A two-year study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of a variety of cladding options throughout the five stages of the products’ life cycle gave high marks to Dryvit Outsulation Systems. The Life Cycle Analysis study concluded that the systems offer a substantially smaller carbon footprint than brick, stucco, aluminum, cedar siding and vinyl over its life cycle. The full report can be obtained from NIST’s BEES 4.0 software, used by building professionals worldwide, at www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/software/bees/.

The study indicated that when Dryvit Outsulation Plus is used, nearly 80 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) is released over the life cycle of the system when compared to brick, and significantly less than the other tested claddings. The study also concluded that the system is equal to or far superior than other products in the “transportation” phase and easily beats the other claddings throughout the 50-year “use” phase of the cycle.

In evaluating the total fossil fuel depletion, the NIST concluded that other tested claddings all use about the same amount of fossil fuel over their life cycle, while the Dryvit system was found to be over seven times better during an equivalent 50-year period of use.

In a related study, the Nashville, Tenn., architectural firm Lyman, Davidson, Dooley LLC, concluded that more than 10 percent of “core and shell” construction costs could be saved on a three-story office building by substituting Dryvit’s Outsulation system for masonry. Money was saved on the size of footings, structural and framing steel, and HVAC equipment simply by replacing the heavier, less energy efficient masonry cladding materials with Dryvit’s system. Significantly, the study concluded, by using specialty finishes from Dryvit such as Custom Brick, TerraNeo and Lymestone, the physical appearance of the building was maintained as originally designed.