Product Guide Insulation

How Much Insulation Is Enough?

Posted on May 06,2015 by AlexWilson in climate zone

I'm often asked the question, "How much insulation should I install in my house"? It's a great question. Let me offer some recommendations: First of all... it depends. It depends to a significant extent on where you live. And it depends on whether we're talking about a new house or trying to squeeze insulation into an existing house. To simplify the discussion, let's assume, for the time being, that we're talking about new construction

What’s Wrong With This Insulation Job?

Posted on May 06,2015 by KSPmYvh9gx in batt

In many areas of the country, homes are receiving Energy Star labels they don’t deserve. Major errors like the ones shown in this photo are supposed to be caught by the HERS rater who performs third-party verification services. This home slipped through the cracks. The photo shows at least four errors serious enough to have prevented the home from receiving an Energy Star label. Can you spot them? Next week, we will post the answers that a Building America team, BIRA, came up with.

Books on Insulation and Energy-Efficient Building

Posted on May 06,2015 by user-756436 in energy-efficient home

Two new books that might interest green builders recently caught my eye: The BuildingGreen Guide to Insulation Products and Practices by Alex Wilson and The JLC Guide to Energy Efficiency by the editors of The Journal of Light Construction. Full disclosure: I was a minor participant in the creation of both books. At Wilson’s request, I reviewed portions of his manuscript before publication and provided feedback. I also wrote several of the articles appearing in the JLC book.

A Bold Attempt to Slay R-Value

Posted on May 06,2015 by user-756436 in Building Science

R-value is the poor stepchild of building science metrics. Although it is often essential for builders, designers, and engineers to know a material’s R-value, this useful metric is regularly abused, derided, and ridiculed for its shortcomings. “R-value doesn’t measure assembly effects: thermal bridges, air movement, thermal mass, moisture content — all of which can all affect thermal properties,” explained Chris Schumacher, an engineer and researcher at Building Science Corporation, at a summer symposium in 2009. “R-value doesn’t do a good job describing the entire system.”

Is It Time to Stop Insulating?

Posted on May 06,2015 by CarlSeville in AAC

Author’s Note: Many readers have mistakenly read this post as a serious suggestion that we stop insulating our buildings, and friends and foes alike have given me large rations of grief over this, all of which can be read below. I am a longtime advocate of high-performance homes and in no way would I ever recommend that we reduce or eliminate insulation. I do believe, however, that we need to consider the potential health effects of various products that we use and how they will affect our decisions on construction methods. Now on to the original post:

The Energy Star Homes Program Raises the Bar with Version 3

Posted on May 06,2015 by user-756436 in Energy Star home

Beginning on January 1, 2012, homes enrolled in the Energy Star Homes program will need to comply with a new specification — dubbed Energy Star Version 3 — that is stricter than the current Version 2 specification.

Solar Decathlon 2011: Appalachian State’s Solar Homestead

Posted on May 06,2015 by Fretboard in energy efficient homes

To the extent they try to squeeze a lot of innovation into small packages, all Solar Decathlon entries reflect a pioneering spirit. But Appalachian State University’s entry, the Solar Homestead, also reflects homebuilding strategies that arose from the pioneering spirit of an entirely different era – that of Appalachia’s early settlers, whose houses and outbuildings were designed to help them cope with isolation and wilderness conditions in the mountains of North Carolina.

Deep Energy Retrofit: Apply the Energy Efficiency Pyramid

Posted on May 06,2015 by ChrisBriley in deep energy retrofit

This is the last installment in the Green Architects' Lounge trilogy on deep energy retrofits. In this episode, Phil and I discuss the importance of sizing your new HVAC system to the heat load of your newly renovated house. (This is where that energy audit information, which we mentioned in previous episodes, is going to come in handy.)

Deep Energy Retrofit: Focus on the Envelope

Posted on May 06,2015 by ChrisBriley in Green Architects Lounge

This is part two of the Green Architects' Lounge three-part series on deep energy retrofits. In this episode, Phil and I discuss what we believe is the most crucial part of a DER: the exterior building envelope. There is no single solution. Here, we must be nimble and thoughtful, and deal with the structure that we're given and apply the skills we've learned (and by we, I mean all of you listeners as well).

Avoiding the Global Warming Impact of Insulation

Posted on May 06,2015 by AlexWilson in Spray foam insulation

Can insulation materials, which we use to save energy and help prevent climate change, cause greenhouse gas emissions? Yes, in two ways. First, it takes energy to produce and ship these materials—which we refer to as “embodied energy”—and using fossil fuels for these energy needs releases carbon dioxide (our most significant greenhouse gas). So in a sense, all insulation materials have embodied global warming potential (GWP).

Tax Credits for Energy Upgrades

Posted on May 06,2015 by AlexWilson in tax credits

There are some great opportunities right now to upgrade your home energy performance with support from federal tax credits. These tax credits, created as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 greatly expanded tax credits that had been put in place through the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct). Over the next few weeks I’ll describe these tax credits--addressing what they cover and how you can benefit--but also editorializing a bit about some of the poorly thought-out features.

Green Basics Insulation Overview

U.S. House Proposes Huge Increase In Weatherization Spending

Posted on May 06,2015 by user-756436 in Green Building News

$6.2 billion for energy improvements to homes of low-income families

The Time for Building Green Homes has Arrived

Posted on May 06,2015 by SamRashkin in energy efficient

_The Link Between Energy Efficiency and Our Country's Best Interests Are Now Well Understood. Here's five reasons why the time is ripe to build and remodel green_ In my last semester of architecture school, I took an elective solar and energy-efficiency course. My life changed immediately and forever. And now, almost 35 years later, it appears the building industry has caught up and it’s time for “green.” Why now? I’ve got five reasons:

Fine Home Building Attic-Insulation Upgrade

Exceed code-required insulation levels in the roof

Posted on May 06,2015 by Peterbilt in Add a floor above

**Roof insulation is key to saving energy** Roofs are exposed to more direct solar radiation during the summer than walls, so effective insulation there is important for reducing cooling loads. In wood-frame buildings insulating is relatively easy and inexpensive because the rafters or trusses are usually deep enough to hold plenty of fiberglass or cellulose insulation. The 2009 energy code calls for R-values in the roof ranging from 30 to 49, depending on climate zone. Although meeting these insulation levels is clearly a good idea, beating them is better.

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