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Building a house on piers

So if I am building a house on piers (zone 5) based on 2012 IECC, the ceiling has R-49, the floor has R-30 (or minimum 19), and the walls have R-20.

Am I missing something here? If heat seeks cold in any direction, would it not make sense to have the same level of insulation on all sides?

I have never really understood why, if a home is air sealed properly and tight, it is more beneficial to have R-49 in the ceiling and not the walls and floor. Or is this just based on a what's practical approach? Suppose I answered my own question.

Asked by terry grube
Posted Apr 24, 2013 9:02 PM ET
Edited Apr 25, 2013 5:38 AM ET


2 Answers

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Answered by Dan Kolbert
Posted Apr 24, 2013 9:57 PM ET


As you guessed, it's easier and cheaper to add deep insulation to a ceiling than to a floor, and it's easier and cheaper to add deep insulation to a floor than to a wall. These facts influenced code requirements for minimum R-values.

Fortunately, you are free to exceed minimum R-value regulations.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Apr 25, 2013 5:09 AM ET

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