Prefabricated Exterior Wall Panels for Commercial Building Enclosures
Please note: The attached file below contains a paper from the BEST5 conference that is linked to a conference presentation in pdf format. Open with Adobe Acrobat for best results.
Offsite fabrication in construction is growing in popularity and scope. Prefabrication of exterior wall panels expedites schedule and improves quality of the final product. This paper discusses the benefits as well as the process of prefabrication that differs from traditional field built construction. Many wall panel fabricators provide only framing and sheathing. The case studies examined here include complete wall sections including framing, exterior sheathing, air barrier, outboard insulation and finish. A wide array of cladding systems are available insuring architects their design intent will be satisfied. In addition, prefabricated wall panels have performed well under developing energy codes, including passive house requirements. Exterior wall panels easily contribute to LEED status if necessary. Besides finish and aesthetic options, the design team has flexibility in choosing a wall system or type. Prefabricated exterior wall panels can be rain screens or barrier walls. Sealing between panel-to-panel joints can be accomplished using pre-cured silicone gaskets (dry seal system) or double caulk joints (wet seal system).