RAB™ Board is a rigid air barrier from James Hardie that protects external façades against wind and moisture. The protective board is made of a 6mm fiber-cement sheathing that is installed behind external cladding or rainscreens to improve their durability and performance and the building comfort.
The Foundation of Modern Façade Design (Whitepaper)
A variety of cladding materials are available on the market, allowing for significant design flexibility. These materials and traditional installation methods, however, do not always stand up when it comes to key areas of performance.
Rigid air barriers have emerged as foundational components in future façade systems. The use of rigid air barriers such as James Hardie's RAB™ Board represents a new approach to facade design in Australia. Using a rigid air barrier as the foundation of modern façade design can play a critical role in the high-performance of Australian buildings in several areas:
- Condensation management
- Prevention of water penetration
- Resisting the spread of fire on the exterior of buildings
A 2019 study by Deakin University in conjunction with Griffith University and other research partners showed that building defects relating to components of external wall systems, specifically the building fabric and exterior cladding, are common across Australia. The study analyzed 2012 building defect reports and discovered that 33% of issues were related to water penetration and moisture caused by non-compliant or poorly-fitted cladding, or ineffective waterproofing.
Meeting Requirements in Modern Architecture
New Australian buildings are pushing architectural limits of complexity, heights and beauty. The height aspect especially presents new design challenges due to more extreme weather conditions at greater heights, exteriors with more joints and junctions and elevated requirements for airtightness, efficiency and durability. The traditional methodology can fall short in these buildings and need to be replaced with new, holistic approaches to building facade design and construction to meet strict demands for weather and airtightness, energy efficiency, resilience and fire protection.