Structural timber has an important role to play in both traditional and modern methods of construction and will be instrumental in helping Ireland achieve its net zero targets. With new homes expected to produce 70% less carbon emissions compared to 2005 levels1, OSB with integrated vapour and air barrier properties emerges as a potential game-changer and a robust sheathing solution for timber frame contractors striving to meet the stringent airtightness requirements of the Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) standard.

With the government’s updated and amended Part F and Part L requirements of the Building Regulations2 serving as an important stepping stone to the NZEB standard, the design of a building’s envelope has gained significant importance. Ensuring airtight construction will become critical in pursuit of highly thermally efficient building envelopes.

SMARTPLY OSB Airtight Panels

The increasing demand for double sheathed timber frames in both structural applications and the development of offsite closed panels, led to innovation for producing airtight OSB/3 panels with airtightness engineered into the panel substrate. Produced from MEDITE SMARTPLY’s sustainably managed forests in Ireland3, SMARTPLY AIRTIGHT, a high-performance structural OSB panel, can be used as the airtight layer on the warm side of the insulation in timber frame construction systems.

Each panel features alternating layers of wood strands coated with a high-quality formaldehyde-free resin and wax binder system to deliver outstanding levels of airtightness. A specialist coating is then applied to ensure vapour resistance and provide a premium performance OSB solution for super-insulated and passive buildings, enabling the elimination of a traditional additional vapour control membrane from the construction.

By seamlessly integrating air and vapour barriers into high-performance SMARTPLY AIRTIGHT OSB panels, this streamlines the installation process, minimising the risk of air leakage that often plagues traditional timber frame structures. This cutting-edge solution not only simplifies construction but also ensures a certified, proven approach to contributing towards airtight building envelopes that will pave the way for low-carbon, energy-efficient homes of the future.

Timber frame contractors can now benefit from Irish-manufactured OSB that features integrated vapour control and air barrier properties, enabling them to consistently achieve the stringent airtightness levels needed and create airtight, high-performance building envelopes that surpass the rigorous NZEB standard.


MEDITE SMARTPLY is part of Coillte, an innovative, FSC-certified Irish forestry and forest products manufacturer. Based in Clonmel and Waterford, MEDITE SMARTPLY produces a versatile range of Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and Oriented Strand Board (OSB) building products.


To find out more, visit MEDITE SMARTPLY at www.mdfosb.com

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