fiberglass batt

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Is Your House Too Leaky Because of Fiberglass?

Dirty fiberglass indicates a problem. Who’s to blame?

Posted on Dec 16 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
prime

I read a lot of stuff online about insulation and air barriers and other building science topics. I see a fair number of articles bashing certain products or materials. Sometimes it's because the author sells a competing product. Sometimes they just don't like a product. Take fiberglass insulation, for example. What thoughts just went through your head?


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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Fiberglass Insulation Manufacturer Tackles Installation Quality

Owens Corning has published a document and video to help insulation contractors achieve the RESNET Grade 1 installation standard

Posted on Jan 21 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

One of the major fiberglass insulation manufacturers (the color in the lead photo gives away which one I'm talking about) is getting serious about the installation quality of fiberglass batt insulationInsulation, usually of fiberglass or mineral wool and often faced with paper, typically installed between studs in walls and between joists in ceiling cavities. Correct installation is crucial to performance. . They've put out a video (embedded below) and a document showing how to achieve RESNET Grade 1 installation quality with fiberglass batts. Have you seen these things yet?


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Image Credits:

  1. Owens Corning

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Seeking the Elusive Grade 1 Batt Installation

I finally found insulation contractors capable of Grade 1 work — in the very competitive multifamily market

Posted on Sep 4 2014 by Carl Seville

Having spent much of my time writing for GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com whining and complaining about the state of the insulation industry, it is now time for me to eat a little crow. The insulation work at one of our multifamily certification projects has, amazingly, met – and even possibly exceeded – my expectations for quality.


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Banish These Details From Your Plans

Some features and methods are so difficult to implement that designers might want to avoid them entirely

Posted on Jun 27 2014 by Martin Holladay

Is it possible to disassemble old shipping pallets and glue the pieces of lumber together to make furniture? Of course it’s possible; some woodworkers have used this method to make beautiful tables and chairs. There’s a fly in the ointment, however: while it’s possible, it’s not very easy.

Many commonly used construction methods, design details, and materials fall into a category I would call “possible but not easy.” I decided to create a list of items that fall into this category.


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Image Credits:

  1. Window in the shower: Juhan Sonin

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What Architects Need to Know About Attic Kneewalls

If you want your building enclosure to perform well, you need to start with good design details – especially for kneewalls

Posted on Jun 25 2014 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

We were working on a project, so we got a set of plans to get started. It includes the attic kneewall and vaulted ceiling section you see at right. This is typical of plans that architects draw, and builders build houses this way all the time. Unfortunately, it contains several errors. Can you spot them?


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard
  2. Southface Energy Institute

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Flash and Batt in the Roof

Adding up the R-values of different types of insulation may not yield a sum that the building code will accept

Posted on Feb 24 2014 by Scott Gibson

"Flash and batt" is an insulation technique that combines the air-sealing superiority of spray foam insulation with the cost benefits of fiberglass batts. An inch or two of polyurethane foam seals the cavity and the batt insulationInsulation, usually of fiberglass or mineral wool and often faced with paper, typically installed between studs in walls and between joists in ceiling cavities. Correct installation is crucial to performance. adds R-valueMeasure of resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the lower the heat loss. The inverse of U-factor. without costing an arm and a leg.

That's roughly the plan Dave Frank is considering for the roof of a house — presumably his own house — in Climate Zone 5. But his plan contains a twist: He wants to spray the underside of the roof deck with foam and install the batts between the joists at ceiling level.


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Image Credits:

  1. Karen Doherty/National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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Is R-Value Dead as a Dodo?

The R-value of your insulation is just one number — and it’s not enough to tell you everything you need to know about your wall’s thermal performance

Posted on Mar 5 2013 by Erik North

Once upon a time, house insulation meant an extra sweater — and stop your damn complaining. Men were men, women were women, and cats and dogs were cats and dogs, I assume. Houses included features to produce and retain heat, of course — things like double back-plaster walls and central chimneys. But until the 20th century, insulation barely existed in any formal sense.


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Image Credits:

  1. Photo credit: Giles Douglas

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Should the Paper Facing of Batt Insulation Face the Inside or Outside?

The surprisingly simple answer follows from the variable permeance of kraft paper

Posted on Feb 27 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

If you install fiberglass batt insulationInsulation, usually of fiberglass or mineral wool and often faced with paper, typically installed between studs in walls and between joists in ceiling cavities. Correct installation is crucial to performance. * with a kraft paper vapor retarder in a home, which way do you face the vapor retarder? To the inside of the home or the outside of the home? For many building science questions, the answer is, “It depends.” For this one, however, the answer is clear.

SPOILER ALERT: The answer is in the next paragraph — so if you'd rather wait and find out when you see the movie in the theater, don't read any further.


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard
  2. Building Science Corporation (buildingscience.com)

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Batt Insulation is Still Making Me Batty

The installation quality of fiberglass batt jobs just isn’t getting any better around here — even in homes seeking LEED certification

Posted on Feb 7 2013 by Carl Seville

I recently performed the pre-drywall inspection on a small home seeking LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. certification. The local building inspector had visited and approved the batts for covering up.


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Image Credits:

  1. All photos by Carl Seville

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Heat Loss from Air Is No Big Deal, Right?

No — it's a huge deal, especially if your ceiling is peppered with recessed can lights

Posted on Dec 27 2012 by Erik North

No, it’s a huge deal. The photo (right) is of air streaming through recessed lights in a cathedral ceiling.

I often and exhaustively speak about air sealing as if it were a universal good. And it is, right up there with brown ale and Avengers movies. My audit customers often look confused when I address their insulation questions by bringing up air barriers and air leakage. I mean, “Why are you talking about air leaks when I asked about the insulation?”


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Image Credits:

  1. Eric North

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