For every commercial and residential building project, there are minimum building codes that must be met for construction approval. These codes are designed to create safe and efficient homes and businesses. In the past, builders could simply place insulation inside wall cavities. However, modern building codes are frequently calling for continuous insulation. Continuous insulation means that the insulating materials are installed over an entire interior or exterior wall, not just inside the empty spaces in the wall.
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According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings continuous insulation refers to:
“Insulating material that is continuous across all structural members without thermal bridges other than fasteners and service openings. It is installed on the interior or exterior or is integral to any opaque surface of the building envelope.”
The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) includes guidelines for insulation installation based on building assembly type (foundations, slabs, framed walls, mass walls, floors, roofs) as well as climate zone. While there are many ways to meet minimum building requirements, installing efficient continuous insulation can be a cost effective way to exceed minimum building codes. Meeting and exceeding building codes with continuous insulation helps ensure you are creating a safe, efficient structure designed with care.
R-value is a number that indicates the thermal resistance of insulation. An insulation material with higher r-values indicates greater insulating effectiveness than a material with lower R-values. It is important to understand R-values in order to maximize the efficiency of your building.
As a homeowner, builder, or remodeler, the insulation you install – even one with a high R-value – will not be effective if there is heat transfer from the inside and outside. Continuous insulation that is properly installed, with all seams and gaps sealed, can maximize the R-value achieved in your commercial or residential construction project.
Continuous insulation installation has been common in commercial construction for some time now. Continuous insulation improves building design and performance while also often simplifying installation. In larger commercial buildings, continuous insulation is frequently installed because it is an effective air and vapor barrier while also improving energy efficiency.
Continuous insulation can save time and money for commercial builders. Continuous insulation products with integrated vapor and air barriers do not require the addition of a secondary sheathing product. This can provide valuable savings on material and labor costs.
Thermal bridging refers to areas in a home where energy (hot or cold) can enter or escape. One of the primary reasons to add insulation in a home is to reduce thermal bridging and energy waste. Installing a continuous layer of insulation over framing (both the studs and the wall cavities), increases the thermal performance of a residential structure.
With properly installed continuous insulation, homeowners will notice reduced costs for heating and air conditioning as well as less wear and tear on HVAC systems. Continuous insulation can also act as a vapor barrier – keeping moisture out with added coatings. With less moisture and condensation inside a home, the air is safer and more comfortable. There is less change of mold growth and moisture damage over time.
A variety of insulation materials can be used for continuous insulation.
The experts at TruTeam know what it takes to build efficient, cost effective structures in your area. We help you meet and exceed building codes with continuous insulation. We’ll help you determine the proper R-value necessary for your residential or commercial project, and then recommend and install the right continuous insulation products. TruTeam will keep your project on budget and on schedule.
Contact your local TruTeam branch for more information on professional installation of continuous insulation.