CON­TIN­U­OUS IN­SU­LA­TION VS. THER­MAL BRIDG­ING

Timber Home Living - - Build It -

In a world where “en­ergy-ef­fi­cient” seems to be noth­ing more than a hous­ing mar­keter’s buzz-word, tim­ber homes truly de­liver on their en­ergy-sav­ing prom­ises, and wrap­ping your home’s ex­te­rior with in­su­la­tion (typ­i­cally struc­tural in­su­lated pan­els, or SIPs) is key to achiev­ing its high level of per­for­mance.

In a tra­di­tional stick-framed home, in­su­la­tion is con­tin­u­ally in­ter­rupted by studs, al­low­ing the out­side tem­per­a­ture to move through the gaps and into the house and caus­ing it to lose its con­di­tioned air. This is “ther­mal bridg­ing.” Ther­mal bridges are found where walls meet the floor, other walls, the roof and around doors and win­dows (above, left — red in­di­cates where air can es­cape).

Be­cause tim­ber homes are wrapped with su­per-in­su­lated SIPs out­side of the frame, these gaps or bridges are elim­i­nated, cre­at­ing fewer and smaller spa­ces for con­di­tioned air to es­cape or out­side air to pen­e­trate (above, right). In fact, when con­structed prop­erly, tim­ber homes can achieve 35 per­cent or greater en­ergy sav­ings, as com­pared to a tra­di­tional stick-framed home. That’s a re­turn on in­vest­ment that’s worth ev­ery penny.

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