THE STRUC­TURAL EN­VE­LOPE

Log Home Living - - HOME DETAILS -

WHY IT MAT­TERS

It’s the num­ber-one cul­prit of wasted en­ergy. “Fo­cus­ing on seal­ing your build­ing shell will get you the big­gest bang for your buck when it comes to sav­ing en­ergy and money,” says Matt.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Look beyond tra­di­tional con­crete foun­da­tions and roof­ing sys­tems to in­su­lated con­crete forms (ICFs) and struc­tural in­su­lated pan­els (SIPs) since floors and ceil­ings typ­i­cally re­sult in the most sig­nif­i­cant en­ergy losses in log homes. Both prod­ucts have im­pres­sive R-value rat­ings and can be used in ei­ther full-log or half-log houses.

In an ex­ist­ing home, con­sider an en­ergy as­sess­ment, which can re­veal gaps in ef­fi­ciency — lit­er­ally. In­spec­tions usu­ally in­clude a blower-door test and in­frared ther­mal imag­ing that will zero in on prob­lem ar­eas and fixes, like caulk­ing walls and weather strip­ping doors and win­dows. Th­ese sim­ple reme­dies will help achieve an air-tight en­ve­lope.

TOP: Struc­tural in­su­lated pan­els (SIPs) are made from a thick core of rigid in­su­la­tion sand­wiched be­tween two OSB pan­els. ABOVE: A true en­ergy-au­dit photo shows how gaps where ceil­ing beams meet plas­ter (the blue ar­eas) al­low valu­able heat to es­cape. Care­fully seal­ing th­ese ar­eas with caulk can help. BE­LOW: This Colorado log cabin achieves im­pres­sive en­ergy ef­fi­ciency thanks to a qual­ity chink­ing prod­uct that fills the gaps be­tween the logs, al­low­ing the home to eas­ily pass its door-blower test with fly­ing col­ors.

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