This article was originally featured on our sister site BUILDER.

Supermaterials development is one of the hottest topics in building science today. The Greenbuild KB Home ProjeKt brings together premier leaders at the cutting edge of materials science to collaborate on creating the future-fit home of tomorrow. We are applying a twofold approach in partnering with these leaders in supermaterials research and development, leveraging their expertise on the forefront of emerging building science while also utilizing a collaborative, cooperative approach to achieve future-fit levels of efficiency, resiliency and quality utilizing technologies available today and in the very near future.

From the outset, conceptualizing the ProjeKt as a cross-industry, multidisciplinary collaboration with the strongest partners in their industries gave us the opportunity to align interests and promote a new way of looking at the home of the future. This collaboration explores how various leaders in the sustainability and materials space can come together to explore how their products can work cooperatively and create a much higher standard of performance together than can be achieved separately. That has been an essential goal and strategy in utilizing collaboration as the foundational principle of the Greenbuild KB Home ProjeKt: leveraging the expertise in the room to create innovation opportunities that deliver results against aligned interests. Together, we are turning self-interest into shared interest, for the benefit of the environment, homebuyers and the economic bottom lines of each company.

Master bedroom

Owens Corning took a critical leadership role in understanding the challenges and needs of the ProjeKt. They spearheaded the learning and analysis, arriving at an essential DNA of the project by thinking of everything as a big interactive system. This holistic approach to collaboration between manufacturers leads to not just product performance, but also whole building performance, which we believe will be the path to build homes in the future.

Another one of our leading partners is DuPont™, the pioneer of polymer science with a legacy of innovation and one of the premier companies at the forefront of supermaterials development. DuPont has partnered with us to bring their exceptional depth of expertise to the ProjeKt. In addition to sharing their insights on where materials science is headed and the opportunities for KB Home and other builders to be prepared for that future, they have also brought new thinking on how to utilize technologies available today. So, for example, we are deploying Tyvek® building wrap, DuPont’s proprietary product that invented the building wrap category more than 30 years ago, in concert with VIP Insulation (vacuum insulated panel) from Owns Corning®, the premier name in the fiberglass industry. Instead of approaching the exterior walls’ future-fit level of efficiency as competitive leaders in the building sciences arena, DuPont and Owens Corning have collaborated to identify and pilot ways that their products can work together for the best interests of both the environment and their companies. The VIP panels can offer builders a solution for achieving very high R-values without significant increase to the depth of exterior wall assemblies. The Tyvek® ThermaWrap™ LE low-emissivity housewrap product provides all the water and air holdout benefits of traditional Tyvek wraps. In addition, when used in conjunction with an airspace and exterior cladding as we are doing at the ProjeKt home, it provides a lower emission surface that adds an effective R-value to a wall system (up to R-2). This collaboration between the Tyvek wrap and the new James Hardie siding we are using in the ProjeKt home, including V-Groove and Reveal 2.0, are a great example of utilizing existing products in concert for enhanced efficiency. As a result, we are identifying opportunities to optimize performance and costs over time to make this level of future performance using available technologies achievable in the production building environment.

Another example of our layered approach is the use of Polyguard’s Term™ barrier system, a non-chemical pest exclusion built into the ProjeKt home’s envelope. This system integrates three types of barriers: sealants, screens and particles. Together, these barriers can protect virtually every square foot of a structure from pest entry. We are also using LP’s FlameBlock® fire-rated OSB sheathing in the exterior wall assembly, which provides a valuable future-fit level of resilience and durability.

As part of the Greenbuild KB Home ProjeKt at this year’s Greenbuild International Show and Expo, attendees will be able to learn more about each of these materials science applications and innovations. Construction cutaways allow building professionals a glimpse inside the building envelope to see layered, mutually supportive systems that create future-fit performance today.

The Greenbuild KB Home ProjeKt was showcased October 5 and 6 at the Greenbuild International Show and Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.