New AltusGroup Tech Brief Compares Precast Rain Barriers and Rain Screen Designs

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Brief illustrates how high-quality precast walls and fewer joints provide a highly effective system to eliminate rain and moisture infiltration

AltusGroup, a North American network of 17 precast concrete manufacturers, has published a technical brief outlining how insulated precast wall panels can provide a robust and dependable rain barrier, contrasted with often complicated rain screen designs that permit moisture to permeate the exterior wall surface for drainage elsewhere in the wall. Several diagrams illustrate the two approaches.

The five-page PDF brief explains how larger precast panels with fewer joints typically result in a weather proof seal, decreasing the opportunities for moisture to enter and become trapped within walls. Unwanted moisture can cause a variety of problems ranging from mold and mildew to the degradation of insulation’s R-value.

“Rain screen systems are common, but they can be complex to design and even more complicated to install in the field,” said John Carson, executive director of AltusGroup. “The rain barrier approach in our CarbonCast products prevents rain and moisture from penetrating the wall in the first place, eliminating an assortment of problems from ever occurring.”

Additionally, CarbonCast Enclosure Systems also feature edge-to-edge insulation with C-GRID carbon fiber grid wythe connectors to provide a thermally broken, well-insulated wall design that prevents thermal loss and vapor transmission common in other wall assemblies.

Five other AltusGroup technical briefs are available on topics including insulation, thermal performance and designing for educational applications.

About AltusGroup
The first-ever international partnership of precast companies, AltusGroup was founded in 2003 to develop, manufacture and market precast innovations such as the award-winning CarbonCast® line of products featuring C-GRID carbon fiber grid reinforcing. With more than two dozen structural and architectural locations in the United States, the 17 North American and three international AltusGroup companies have an unparalleled network of manufacturing plants, technical staff and sales personnel to ensure architects, engineers and contractors get the help they need—and the quality and performance they expect—when they select CarbonCast products. For more information, visit or call 866-GO-ALTUS.

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Michael Drabenstott
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