Roxul

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Urban Rustic: Prepping for a Basement Slab

Before the concrete can go down, the basement needs insulation and air-sealing

Posted on Jan 23 2018 by Eric Whetzel

Editor's note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The first blog in his series was called An Introduction to a New Passive House Project; a list of Eric's previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric's blog, Kimchi & Kraut.


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  1. Eric Whetzel

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Mineral Wool Makers Dropping Formaldehyde Binders

Two manufacturers will begin making insulation with ‘no added formaldehyde’ later this year

Posted on May 4 2017 by Scott Gibson

Two manufacturers of mineral wool insulation have announced that they will stop using binders containing formaldehydeChemical found in many building products; most binders used for manufactured wood products are formaldehyde compounds. Reclassified by the United Nations International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2004 as a “known human carcinogen." in at least some of their products, a move aimed at addressing long-standing health concerns and meeting tougher green certification requirements.


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Image Credits:

  1. Roxul

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Windwashing in Exterior Mineral Wool

When mineral wool is installed on the exterior side of wall sheathing, is the performance of the insulation affected much by windwashing?

Posted on Jan 6 2017 by Martin Holladay
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Fibrous insulation materials like mineral wool do not stop air flow. Unlike rigid foam (which is a pretty good 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., as long as the seams between panels are taped), mineral wool can only slow down air flow, not stop it.

So what happens when builders install mineral wool insulation on the exterior side of wall sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. ? Is the thermal performance of the mineral wool degraded by wind?


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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: Patrick Walshe

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How to Attach a Thick Layer of Exterior Insulation

A reader worried that extra-long screws will sag over time looks for an inexpensive and practical solution

Posted on May 9 2016 by Scott Gibson

Adding a layer of insulation to the outside of a house, over the wall sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. , makes all kinds of sense from an energy perspective. But the thicker the layer, the more challenging becomes the actual means of attaching it to the building.

In a post in the Q&A forum at Green Building Advisor, Burke Stoller shares some of his concerns, as well as a proposed solution. Stoller is working out the details for a 6-inch-thick layer of Roxul ComfortBoard mineral wool, consisting of two layers of 3-inch-thick panels, each 2 feet by 4 feet.


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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: Burke Stoller
  2. Image #2: James Hardie
  3. Images #3 and #4: Steve Baczek

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Sub-Slab Mineral Wool

Some builders have begun installing a continuous horizontal layer of mineral wool insulation under concrete slabs

Posted on May 22 2015 by Martin Holladay
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UPDATED on April 5, 2016


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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1 and #2: Michael Hindle
  2. Image #3, #4, and #5: EcoHome
  3. Image #6: Roxul
  4. Image #7: Brennan + Company Architects

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The Best Way to Insulate a Floor

A homeowner in Arkansas weighs the benefits of mineral wool batts and sprayed polyurethane foam — but a third option may be the winner

Posted on Jun 2 2014 by Scott Gibson

Jim Wright's house in western Arkansas has a pier foundation that elevates floor framing about 40 inches off the ground. Unlike a house with a basement, crawl space, or slab foundation, there is no enclosure at the bottom of the house, so the floor is more or less like another exterior wall.

How, Wright wonders, should this be insulated?


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Image Credits:

  1. Jim Wright

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Mineral Wool Insulation Isn’t Like Fiberglass

What you don’t know about mineral wool insulation will make you look stupid

Posted on Apr 8 2014 by Gregory La Vardera

If you are interested in green building, or call yourself a green building expert, then you should know about mineral wool insulation. If you have not seen mineral wool handled and installed, then you need to read this.

If you think that mineral wool batts are similar enough to fiberglass batts that you already know what you need to know about it, then you are a fool. And you still need to read this.


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Image Credits:

  1. Smålandsvillan
  2. RepCon NW
  3. Randek AB

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Wrapping an Older House with Rock Wool Insulation

The designer of a deep energy retrofit project in Massachusetts specified 6 inches of mineral wool insulation for the exterior side of the walls

Posted on May 14 2013 by Mark Yanowitz

When I first met Chris Gleba and Kris Erickson in December 2011 to discuss their plans for a deep energy retrofit, Chris told me that he had been remodeling his modest two-bedroom house in Lowell, Massachusetts, for over ten years. He had painstakingly rewired and re-plumbed the house and had made energy efficiency improvements (including the installation of a high-efficiency natural gas boiler and radiant in-floor heating). He had also devoted much sweat equity towards upgrading the interior finishes of the kitchen and baths.


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Image Credits:

  1. All photos: Mark Yanowitz
  2. Heco-Topix
  3. Architectural drawings: Verdeco Designs

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Installing Mineral Wool Insulation Over Exterior Wall Sheathing

Researchers confirm that Roxul panels and furring strips can be installed on walls as a substitute for exterior rigid foam

Posted on Aug 26 2011 by Martin Holladay

A subset of green builders have always been grumpy about foam. Such builders look at rigid foam panels and spray foam as suspect products: they are made from petroleum, laced with mysterious chemicals, and impermeable to vapor flow.


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Image Credits:

  1. Building Science Corporation

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