The Right Supplies: Sheathing a School in British Columbia Interior


Component Quantities: 30 MSF of DensElement® Barrier System
Key Companies:
General Contractor: Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd. Architect: Station One Architects

A School Set in the Canadian Desert

When you think about the Canadian landscape, a desert may not immediately come to mind. But the British Columbia Interior is an area known for its desert-like climate. The weather conditions include high winds and while rainfall is typically low, it has been slowly increasing over the years. Valleyview Secondary School is located in this region in the city of Kamloops. And when the school required a new structure to house critical areas of study including tech labs, home economic workshops, AV rooms and more, a 68,000-square-foot addition needed to be built onto the existing 75,000-square-foot facility. Beyond offering additional space, it was imperative that the new structure could hold strong against punishing winds and potentially invasive moisture.

Secondary Image - Inline

A Lesson in Choosing the Right Materials

The building team needed to find the right materials that would not only withstand windy conditions and increasing rain, but also boost efficiency on the jobsite, since they had to finish before the new school year. That’s why they chose Georgia-Pacific’s DensElement® Barrier System and its DensDefy™ Products. These products offered the team the most innovative, water-resistive barrier and air barrier (WRB/AB), along with the benefit of a quick and easy installation.

DensElement Barrier System streamlines installation of the building envelope with an integrated gypsum sheathing that also acts as a water-resistive barrier and an air barrier. DensDefy Products protect against air leakage and water intrusion by preventing bulk water and air leakage at the seams, fasteners, rough openings, and distinct transitions to other surfaces.

The Valleyview Secondary School addition was the largest completed project to date in British Columbia featuring Georgia-Pacific’s DensElement Barrier System. Station One Architects, who specialize in the education segment, recommended this system specifically due to its stellar reputation. Their feeling was echoed by the project’s envelope consultant, Paul Surgeson at CSA Building Sciences Western Ltd., who vetted and approved the barrier system. He was impressed by the data sheets, the specifications and the materials’ ability to resist moisture and wind. So, he pushed the products forward with confidence as a method to speed up construction. Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd., general contracting firm on the job, also praised the products for making the building watertight more quickly, saving time on installation without incurring additional costs.

"You should have a look at this product, it’s going to save a lot of time."
‒Paul Surgeson, CSA Building Sciences Western Ltd. (Envelope Consultant)
"This product puts all the warranty requirements and envelope in the hands of a single trade. It’s easier to ensure the quality of the install."
‒Andrew Van Beilen, Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd. (General Contractor)

Georgia-Pacific Gets a Glowing Report Card

The school’s structure consists of more walls than windows, making DensElement Barrier System and DensDefy Products perfect for the job. Working in segments, the installation process was more efficient than putting on mechanically fastened or self-adhered membranes.

DensElement Barrier System and DensDefy Products were so simple to handle, the project’s drywall contractor, Steve Caron at LAPC Drywall Ltd., was able to install the integrated sheathing himself. Specifically, DensDefy® Liquid Flashing went on smoothly, even in the rain, curing quickly despite the moisture. All this helped to simplify and build a better building envelope in a fraction of the time.

The building team agreed that the value, cost and time-saving aspects of the products, along with Georgia-Pacific’s reputation in the industry, made it an easy choice. In particular, the project’s general contractors at Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd., Andrew Van Beilen and Bob Beaulieu, experienced firsthand how Georgia-Pacific always puts their customers first. The Georgia-Pacific team took them through DensElement Barrier System step by step, so they had more comfort and familiarity before officially committing to the materials.

"Georgia-Pacific is a big company and for them to have their tests and validations and say that ‘this is our product and we [provide the entire warranty for] it’—you know that goes a long way."
‒Bob Beaulieu, Dawson Wallace (General Contractor)

With so much innovation continually improving the materials they use, building industry professionals remain students of their craft. The Valleyview Secondary School project taught this team that finding the right products for the job is easy when you stay focused on efficiency, value and brand reputation.