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Insulation Technologies and

Installation Specifications for

Better Energy Performance of

Commercial Buildings

WoodWorks West

Wood Products Council is a Registered Provider with The

American Institute of Architects Continuing Education

Systems. Credit earned on completion of this program will be

reported to CES Records for AIA members. Certificates of

Completion for non-AIA members are available on request.

This program is registered with the AIA/CES for continuing

professional education. As such, it does not include content

that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or

endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any

method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing

in any material or product. Questions related to specific

materials, methods, and services will be addressed at the

conclusion of this presentation.

Steve Easley

Copyright Materials

This presentation is protected by US and

International Copyright laws. Reproduction,

distribution, display and use of the presentation

without written permission of the speaker is

prohibited.

Course Evaluations

In order to maintain high-quality learning experiences, please access

the evaluation for this course by logging into CES Discovery and

clicking on the Course Evaluation link on the left side of the page.

© Steve Easley & Associates/Wood Products Council


Getting Enclosures Right

Photo Mason Grant Consulting


Historically Speaking

• Priorities were cost, strength, esthetics.

• Enclosure thermal performance was

primarily an after thought to the

structure.

• Energy was cheap

• Environmental issues were not a

priority.

Objectives

• Select the best insulation system for a

given application.

• Write better specifications regarding

insulation and installation.

• Explain how insulation works and sort

fact from fiction regarding manufacturer

claims.

• Understand the relationships between

air barriers, moisture vapor

transmission, condensation, material

permeability, and insulation selection.

Steve Easley

Energy Efficiency

• Energy Efficiency is a major component

of LEED and all Green (GrEEn)

• Energy Efficiency is the easiest to

quantify.

• The most likely to provide tangible

results.

• Energy Efficiency starts with a good

enclosure

Steve Easley


Green House Gas Emissions

• 1 kWh = 1-1.5 lbs

• 1 Therm 100,000 BTU’s = 11.7 lbs.

Our Expectations for Building

Enclosures

They keep building components dry

They maintain a temperate

environment

They are long lasting

They do not make you sick

Building Enclosures Manage

• Water flow

• Air flow

• Heat flow & surfaces

temps

• Moisture as a vapor

4 - Enclosure Control Layers

• Water- WRB’s & Rain Screens

• Air- Air barriers, building wraps, air

sealing

• Thermal- insulation exsulation

• Vapor- vapor retarders


Why Focus on the Building

Enclosure First

– Reduces the heating and cooling system

energy use, size and costs

– Is likely to last for the life of the structure

– Energy savings do not diminish with age

– Reduces the loads thus reduces design

risk factors for HVAC

– Can manage moisture and increase

building durability

– Can enhance occupant comfort and

building IAQ

The Romans

• Built cavity walled structures

• Insulated heated water pipes with cork so

they could be placed under floors

• Used cork to insulate ice houses

• Used fabrics for additional insulation

– Scraps of cloth tucked into window frames

– Rugs of animal furs

– Thick linen drapes as curtains

Mongolian Nomads

• Used felted and woven sheep wool pads

and an insulating layer on the walls and

floors of their yurts

The Vikings

• 10 th & 11 th century Vikings and other

northern Europeans insulated their

homes with mud chinking, plastering it

in the cracks between the logs or hewn

boards

When mixed with horse/cattle dung and

straw the mud was called daub and

considered a stronger/better building material


R-4

R-4

Is not just about R value

• Promote building science and systems

engineering / integration approach

• “Do no harm”: Ensure safety, health and

durability are maintained or improved

• Accelerate adoption of high performance

technologies

www.buildingamerica.gov


Building Science Fundamentals

Building Science, a definition:

The understanding of the interworking relationships between

climate, heat, air, and moisture flow with the various systems in a

building and how those relationships impact energy use, comfort,

indoor air quality and building longevity

Steve Easley

• Systems in a building:

• Building or structural systems

• Space conditioning system

• Water heating and plumbing system

• Electrical, lighting

• Communication system

• Fire & safety systems

• Conduction

• Convection

• Radiation

Heat Transfer

Steve Easley

Basics of Heat Movement

Heat Transfer

• Heat always flows

from warm to cold

• The greater the

temperature

difference the

faster heat flows

• Temperature

gradients cause air

movement

• Air contains

moisture

• Conduction

Steve Easley


Fiber Insulation















Wall Insulation: Wet-Spray

Cellulose

Wet-Spray Cellulose

(Scrubbed)


Wet-Spray Cellulose

(Scrubbed)

Wet-Spray Cellulose:

Drying Time

Typical R-values of Insulation

Materials


Courtesy B.S.C.

Thermal Bridging


Solutions


Copyright, Steve Easley

Copyright, Steve Easley


Copyright, Steve Easley

Keys to a high performance

system

Factors Affecting Insulation Performance

• Stops air flow

• Not affected by moisture

• Stable R value

• Protects structure


The Goal

• Conductive losses (solved by proper

insulation)

Specification Tips

Insulation

• No voids/spaces,

complete alignment

with air barriers

• No compression

• Cavities filled

• Air sealing

• All void sealed

• Air testing

Installed R-Values of

Fiberglass

Compression


Effect of Gaps and Voids


Effects of Gaps at Insulation


Safety 1 st !!!

Steve Easley

Steve Easley

Note Heat Loss Between

Floors

Steve Easley


Prime Areas for Spray Foam

• Band Joist areas

• Living spaces over garages

• Knee walls

• Behind tubs & showers

• Hard to insulate ceiling areas

• Below grade spaces

• Plumbing on exterior walls

• Crawl space by passes


Heat Loss at Band Joist


• Convection

Heat Transfer

Enclosure Thermal

Performance

• Thermal performance is a 2 component

process

• Conductive losses…Solution…Insulation

• Convective losses….Solution…Air sealing

• High performance enclosure = less loads

= lower costs…purchase, operation,

maintenance….forever

Steve Easley


Heat Loss by Convection

Cause of Air Infiltration in Buildings

Wind

Pressure

Stack

Pressure

Mechanical

Pressure

(HVAC)

Steve Easley & Associates

Air Leakage

Photo

IR Thermogram

Spectrum Infrared Ltd.

Air Leakage along the corner joint

Photo Mason Grant Consulting


Pour-stop

Metal clip

Curtain wall


Air gap

Air Sealing Challenges:

Ductwork


Blower Door Testing

Thermal Performance

Insulation

• Air sealing

• Reduce heat loss & • Wind washing

gain

• Moisture control

• Reduces condensation • Thermal Comfort

• Warmer components

Convective Loop

Windwashing


Controlling Air Infiltration

Thermal By-Passes

• Convective (solved by proper air

sealing and a good air barrier system)


Thermal By-Passes

• This is not an effective air barrier

An Air Barrier is a Systems Approach to

Reducing Convective Thermal By-Passes

Tape is Not a Reliable Air

Seal


Air Transport

Air Leakage

Unplanned

Unpredictable

Unintentional

Very Costly


Sealed Cans

70 Degrees F

30% Relative

Humidity

Dew Point Location

INSIDE

OUTSIDE

Dew Point

NOTE:

Perm is a

unit of water

vapor

transmission


0 Degrees F

Extreme Consequences

Air Sealing Challenge: Electricals


Change in Relative Humidity

Questions?

This concludes The

American Institute

of Architects

Continuing

Education Systems

Course

steve@steveeasley.com

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