Green Home Insulation
As an Earth-first design and build firm we regularly exceed code expectations during the rough phase – when most companies might not achieve this low of a blower door test even during final phase. Creating a tight building envelope – through a combination of foam insulation, vapor barriers and radiant floor heating – is how you physically separate living space from outside moisture, heat, cold, light and noise, keeping energy bills low and air quality high.
Domestic home heating and cooling are major sources of carbon emissions. In a typical house the walls will lose up to 40% of the heat/cold, followed by the roof at ~25% and windows and doors at ~20% and the floor as well.
We’re working really hard to make sure the envelope on this house, as in any other house, is as good as it can be. We’re trying to keep out water. We’re trying to keep out air. We’re trying to maintain air quality within the house as well. On the exterior of the house we’ve added two inches of foam board that is taped at every at every seam and then we’ve put siding over the top of it.
When you take a thermal camera and you take a picture of the building you can see, even though the drywall is up, you can see the lines of the studs because there the weak thermal break in the building. So when you add this two inches of insulation, you diminish that loss of energy by putting the foam on the outside that comes across all the studs.
So this trusses is 20 inches tall we’ve got 11 maybe 12 inches of open cell insulation in there add on top of that the tapered roof insulation is completely sealed in this house. On the interior of the walls you’ll see open cell foam insulation so we should have a very robust wall system.
I’m Mark Olman with Advanced Energy Services and we’re going to do a blower door test today.
So, essentially, he’s going to depressurize the building by 50 pascals. That simulates a 25 mile an hour wind and then by doing that we can actually find these tiny little hidden leaks we can actually seal them up before we drywall.
What we have here is a smoke pen. What this is going to do is, as Mark turns up the blower door, we’re actually going to be able to detect where we have air being pulled out of the building, or smoke in this case, being pulled out of the building down to like the smallest increment and we’re going to come along with some foam or some caulk and make sure those holes are closed.
You actually see a little bit of movement there – look at that – that’s actually air being pulled in you can see the smoke being pushed. So Scott finds this tiny little leak right here we can just take the foam and just spray the foam in there.
There’s little gaps every so often where the electricians have left stuff and we’re trying to make sure that we get a precise air seal we’re definitely not going to have a leakage in the middle of the wall like this but we’re going to have it on the edge or where studs are gathered.
The structure is pretty tight already even without the drywall.
Their energy bills are going to be lower, their heating bills are going to be lower, therefore, less gas and less electricity being used.