GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Picture icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Community and Q&A

How do I insulate steel support beams in a wooden framed house?

Jan Bultman | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I have a two story house that is being build. For hurricane reasons, we have steel beams from bottom to top sized 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch. The steel is only covered with a air tight material of 3/4 inch thickness, see picture. It will be finished with cement board on outside and drywall and plaster on inside. The whole house has 4 of these support beams. Next to this, in between windows, there are two support beams of steel, 2×6 inch bottom to top as well, see picture of framed house. The windows will be wood with alu cladding, the wood being 4 inch square. The contractor plans to have these steel beams covered with 3/4 inch plywood and air tight foil and on the outside also boral panels of 3/4 inch.
I’m really worried that these beams will destroy the thermal insulation of the house and the proposed solution is not sufficient.

What is the best way to proceed?

Thanks so much for your help!

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #1

    Where are you located? It's unfortunate that your architecture didn't address this issue during the design phase. Here is a thread with some advice on insulating steel framing:

  2. Jan Bultman | | #2

    I'm located 30 miles west of Boston, MA, climate zone 5.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |