Contractors installed 21,000 linear feet of Thermablok aerogel insulating strips as an eco-friendly measure to prevent thermal bridging at the newly constructed Fabens U.S. Border Patrol Station in Clint, Texas.
CLINT, Texas, February 1, 2012 — Crews working construction on the environmentally sustainable Fabens U.S. Border Patrol Station in Clint, Texas have just completed installing 21,000 linear feet of Thermablok® aerogel insulating strips on studs throughout the 51,000 square foot facility.
Incorporating NASA aerogel technology, Thermablok reduces thermal bridging (heat transfer) – the prime cause of energy loss in buildings. When RVK Architects of San Antonio collaborated with Jacobs Engineering Group of Houston to design the eco-friendly structure already years in the planning, they included Thermablok in the original design.
Thermablok consultant Marilyn Myers of Acoustiblok, Inc. advised Marco Barrio, architectural QC/BIM specialist for the project’s General Contractor, SpawGlass, on the product.
“We had to look it up, we had never heard of Thermablok before,” said Barrio, who helped install the aerogel insulation strips. “Being an eco-friendly product is what led the architects to it; we were impressed with what we learned about it.”
Barrios said the strips went up easily since they have peel and stick adhesive already attached to the back of the product. The facility is fitted with solar heaters, sky lights, glazed windows, and energy efficient equipment for a low carbon footprint.
The compound consists of five structures that include a 50,585-square-foot patrol station with administrative offices, holding/detention spaces, and training rooms; a 9,834 square foot maintenance building with storage; fueling stations; vehicle washing station; and canine shelter and horse corral.
The site, scheduled for completion in June, 2012 will include controlled access, staff and visitor parking, an impound lot and helicopter landing pad.
Construction at the site, about 30 miles southeast of El Paso along the Rio Grande, began in April 2011, seven months after SpawGlass was awarded the contract in September 2010.
“It’s exciting to see Thermablok used in such an environmentally sensitive area,” said Lahnie Johnson, president of Acoustiblok, Inc. in Tampa, Florida. Acoustiblok is the parent company of Thermablok.
“Thermal bridging is the number one cause of wasted energy from buildings, and this is the perfect application for Thermablok, in the dessert climate of South Texas. We are providing an environmentally sound answer to thermal bridging using aerogel technology – the highest insulating material known to exist.
“We expect Thermablok will set a new standard in green design and construction for preventing energy from leaking out of the building envelope.”
SpawGlass is a Houston-based general contractor, construction manager, design/builder and civil contractor with expertise in Building Information Modeling (BIM) and green building, serving clients in corporate, higher education, healthcare, government/public, senior/campus living and more.
The Fabens Station’s area of responsibility encompasses 24 miles of International Boundary. The continuous 24 miles of rough desert and Rio Grande terrain are a hotbed for illegal trafficking of aliens and drugs. The primary duty of the Fabens border patrol agents is linewatch operations.
Made in the USA, aerogel-based Thermablok is 100 percent recyclable, impervious to moisture and mold, and unaffected by age. Green, energy-conscious architects and builders are currently incorporating this new NASA aerogel technology into energy conservation and CO2 emissions reduction.
Just one, 1/4-inch x 1½-inch (10mm x 38mm) strip of Thermablok aerogel insulation applied to the edge of each stud before hanging drywall breaks the conductive “thermal bridging” and can increase the overall wall R-factor by more than 40 percent (US Department of Energy/JM Laboratories). NASA named Thermablok aerogel insulating material to its prestigious “Spinoff” list of companies that have successfully adapted NASA technology to everyday products and made them available to consumers.
Thermablok is most often used in construction as a preventative measure against thermal bridging.