Thursday, October 27, 2011

Insulated Walls

The Miller renovation was an exciting project to be involved with for many reasons. The scientific approach involved in combining different products to achieve the best possible benefits for both the Miller's home comfort and their concerns for the environment was especially interesting.

One of the priorities established in the Miller home renovation project was high quality insulation. This was achieved using various products, like the SIPs (oriented strand board on both sides of a foam core) in the roof structure that we highlighted in our recent newsletter. Another pre-engineered product is the highly insulated Thermomass wall we used in the foundation structure for the rear walk out basement level of the home.

Thermomass walls consist of 4" thick Styrofoam panels, sandwiched between two layers of concrete (a cross section is shown in the photo). They are held together by a fiber composite connector, and the exterior provides waterproofing. The end result is an incredibly strong structural component that is virtually weatherproof and has a high level of thermal resistance. The Styrofoam core is recyclable, too.

Another insulation product incorporated into above ground portions of the walls is a foam spray. The quantity required depends on the climate in your geographic area, as well as the part of the home to be insulated. An American company called Foam It Green is a manufacturer of this type of spray insulation. Like Harmon Builders, the company is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. Foam It Green has been recognized with a TerraPass for balancing their carbon footprint.

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