The World came to PROSOCO, Oct. 1 — the Lawrence Journal World, our local newspaper, to be exact.
Journalist Christine Metz, photographer Mike Yoder and videographer Steve Jones represented the award-winning newspaper and its sister TV news operation, Channel 6 News. They arrived to capture the story of our new “Hurricane in a Box” test chamber newly delivered from Florida.
Christine’s story, which I thought was excellent, ran in the Saturday morning edition. I’m only now getting around to blogging about it because I’ve been away for five days, chasing a freelance story myself in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
The chamber, 10 feet tall, about 30 feet around, and 12,000 pounds, lets us test building envelope components like structural sheathing, doors and windows for air and water leakage under conditions from typical to in-excess of a category 5 hurricane.
Christine interviewed our company president, David W. Boyer, and the machine’s inventor, Ron Tatley of Building Envelope Innovations (BEI), Clackamas, Ore. BEI and PROSOCO recently joined forces in the effort to help create more durable, energy-efficient building envelopes — also known as “walls.”
We’ll use the Transportable Design Verification Chamber, or “Hurricane in a Box” in several ways.
1. We’ll test our own air & water-resistive/waterproof barrier products vs. the other products on the market.
2. We’ll use it to train our technical and sales folks on the features and advantages of our products, as well as comparisons and contrasts with other products.
3. We’ll test structural sheathing, windows, doors and other building envelope components for their manufacturers. Most of these components are required to comply with certain standards. So we’ll let them bring engineers from their preferred testing laboratories to witness the testing and sign off on it under their own letterhead.
4. We’ll offer a similar service to design professionals. For instance, we can slowly ramp up pressure in the chamber to show architects at what point their wall and window designs will begin leaking air and admitting water in severe — or ordinary — weather conditions.
That could help them avoid some unpleasant surprises. What’s more, these services will help educate the industry about how wall components can and should work together to make energy-efficient, mold-resistant and long-lasting building envelopes, er, walls.
And that’s news.