Industry Usage Increases for Advanced Under Slab Vapor Barrier
Livingston, NJ, April 10, 2013—Fowler Low, National Sales Manager for
Barrier-Bac ®, a manufacturer of under slab vapor barriers for the
construction and building industries, reports that an increasing number
of architects are specifying the company’s Barrier-Bac ® VBC 350, a
product developed specifically for structures built in areas with
Installation of Barrier-Bac
® VBC 350, a high performance under slab vapor retarder developed
specifically for structures built in areas with expansive soils.
Barrier-Bac ® VBC 350 retards moisture migration through concrete
slabs and is resistant to stress caused by shifts in soil.
“Barrier-Bac ® VBC 350 is resistant to stress caused by shifts in soil.
It creates a lasting, peel-adhesion mechanical bond to concrete
slab-on-grade that smooth vapor barriers can’t match,” says Low, an
engineer and structural concrete specialist with 25 years experience.
In recent years, Low has provided in-depth presentations about the
installation of concrete foundations in expansive soil environments at
numerous American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Construction
Specifications Institute (CSI) chapters across the United States.
Barrier-Bac ® and its distributors are now seeing the results of those
“Gaining acceptance for this specific product has taken diligence
because it is costlier than a standard vapor barrier,” he says.
“However, in reality it is a cost effective insurance policy against
future repairs, especially when high-end flooring is specified in
expansive soil environments.”
When the architect for Centura Health System’s new hospital in Castle
Rock, Colorado chose Barrier-Bac ® VBC 350 for long-term protection of
the building’s on-grade flooring system, it opened more doors for the
product, says Low.
Barrier-Bac ® VBC 350 is
a 31 Mil composite vapor barrier consisting of a polyethylene ASTM E
1745 Class A vapor barrier membrane that is laminated to a
polypropylene nonwoven geo-textile fabric.
“That structure was built on a shifting mountain soil environment—an
ideal customer for Barrier-Bac ® VBC 350,” he says. “It was a high
profile project and it generated increased interest in our product’s
Currently, Barrier-Bac ® VBC 350 is being used for the New Orleans
Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center, slated to open in 2014 (to replace the
city’s old VA hospital, closed since Hurricane Katrina), and the Bahamas
Baha Mar Project—a mega resort being built on New Providence Island,
Bahamas, to rival the island’s Atlantis Resort. In addition, Barrier-Bac
® VBC 350 was recently used for the new Oregon State Hospital in Eugene
Oregon; a new facility at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, in
Oshkosh, WI; and numerous other projects, large and small.
Expansive soils are problematic for builders because they contain
minerals and clay that absorb water and cause soil to increase as much
as 10 percent or more in volume, exerting force that can damage
foundations, floors and basement walls. Expansive soils also shrink when
they dry out, delivering an ongoing cycle of repetitive stress on
structures that can go unnoticed until major issues surface.
Expansive soils are found in all 50 states, but they are most prolific
in Colorado, Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Louisiana,
Mississippi, New Mexico, Tennessee, and in certain sections of
California, Oregon, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
When standard smooth vapor barriers are used under concrete
slab-on-grade in expansive soil environments, the vapor barrier can
separate from the slab when soil shifts, leading to pocketing between
the vapor barrier and the concrete slab. Water condensation pools in the
pockets and can migrate up through the slab, potentially damaging costly
Those shifting problems don’t occur when Barrier-Bac ® VBC 350 is used
because it has a technologically advanced surface that integrally bonds
to the bottom of the concrete slab.
Barrier-Bac ® VBC 350 is a 31 Mil composite vapor barrier consisting of
a polyethylene ASTM E 1745 Class A vapor barrier membrane that is
laminated to a polypropylene nonwoven geo-textile fabric. Barrier-Bac ®
VBC 350 is installed with the geo-textile fabric side facing the
concrete pour. As the concrete cures, fibers in the nonwoven material
are mechanically bonded to the slab.
“When you are building a multi-million dollar structure with costly
floors such as terrazzo, epoxy coatings, or wood plank, the last thing
you want is structural damage that surfaces a few years down the road,
or to endure the process of deciding who is at fault,” says Low.
“Barrier-Bac ® VBC 350 not only protects buildings, it protects
architects, builders and owners of department stores, hospitals, hotels,
gymnasiums and other projects.”
Barrier-Bac ® Vapor Retarders are high performance under slab vapor
retarders developed for the construction industry to retard moisture
migration through concrete slabs. They may also be used to control
radon, methane, sulphates and many other soil contaminants. Barrier-Bac®
vapor barriers are made with IntePlus®, an incredibly strong, three
layer, co-extruded, cross-laminated film manufactured with a proprietary
process developed by Inteplast Group.
Barrier-Bac ® Vapor Retarders are manufactured by World-Pak, an
Inteplast Group Division. Inteplast, headquartered in Livingston, NJ, is
the largest integrated plastics manufacturer in the United States.
World-Pak manufactures a wide range of high quality building products
including IntePro ® corrugated plastic sheets, InteFoam ® and InteCel ®
PVC sheets, TUF board ® synthetic wood and decking, and IntePlus ® and
Barrier-Bac ® heavy-duty film. For more detailed information, please