Sector: Building Enclosure
Market Overview: The building enclosure, also called building envelope, is the outer structure of a building, which separates the interior of the building from the outdoors. It keeps moisture, winds, and pests out, while keeping conditioned (heated/cooled) air in. It also is key to allowing sunlight in.
For an exterior wall, the enclosure typically includes all building components from the interior surface of the wall (drywall/gypsum wallboard) outward to the exterior surface/façade of the building, including windows and doors. Similarly, for a roof the enclosure typically includes all building components from the interior surface of the ceiling (drywall/gypsum wallboard) outward to the roof membrane, asphalt roofing, or roof shingles. For foundations, building components extend from the interior surface of the foundation wall and floor/concrete slab outward to the foundation insulation and soil.
The way buildings are constructed varies, but as an example, here are the common building enclosure components of an exterior wall. Starting from the exterior of a building, the outermost layer is the rain-screen/cladding/siding layer, which keeps out most rain or bulk-water from entering the building enclosure. Commonly, some wind-driven water will get past, but it is stopped by the next layers: exterior (board-type) insulation and/or the weather/vapor/air barrier that is attached to the sheathing or concrete-block.
Next is wood or steel wall framing, which supports the sheathing. Facilities manufacturing the components of this framing are vast and not included on BuildingClean.org. The cavities of the framed wall are filled with insulation, and are, finally, topped by drywall/gypsum wallboard to provide the interior surface of the exterior wall. This is the last layer of the building enclosure.
BuildingClean.org has separate sectors on roofing, insulation, joint sealants, and windows, doors and skylights that together with the building enclosure listings represent all the U.S. manufacturing in this important building concept.
It is only relatively recently and with great improvements in technology that have resulted in many cross-over products that the concept of the building enclosure has begun to really drive construction and design. The linkage with occupant health through mold prevention and keeping out pollution and pests has brought even more visibility on the importance of what’s called a “tight” envelope to keep both the structure and its occupants sound.