Author, Cassie Krejci, Ph.D. Hello and welcome to week 7 of the TERM Barrier System blog series! This week we will be kicking off our summer blog series titled Building Out Bugs. Throughout the series, I will be highlighting areas around your home or structure that can be potential pathways for termites and other pests. […]
Author, Cassie Krejci, Ph.D. Hello and welcome to another week of the TERM Barrier System blog series! Week 6 This week I would like to take a step back in time and write about the origin of termite barriers. The TERM® Barrier System is founded on the concept of using physical and mechanical devices to […]
Author, Cassie Krejci, Ph.D. Welcome to Week 5 of the TERM Barrier System blog! We have a saying in pest management in the south and southeastern areas of the United States: “It’s not if you get termites, it’s when!” As I talk with homeowners, builders, and architects about the importance of including pest solutions from […]
Architects and Building Envelope Scientists, Meet Some Entomologists
Entomologists, not to mention the pest management professionals you deal with, know a lot about construction. Most of them are trying to solve pest problems, and much of that is figuring out how the pests got into the structure.
Those solving pest problems would agree that almost all pests enter the structure by penetrating gaps in the building envelope. Of course there are pests which enter through open doors and windows, down chimneys, or accompanying the people who enter the structure, but these are usually a small fraction.
Pest control people are highly aware of all the gaps in structures which serve as pest entry points. They know that many pests are as small as 1/50th of an inch (.018”). They know that literally millions of insects can nest in a home house or on the property of even a modest size residence. They know that invasive pests can chew or claw their way in, but they also know that most pests are just foraging – looking for a gap through which they can reach food, moisture, shelter, or warmth.
Moreover, the pest control world is aware that thousands of entry points are created during construction, and that after construction innumerable entry points are created or enlarged by nature, through forces created by wind, temperature changes, base settlement, expansive soils, wet/dry cycles, etc.
Perhaps as a result of serendipity, progress in sustainable construction has improved pest exclusion. Building envelope design has tightened up exterior walls by sealing energy leaks, and sealing out moisture. These efforts also have reduced exterior entry opportunities for foraging pests, and to a degree for invasive pests.
The LEED / TERM® Connection
The massive LEED effort, in its quest to reduce the use of “chemicals of concern”, is calling for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce the need for pesticides.
IPM, used for decades in both the agricultural and structural pest control worlds, uses a systems approach to reduce the number of pests, and the amount of pesticides applied to crops and structures.
The design and construction world should note one of IPM’s key requirements:
“Nonchemical pest preventive measures, either designed into the structure or implemented as part of pest management activities.”
When you design nonchemical pest barriers into a structure, you are using a systems approach.
That is what this website, and Polyguard’s efforts since 1999, is about. Designing and building effective nonchemical pest preventive measures into the structure can be done today. We believe that nonchemical pest barriers are the next level for the building envelope’s contribution to sustainable construction.
Some generalizations about TERM’s Sustainable Pest Barrier building envelope system:
2. TERM Barriers are incorporated in the Greenbuild 2016 KB Concept Home [...more] and The New American Home 2017 concept homes built in Orlando by the National Association of Home Builders [...more].
- Although TERM® Barriers have numerous product variations, there are 3 basic barriers types incorporated:
- TERM Sealant and Membrane Barriers - seal and exclude
- TERM Particle Barriers - drain and exclude
- TERM Screen Barriers - vent and exclude
Each barrier type has a 16 – 59 year history of university and governmental research around the world, and each has been used in construction for between 14 and 30 years.
- TERM Sealants and Membranes start with the same building envelope waterproofing, moisture proofing, and energy sealing materials at those evolved by Polyguard Products since the middle of the 20th century. Polyguard has a long record of protecting major structures such as hospitals, hotels, stadiums, subway systems, and schools nationwide [...more].
- The cost of protecting new structures with TERM Barriers will be surprisingly moderate in many cases. Although there are numerous detail areas which require new types of treatment, these new treatments tend to be small compared to overall project cost. The great majority of areas protected by TERM Barriers are upgrades of the building envelope barriers which Polyguard has furnished for decades.