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Second Guessing an Insulation Upgrade

Posted on April 21,2015 by ScottG in insulation

Is there anything worse than getting midway through a renovation and then suddenly wondering whether you've got some important detail all wrong? That seems to be the predicament of William Lucrisia, who's in the midst of an insulation upgrade at his house north of Seattle. "The house was heated by propane," he explains in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor. It was a cost that was hard to get hold of, especially with some of the design [features] of the house (high ceiling)."

In Cold Climates, R-5 Foam Beats R-6

Posted on April 21,2015 by user-756436 in EPS

Researchers have known for years that most types of insulation — including fiberglass batts, extruded polystyrene (XPS), and expanded polystyrene (EPS) — perform better at low temperatures than high temperatures. The phenomenon was described by Chris Schumacher, an engineer and researcher at Building Science Corporation, at a conference in 2011: “If you measure the R-value of an R-13 fiberglass batt, you’ll get different results at different outdoor temperatures. If the outdoor temperature rises, the R-value goes down.

Exterior Insulation Is Like A Sweater For Your House

Posted on April 21,2015 by user-1048334 in EPS

There are many construction and insulation approaches which allow a builder to create walls and ceilings with high R-values and low levels of air leakage, creating a much better envelope than is achieved with standard framing methods. Structural insulated panels (SIPs), insulated concrete forms (ICFs), double-stud walls, and advanced framing can all produce more energy-efficient buildings than the ol' stick-built number. The one thing they can’t do is to improve the efficiency of an existing house.

How to Install Rigid Foam Sheathing

Posted on April 21,2015 by user-756436 in EPS

UPDATED on March 18, 2015 What’s the best way to install foam insulation on the outside of a wall? Although GBA has published many articles and videos on the topic, we continue to receive frequent questions from readers asking how to install rigid foam sheathing on exterior walls — so it’s time to provide a primer on the topic.

How to Insulate a Low-Slope Roof

Posted on April 21,2015 by ScottG in EPDM

Eric Dymond lives in a 1920s Baltimore row house that needs a new roof. He plans on replacing the low-slope, built-up roof with an EPDM membrane, and the question is how to insulate it correctly. Currently, the built-up asphalt roof is installed over Homasote (or something similar) and a roof deck made of wood planks. Although there’s some “sparsely distributed” insulation in the space between the ceilings and the roof deck, it won’t meet current recommendations for Dymond’s Climate Zone 4 house.

A Deep-Energy Retrofit in Northwest Vermont

Posted on April 21,2015 by Fretboard in David Pill

The last time the three-bedroom home in Hinesburg, Vermont, saw extensive contractor attention was in the early 1970s, when the house was built. Recently, though, David Pill and his team at Pill-Maharam Architects, in Shelburne, Vermont, joined Conner & Buck Builders, of Bristol, to put the house through a deep-energy retrofit. As Pill noted in an email to GBA, the house was “the perfect candidate” for the transformation.

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