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Optimized Insulation

Optimized Insulation

  • Bonded Logic. UltraTouch uses post-consumer blue jeans to make cotton batt and blown-in cellulose insulation with no formaldehyde or VOCs while diverting 300 tons of denim per month away from landfills. It is available in select R-values up to 30, absorbs sound for up to a 50% increase in acoustical performance, and offers fire- and mold-resistant qualities. New perforated batts enable easier installation around cavity intrusions to achieve optimal R-value. 480.812.9114. www.bondedlogic.com/ultratouch-cotton.htm.

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    Bonded Logic. UltraTouch uses post-consumer blue jeans to make cotton batt and blown-in cellulose insulation with no formaldehyde or VOCs while diverting 300 tons of denim per month away from landfills. It is available in select R-values up to 30, absorbs sound for up to a 50% increase in acoustical performance, and offers fire- and mold-resistant qualities. New perforated batts enable easier installation around cavity intrusions to achieve optimal R-value. 480.812.9114. www.bondedlogic.com/ultratouch-cotton.htm.

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    Bonded Logic. UltraTouch uses post-consumer blue jeans to make cotton batt and blown-in cellulose insulation with no formaldehyde or VOCs while diverting 300 tons of denim per month away from landfills. It is available in select R-values up to 30, absorbs sound for up to a 50% increase in acoustical performance, and offers fire- and mold-resistant qualities. New perforated batts enable easier installation around cavity intrusions to achieve optimal R-value. 480.812.9114. http://www.bondedlogic.com/construction-products/ultratouch-denim-insulation.

  • CertainTeed. A full line of compatible insulation options includes CertaSpray, a closed-cell expanding spray foam designed for complete coverage or hybrid applications (pictured) to provide air sealing and up to R-6.7 insulating qualities. It also serves as a secondary moisture barrier and offers anti-fungal-growth qualities. The company also offers recycled glass-fiber batts and blown-in with plant-based binders that contain no formaldehyde. 800.233.8990. www.certainteed.com/products/insulation.

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    CertainTeed. A full line of compatible insulation options includes CertaSpray, a closed-cell expanding spray foam designed for complete coverage or hybrid applications (pictured) to provide air sealing and up to R-6.7 insulating qualities. It also serves as a secondary moisture barrier and offers anti-fungal-growth qualities. The company also offers recycled glass-fiber batts and blown-in with plant-based binders that contain no formaldehyde. 800.233.8990. www.certainteed.com/products/insulation.

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    CertainTeed. A full line of compatible insulation options includes CertaSpray, a closed-cell expanding spray foam designed for complete coverage or hybrid applications (pictured) to provide air sealing and up to R-6.7 insulating qualities. It also serves as a secondary moisture barrier and offers anti-fungal-growth qualities. The company also offers recycled glass-fiber batts and blown-in with plant-based binders that contain no formaldehyde. 800.233.8990. www.certainteed.com/products/insulation.

  • Demilec. Sealection 500 is a two-part, water-blown polyurethane open-cell spray foam that delivers air-sealing and R-3.81 per inch insulating qualities. The formulation contains no ozone-depleting or emitting chemicals, gasses, fibers, or asbestos to promote healthy indoor air; the sealing value offers sound abatement benefits up to STC 51. It is appropriate for all wood-framed areas. 877.336.4532. www.demilecusa.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp2068%2Etmp_tcm131-849666.jpg

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    Demilec. Sealection 500 is a two-part, water-blown polyurethane open-cell spray foam that delivers air-sealing and R-3.81 per inch insulating qualities. The formulation contains no ozone-depleting or emitting chemicals, gasses, fibers, or asbestos to promote healthy indoor air; the sealing value offers sound abatement benefits up to STC 51. It is appropriate for all wood-framed areas. 877.336.4532. www.demilecusa.com.

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    Demilec. Sealection 500 is a two-part, water-blown polyurethane open-cell spray foam that delivers air-sealing and R-3.81 per inch insulating qualities. The formulation contains no ozone-depleting or emitting chemicals, gasses, fibers, or asbestos to promote healthy indoor air; the sealing value offers sound abatement benefits up to STC 51. It is appropriate for all wood-framed areas. 877.336.4532. www.demilecusa.com.

  • Dow Building Solutions. Froth-Pak is a two-component, quick-cure polyurethane foam that fills cavities, cracks, and expansion joints to deliver air sealing and R-5.35 insulating value, as well as a Class-A flame-spread rating. Other compatible and complementary products and systems are available to accommodate below-grade, wood-framed, and block/concrete construction, including insulated structural sheathing panels. 866.583.2583. http://building.dow.com/na/en/products/insulation.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp2069%2Etmp_tcm131-849667.jpg

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    Dow Building Solutions. Froth-Pak is a two-component, quick-cure polyurethane foam that fills cavities, cracks, and expansion joints to deliver air sealing and R-5.35 insulating value, as well as a Class-A flame-spread rating. Other compatible and complementary products and systems are available to accommodate below-grade, wood-framed, and block/concrete construction, including insulated structural sheathing panels. 866.583.2583. http://building.dow.com/na/en/products/insulation.

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    Dow Building Solutions. Froth-Pak is a two-component, quick-cure polyurethane foam that fills cavities, cracks, and expansion joints to deliver air sealing and R-5.35 insulating value, as well as a Class-A flame-spread rating. Other compatible and complementary products and systems are available to accommodate below-grade, wood-framed, and block/concrete construction, including insulated structural sheathing panels. 866.583.2583. http://building.dow.com/na/en/products/insulation.

  • GreenFiber. High-density Cocoon cellulose blown-in insulation is made from 85% post-consumer recycled newspaper purchased in bulk and from select community collections and 15% non-toxic borate additives to achieve a Class 1A fire rating. The coverage chart on the package indicates how much material is needed to achieve the desired R-value. The hydroscopic product can absorb up to 15% moisture content without losing thermal value and also absorbs 90% of sound transmission, says the maker. 800.228.0024. www.greenfiber.com.

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    GreenFiber. High-density Cocoon cellulose blown-in insulation is made from 85% post-consumer recycled newspaper purchased in bulk and from select community collections and 15% non-toxic borate additives to achieve a Class 1A fire rating. The coverage chart on the package indicates how much material is needed to achieve the desired R-value. The hydroscopic product can absorb up to 15% moisture content without losing thermal value and also absorbs 90% of sound transmission, says the maker. 800.228.0024. www.greenfiber.com.

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    GreenFiber. High-density Cocoon cellulose blown-in insulation is made from 85% post-consumer recycled newspaper purchased in bulk and from select community collections and 15% non-toxic borate additives to achieve a Class 1A fire rating. The coverage chart on the package indicates how much material is needed to achieve the desired R-value. The hydroscopic product can absorb up to 15% moisture content without losing thermal value and also absorbs 90% of sound transmission, says the maker. 800.228.0024. www.greenfiber.com.

  • Johns Manville. The company offers a wide range of insulating options, including Kraft-Faced Batts & Rolls made of naturally white, formaldehyde-free fiberglass. Applicable in all wood framing cavities, the batts are available in R-values ranging from 11 to 38 and in pre-cut batts. Complementary products include rigid foam panels for CMU/concrete walls, poly-encapsulated batts, and both spray- and blown-in fiberglass. 800.654.3103. www.specjm.com.

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    Johns Manville. The company offers a wide range of insulating options, including Kraft-Faced Batts & Rolls made of naturally white, formaldehyde-free fiberglass. Applicable in all wood framing cavities, the batts are available in R-values ranging from 11 to 38 and in pre-cut batts. Complementary products include rigid foam panels for CMU/concrete walls, poly-encapsulated batts, and both spray- and blown-in fiberglass. 800.654.3103. www.specjm.com.

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    Johns Manville. The company offers a wide range of insulating options, including Kraft-Faced Batts & Rolls made of naturally white, formaldehyde-free fiberglass. Applicable in all wood framing cavities, the batts are available in R-values ranging from 11 to 38 and in pre-cut batts. Complementary products include rigid foam panels for CMU/concrete walls, poly-encapsulated batts, and both spray- and blown-in fiberglass. 800.654.3103. www.specjm.com.

  • Knauf. The Insulation & Sealing System uses one-part, water-based, elastomeric EcoSeal applied with an airless sprayer to seal the framing joints; fiberglass EcoBatt insulation adds thermal resistance to R-38 per batt. Sealant accommodates gaps as small as 1/16 inch for optimal air tightness. A whole-house application installs in a half-day, says the maker, requires no safety gear or special equipment, and provides acoustical qualities. 317.398.4434. http://ecoseal.knaufinsulation.us.

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    Knauf. The Insulation & Sealing System uses one-part, water-based, elastomeric EcoSeal applied with an airless sprayer to seal the framing joints; fiberglass EcoBatt insulation adds thermal resistance to R-38 per batt. Sealant accommodates gaps as small as 1/16 inch for optimal air tightness. A whole-house application installs in a half-day, says the maker, requires no safety gear or special equipment, and provides acoustical qualities. 317.398.4434. http://ecoseal.knaufinsulation.us.

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    Knauf. The Insulation & Sealing System uses one-part, water-based, elastomeric EcoSeal applied with an airless sprayer to seal the framing joints; fiberglass EcoBatt insulation adds thermal resistance to R-38 per batt. Sealant accommodates gaps as small as 1/16 inch for optimal air tightness. A whole-house application installs in a half-day, says the maker, requires no safety gear or special equipment, and provides acoustical qualities. 317.398.4434. http://ecoseal.knaufinsulation.us.

  • Oregon Shepherd. Natural recycled wool loose-fill insulation delivers a high thermal resistance value (about R-4 per inch), resists settling per natural elasticity, and can absorb up to 38% of its weight in moisture without sacrificing thermal value. The all-natural product requires no safety gear to install and absorbs off-gassed chemicals from other products to promote better indoor air quality; it is also fire- and vermin-resistant. It is available in batts for floor cavities. 888.629.9665. www.oregonshepherd.com.

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    Oregon Shepherd. Natural recycled wool loose-fill insulation delivers a high thermal resistance value (about R-4 per inch), resists settling per natural elasticity, and can absorb up to 38% of its weight in moisture without sacrificing thermal value. The all-natural product requires no safety gear to install and absorbs off-gassed chemicals from other products to promote better indoor air quality; it is also fire- and vermin-resistant. It is available in batts for floor cavities. 888.629.9665. www.oregonshepherd.com.

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    Oregon Shepherd. Natural recycled wool loose-fill insulation delivers a high thermal resistance value (about R-4 per inch), resists settling per natural elasticity, and can absorb up to 38% of its weight in moisture without sacrificing thermal value. The all-natural product requires no safety gear to install and absorbs off-gassed chemicals from other products to promote better indoor air quality; it is also fire- and vermin-resistant. It is available in batts for floor cavities. 888.629.9665. www.oregonshepherd.com.

  • Owens Corning. EcoTouch Pink Fiberglas Insulation features new PureFiber technology made with formaldehyde-free minerals and plant-based compounds and a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content (50% total recycled content), the highest SCS-certified percentage in the industry. The product offers R-13 to R-38 ratings for all framed applicatons. The manufacturer recommends its application with an air-sealing method to achieve optimum thermal performance. It achieves Greenguard Indoor Air Quality and Greenguard Children and Schools certification. 800.438.7465. http://insulation.owenscorning.com.

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    Owens Corning. EcoTouch Pink Fiberglas Insulation features new PureFiber technology made with formaldehyde-free minerals and plant-based compounds and a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content (50% total recycled content), the highest SCS-certified percentage in the industry. The product offers R-13 to R-38 ratings for all framed applicatons. The manufacturer recommends its application with an air-sealing method to achieve optimum thermal performance. It achieves Greenguard Indoor Air Quality and Greenguard Children and Schools certification. 800.438.7465. http://insulation.owenscorning.com.

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    E.PERRY**Y

    Owens Corning. EcoTouch Pink Fiberglas Insulation features new PureFiber technology made with formaldehyde-free minerals and plant-based compounds and a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content (50% total recycled content), the highest SCS-certified percentage in the industry. The product offers R-13 to R-38 ratings for all framed applicatons. The manufacturer recommends its application with an air-sealing method to achieve optimum thermal performance. It achieves Greenguard Indoor Air Quality and Greenguard Children and Schools certification. 800.438.7465. http://insulation.owenscorning.com.

Basements: For the roughly half of all new homes built on a basement or crawlspace, effective insulation and air-sealing application comes down to two choices and also depends somewhat on the end use of the space.

For a conditioned, full-height basement, builders can insulate either side of the perimeter walls with rigid foam insulation panels and spray foam or elastic sealant applied to the joints and the band joist area. “The difference in thermal performance is incremental,” says Parsons. “But if you insulate and seal the exterior, you get the benefit of water protection [combined with a waterproofing membrane applied to the panels] and a drainage plane,” which helps mitigate water intrusion and related latent defects and potential indoor air quality issues.

Builders can also insulate the concrete slab, either prior to the pour (achieving similar waterproofing benefits as the sidewalls) or on top of it to create what’s called a “floating” floor of a vapor retarder, R-10 foam panels (taped at all joints), and a T&G wood subfloor ready for the owner’s choice of finish. “If you can plan and prep for it, insulating and sealing from the outside is faster and easier,” Parsons says.

For occasional-use basements and crawls, filling the floor joists with a batt, blow-in-membrane, or flash-and-batt application and air-sealing the band joist offer more affordable yet very effective thermal values to seal and enclose these areas away from the conditioned living spaces above and perhaps create a semi-conditioned area for duct runs.

Regardless of where and how a builder seals and insulates, Easley advocates adding two in-house inspections—one just before the drywall goes up and another before the exterior cladding is applied—to make sure the building envelope is thoroughly sealed against air and moisture infiltration. “A building inspector may not look that closely,” he says. “But a builder should.”

A Systems Approach

The ability to right-size mechanical equipment, incorporating advanced framing techniques that allow larger framing cavities, and the need to provide controlled fresh-air ventilation into an airtight and well-insulated house speak to how delivering an energy-efficient house requires far more than optimizing the insulation package.

“It’s not just a laundry list of products to achieve certification from a green building program,” says Easley. “It’s how they work together to optimize the performance and the economics of energy-efficient housing.”

Rich Binsacca is a contributing editor for EcoHome.