The EPA Energy StarLabeling system sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy for labeling the most energy-efficient products on the market; applies to a wide range of products, from computers and office equipment to refrigerators and air conditioners. program developed the Thermal Bypass Checklist to ensure that all of the most common convective and conductive thermal short circuits would be addressed in Energy Star homesA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program to promote the construction of new homes that are at least 15% more energy-efficient than homes that minimally comply with the 2004 International Residential Code. Energy Star Home requirements vary by climate.. This GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com construction detail is one of about 70 developed for high-performance airtight, building envelopes.
Air sealing at attic hatch // finish screws
There are a growing number of manufactured attic hatches that quickly and efficiently achieve a thermal and air barrierBuilding assembly components that work as a system to restrict air flow through the building envelope. Air barriers may or may not act as a vapor barrier. The air barrier can be on the exterior, the interior of the assembly, or both. around attic hatches and attic fold-down stairs.
For more product information:
There are three types of foam board—expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene and polyisocyanurate. Key differences are R-valueMeasure of resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the lower the heat loss. The inverse of U-factor. per inch, water resistance, compressive strength, how permeable they are to water vapor, available facings and, of course, their cost.
Board insulation is manufactured with the help of a “blowing agent” that creates tiny bubbles in the foam which slow down the flow of heat. Manufacturers of expanded polystyrene (EPSExpanded polystyrene. Type of rigid foam insulation that, unlike extruded polystyrene (XPS), does not contain ozone-depleting HCFCs. EPS frequently has a high recycled content. Its vapor permeability is higher and its R-value lower than XPS insulation. EPS insulation is classified by type: Type I is lowest in density and strength and Type X is highest.) and polyiso board use hydrocarbon blowing agents that don’t damage the earth’s ozone layer. A switch away from the ozone-damaging hydrofluorochlorocarbons (HFCFs) used to make extruded polystyrene (XPSExtruded polystyrene. Highly insulating, water-resistant rigid foam insulation that is widely used above and below grade, such as on exterior walls and underneath concrete floor slabs. In North America, XPS is made with ozone-depleting HCFC-142b. XPS has higher density and R-value and lower vapor permeability than EPS rigid insulation.)is not expected to take place until 2010, giving this type an environmental disadvantage for the time being.
Expanded polystyrene. The least expensive of the three, EPS can be manufactured in different densities to increase its compressive strength but it’s still not as strong as extruded board and it’s more susceptible to crumbling at the edges and to other job-site damage.
Extruded polystyrene. Because of it shigher strength and water resistance, XPS is often used below grade to in-sulate slabs and foundation walls.
- R-value: About 5 per in.
- Permeance: 1.1 per in. up to 2 in. then 0.55 per in.
Polyiso. With higher insulating values and no ozone-depleting blowing agents, polyiso board has some advantages over XPS for above-grade use (it’s not recommended for below-grade applications because it can absorb water). Polyiso often comes with a foil facing, which gives the material a very low vapor permeance.
- R-value: up to 6.5 per in.
- Permeance: 0.03
GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com Encyclopedia: Rigid Foam Insulation
Green Product Guide: Board Insulation.
Building Science Corp: Performance properties of different types of rigid insulation
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