By Kim Hibbs, Hibbs Homes
When building a high-performance energy efficient home like the Proud Green Home St. Louis, which we completed last year, one of the most important decisions our team had to make was the insulation package. This is one of the most important decisions any building will make in any home construction project – but most especially when indoor air quality and energy efficient are a priority. While here are many good options depending upon your budget and desired performance, if installed properly, but for this extraordinarily green home construction project, we were looking for insulation that would perform at the highest levels.
Why is the insulation package so important to building an energy efficient home?
Why is the insulation package so important? Because it’s one of the key components to improving the home’s ͞thermal envelope or those not familiar with the term, a thermal envelope can be considered a blanket or coat that wraps and protects your home. The better the fit, the better the thermal envelope and performance of the house. One of the best insulating products is spray foam. We selected Dow Building Solutions polyurethane spray foam for several reasons.
First, Dow is a trusted name in providing quality building products to the construction industry. The company is also a leader in developing and advancing products for high-performance (green) builders.
The list of advantages to using Dow’s spray foam insulation made our decision rather easy, as it:
- Expands during installation on the interior of stud walls to fill cavities, cracks and crevices
- Serves as both insulation and air sealant for a wide range of new and retrofit application
- Creates a seamless, monolithic barrier
- Protects against water vapor and air infiltration
- Provides structural reinforcement for improved racking strength (structural enhancement only)
- Incorporates a zero ozone-depleting blowing agent in the manufacturing process
Green Home Construction Insulation Options
Bottom-line, Dow’s spray foam insulation will help us provide our client with a home that is more efficient, comfortable, and durable, with improved indoor air quality. In addition to using foam in the walls, we also used Dow Building Products XPS
In addition to using foam in the walls, we also used Dow Building Products XPS ridged foam insulation under the basement concrete slab. Insulation under the slab not only helps keep heat in the house, it also helps maintain a comfortable floor temperature and helps save energy. Spray foam insulation and ridged foam under the basement slab does add to construction costs. But, if you consider the added benefits, comfort and eventual payback, they are definitely worth discussing with your new home builder.
For more information on our energy efficient building techniques and the Proud Green Home St. Louis project, click here.