Multifamily Application of LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing for Labor-Saving Solution


Poole & Poole Architecture LLC (2PA) is an award-winning full-service architecture firm with locations in Richmond, Virginia and Nashville, Tennessee. The 2PA team works collaboratively with each client to create designs that are aesthetically pleasing and architecturally appropriate to the site, region and target market. In addition to providing architectural expertise, creative design and detailing, 2PA brings knowledgeable building code analysis, innovative technology, and experienced construction administration to each project. 2PA recently built a 250-unit multifamily structure called The Gibson in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Gibson, which was developed by Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, is located in an eclectic Charlotte neighborhood called Plaza Midwood. The structure’s exterior wall assemblies were built with LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing, an ICC-certified component of fire-rated wall assemblies.


Construction on The Gibson began in 2014, and the project is scheduled for completion in September 2016. When finished, the structure will be approximately 260 000 square feet with 250 units in total. David Kelley, the 2PA project manager, wanted to utilize an exterior wall assembly that did not require one or more layers of gypsum sheathing on the outside. In order to avoid the use of exterior gypsum layers, he specified LP FlameBlock sheathing for the Type 3A multifamily project. He was also looking for a product with an efficient attachment method. Because of its ease of installation and labor-saving components, LP FlameBlock sheathing was an ideal product for the exterior component of the wall assemblies.


LP FlameBlock sheathing was used in the exterior walls of The Gibson as a code-compliant component of a UL349 wall assembly. A total of 6 500 square feet of LP FlameBlock sheathing was used on the exterior wall of the UL349 assemblies. LP FlameBlock sheathing carries a Class A and 30-minute flame spread rating due to its proprietary non-combustible, fiberglassreinforced Pyrotite® treatment. Using LP FlameBlock sheathing in fire-rated wall assemblies provides more flexibility in designing wall openings as well as more options in framing and bracing to meet structural requirements. It also reduces dead load and wall thickness versus common alternative assemblies. Brandon Pitts, the project manager on the build site, was involved with the installation and was impressed with the code compliancy of LP FlameBlock sheathing. “The biggest advantage of FlameBlock was that it was easily accepted by JHA (Jurisdiction Having Authority) and was listed in the UL.”


When completed in September 2016, the multifamily apartments will be equipped with an onsite fitness center, cabana-style pool and residential lounge. The Gibson will offer both oneand two-bedroom spacious floor plans. Because it reduced the need for a layer of gypsum, 2PA was able to reduce labor hours and save on overall material costs. According to Kelley, the biggest advantage of working with LP FlameBlock sheathing was that it only required a single layer of gypsum versus two layers of gypsum. “I would venture to say that the biggest advantage is the single layer,” said Kelley. “I have recommended FlameBlock in the past and will continue to do so.” Nea Poole, a principal at 2PA, has also used LP FlameBlock sheathing and other LP products—LP® SolidStart® LSL and LVL as well as LP® TopNotch® OSB Sub-Flooring—for a number of multifamily projects. Said Poole, “LP is an incredible resource for multifamily architects. Our projects use a wide range of LP products.”