Intro to the Original Smart Vapor Retarder: DB+
Pro Clima is known for airsealing systems that are key to optimizing building enclosures for energy, safety, and comfort. INTELLO Plus is easily the most recognizable product within that system. A hidden gem of the Pro Clima system is the paper-based smart vapor retarder and air sealing membrane, DB+, which predates INTELLO and the entire Pro Clima brand! Originally developed in 1985 under the brand B.I. Baupappen, DB+ paved the way for the 1994 launch of Pro Clima. In the last 25+ years, Pro Clima has expanded to 30+ countries and raised the bar for the industry with its INTELLO system.
DB+ used as part of a natural timber, straw, and cellulose enclosure from Chad Mathrani in Vermont, featured in this 475 On-Site video.
Made with recycled paper, DB+ is the ideal environmentally friendly air barrier option. The recycled paper is mixed with a very small amount of PE and strengthened with a bi-directional reinforcement layer. It can be used with batts, boards, or as mesh for blown-in insulation. The reinforced layer allows it to be used as blow-in mesh (use counter battens to support the weight of the insulation). DB+ provides excellent protection as smart vapor retarder for cellulose, mineral wool, fibreglass, wood fibre, sheep wool, and straw bale insulation. Although it is thick and durable, the paper make-up makes the membrane slightly more sensitive to punctures than INTELLO. Take extra care with your battens and tools to avoid punctures during installation, which will save you the time and labor of patching these damages prior to blowerdoor testing and/or installing interior finishes.
Three Tree Construction used DB+ as interior airtightness and vapor retarder in a sheathingless assembly, featured in this 475 Project Spotlight.
Similar to INTELLO, the DB+ vapor variable profile protects the interior of the building envelope in most climatic conditions, making it the most sustainable protection/airtight membrane for thermal insulation. The vapor curve is slightly less than INTELLO’s. In the winter, the vapor retarding – 0.8 Perm (sd-value 4 m) - protects against condensation while in the summer, the vapor open – 8.0 Perm (sd-value 0.4m) - facilitates drying to the interior. It also complies with the HYDROSAFE rules that protect the assemblies against high construciton moisutre levels in winter.
When Gregg Zuman decided to accomplish the greenest retrofit possible of his upstate NY home, he chose DB+ with dense-packed Gutex THERMOFIBER all wood insulation, read more in this 475 Project Spotlight.
Lightweight and easy to install, especially compared to OSB/Plywood, DB+ is available in 724 sq ft (67.5 m2) rolls of 53" x 164' (1.35 x 50 m). The rolls are slightly shorter than INTELLO, and the material quality of the paper, more rigid, making the handling process smooth and straightforward (some installers prefer it over INTELLO Plus!). DB+ is fully recyclable and costs 15% less per square foot than its polymer based counterpart, INTELLO Plus, making it the most eco- and cost-effective option!