier, eliminating the extra step of installing a membrane or building wrap. And since the building is closed in faster, scheduling time is reduced.

Featuring a distinct free-rise technology designed to offer better product consistency, durability and fire performance, THERMAX™ Insulation provides one of the highest R-values available (R-6.5 at one inch), for long-term thermal performance.

Lightweight, Easy Installation

A typical gypsum-based wall system consists of sheathing over the studs, an air/vapor barrier, insulation, air space and veneer. Using THERMAX™ (ci) Exterior Insulation allows a simpler system with fewer layers and materials, and reduced labor.

“THERMAX™ (ci) Exterior Insulation is definitely lighter than exterior gypsum sheathing,” said Trent Wendling, foreman for William C Reichenbach Company. “And the durable facer is easy to cut with just a utility knife vs. a keyhole cutter. Instead of two people working together to cut each board and then maneuver it into place, one guy can be cutting while another installs, trimming installation time in half – or more.”

“We have had no worries about delivery bundles and exceeding load restrictions,” said Luke Klein, project superintendent, The Christman Company. “There’s a safety factor, too. Because it’s so lightweight (12 lbs per board compared to 80 lbs), one guy can safely and easily handle the boards. I can see this cutting manpower in half.”

Jerry Davis, owner’s representative for CB Richard Ellis, agreed. “Exterior gypsum sheathing is so labor intensive,” he said. “With THERMAX™ (ci) Exterior Insulation, we’re able to cut labor cost tremendously – from one week to just two days. Installing wall ties is much easier, as well, because of the ease of cutting THERMAX™.”

THERMAX™ (ci) Exterior Insulation can help address concerns about bulky equipment on the job site, too. “Space is at a premium on job sites in general and this one in particular, with a bustling city street just beyond the fence,” added Klein. “And since only one manlift is needed rather than two, we can reduce clutter on the site.”

Immediate Insulation, Long-Term Performance

THERMAX™ (ci) Exterior Insulation is no lightweight when it comes to performance. It is lighter than gypsum, easier to handle and install, and can be left exposed up to six months. THERMAX™ Insulation also has a lower moisture absorption potential than gypsum.

“Another benefit of THERMAX™ (ci) Exterior Insulation is that it provides protection from the elements,” said Klein. “Plus, once it’s on, it provides immediate insulation – that allows us to work on the interior through the winter, protected from the weather.”

THERMAX™ Insulation offers one of the highest R-values available, for long-term thermal performance. “And, free-rise technology and glass-fiber reinforcements contribute to excellent dimensional stability and fire performance, for added confidence,” said Kontranowski. “Leveraging the proven performance of THERMAX™ Insulation in this application underscores Dow’s proactive solutions approach and understanding of the overall integrated building. This project is truly a historic event for Dow, but what’s more exciting for the building community and for our environment is that this is only the beginning.”

To learn more about the THERMAX™ Wall System, go to www.thermaxwallsystem.com.

Project Snapshot

The H Hotel: 30,000 sq. ft. renovation/addition

Completion: Summer of 2008

Architects: HOK; Dow, Howell, Gilmore and Associates

General Contractor: The Christman Company

Facilities Manager: CB Richard Ellis

Carpenter: William C Reichenbach Company

Dow Products Used…

  • THERMAX™ (ci) Exterior Insulation; joints taped with WEATHERMATE™ Straight Flashing

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Tapered DECKMATE™ Plus FA Insulation (fully adhered) on EPDM roof

®™Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow

About Dow Building Solutions

Dow_logoDow Building Solutions offers a whole host of products designed for the building envelope. For more information, visit www.dow.com/en-us/market/mkt-building-construction.html.

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