CONTINUOUS INSULATION VS. THERMAL BRIDGING
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.