Builder Matt Belcher is no stranger to building sustainable homes. His resume as a custom-home builder and consultant boasts several of the nation’s top green homes, authoring a book on sustainable construction, and direct involvement in the development U.S. building codes and green building standards.
In 2011, Belcher was approached by the Belguim-based Active House Alliance with an entirely new take on green building. Following a holistic approach to net zero energy design, the Active House standard merges energy-efficiency with a focus on environmental impact and indoor air quality. Belcher’s consulting firm Verdatek Solutions partnered with Hibbs Homes to construct the North American prototype: Active House USA.
“It all starts with the building envelope,” said Belcher. “SIPs give you the confidence going in that the building envelope is not going to be an issue.”
Belcher and his team specified the Insulspan® Structural Insulating Panel (SIP) System for the walls and roof of the home. By selecting Insulspan SIPs, they greatly reduced both thermal bridging and air infiltration. “We used a salvaged 2.5 ton electric furnace as a temporary heat source during construction and heated the house all winter with that little furnace,”said Belcher. “The thermal performance was incredible.”
Building on the efficiency of the SIP envelope is a 98% AFUE natural gas furnace, an energy recovery ventilator, high performance windows and doors, a solar thermal system, and a 4.8kW PV array. The home is expected to reach net zero energy use.
“We are excited that the Insulspan SIP System helped Matt reach the energy performance and indoor air quality goals of this new, emerging standard,” said Insulspan Sales Representative Aaron Hinde.
Our homeowner from Monday’s blog, Ted Hubert, applied DuroFoam insulation over his exterior above grade walls to create a continuous layer of insulation. You can retrofit your home or apply this method to new construction using some of our other product lines as well. Aside from DuroFoam, you can use PlastiSpan or PlastiSpan HD to complete this project.
This video takes you through the steps to insulating your home with exterior sheathing, also known as continuous insulation using PlastiSpan insulation by Plasti-Fab.
Better comfort and lower utility bills with Plasti-Fab continuous insulation.
Ted Hubert is no ordinary homeowner. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the construction industry as the President of Superseal Construction Products, a supplier of waterproofing materials. So when Hubert decided to build a custom 5,400 sq. ft. home (including 2,300 sq. ft. developed basement) in Langley, he wanted a home that not only suited his needs, but was durable and energy efficient.
While researching the best insulation strategy for his new home, Hubert discovered the impact of thermal bridging on the effectiveness of cavity insulation.
“Up to 20 percent of your wall’s surface area is wood with an R-value of one per inch,” said Hubert. “A lot of your R-value is lost to thermal bridging.”
To combat this, he installed 1 ½ inches of DuroFoam® insulation. Applied over the above-grade exterior walls, the Durofoam created a layer of continuous insulation that eliminated thermal bridging and improved energy efficiency.
“We added foam and stopped the thermal transfer from the inside out and the outside in,” said Hubert.
Hubert then installed 3 inches of PlastiSpan HD EPS insulation to the home’s below grade walls. Opting for continuous insulation instead of cavity insulation in the basement avoided thermal bridging, increased the total effective R-value, and added to Hubert’s energy savings. He also added high performance windows and doors, and a 98 percent AFUE natural gas furnace.
Natural gas costs averaged just $136 per month over the course of a year, less than half that of Hubert’s previous similarly sized home that was built in the 1960s.
“It stays so cool in there that it‘s unbelievable,” said Hubert. “People come over to our house during the summer and they are amazed.”
“We didn’t do anything extraordinary; we just used good products to keep the energy use under control,” he said. “DuroFoam and PlastiSpan HD continuous insulation are high quality products, very easy to work with, and cost less than the alternatives.”
To Learn more about our continuous insulation products, visit: http://www.plastifab.com/applications/insul_apps.html
In addition to the SAK house we featured on Monday, Insulspan has been part of many sustainable projects over the years. Here are just a few of our projects during the construction phase of the sustainable homes.
For more information on the sustainable projects shown here, visit the links below:
Captain Planet Zero Energy House: http://www.insulspan.com/about/zero_energy_gre.aspx
Active House USA: http://www.pfbsustainability.com/
NextGen House: http://www.nextgenhome.com/Events/LifeStyle/index.aspx
It all started when Ricky Cappe built a custom home. Despite his construction background and career as a sustainable building consultant, he was astounded by the amount of time, effort and cost involved. And he knew the difficultly most homeowners face when confronted with the myriad of sustainable materials and energy-saving technologies available today.
Cappe sought to simplify the process by creating the Sustainable Affordable Kit (SAK) House—a complete set of building plans, material lists, suppliers, project schedules, and everything needed to construct a stylish and sustainable home.
“I wanted to give people the opportunity to build a home that is not toxic, that is durable, of high quality, and utilizes cutting edge materials,” he said.
A key component of the SAK™ House is an energy-efficient building envelope constructed with the Insulspan® Structural Insulating Panel (SIP) System.
The Insulspan SIP System provides higher effective thermal resistance and lower air infiltration than comparable building systems, making the SAK House even more affordable by reducing heating and cooling costs.
Prefabricated SIPs from Insulspan also offer faster construction times and improved design flexibility for all five available SAK House designs.
“The whole system goes up so fast and efficient that it was truly a pleasure to work with,” said Cappe. Each SAK House is equipped with dual-pane argon-filled windows, radiant heating, ENERGY STAR appliances, and low-flow fixtures and toilets. The home designs themselves are climate specific, with passive solar features for further energy savings.
“The SAK House provides real value to homeowners by giving them a solid design with sustainable materials like the Insulspan SIP System, which will save them money as long as they own the home,” said Insulspan SIPS Sales Manager Dave Stevenson.
For additional information on Insulspan SIPs and the SAK house, visit: www.insulspan.com
Or download the project profile in full here:
Welcome back for the recap of our third week in the Did You Know Series. We would really like to hear from you regarding topics of interest or points you have questions about. To make it easier, you can read the summarized points from the previous week below.
Plasti-Fab Did You Know…
Using GeoSpec lightweight fill material allows landscape architects to vary the finished soil grade? ow.ly/kpG1o
GeoSpec lightweight fill is typically 50x lighter than other types of lightweight fill materials? ow.ly/kpFFb
PlastiSpan® flotation billets can be used as the buoyancy medium to construct a variety of rafts? ow.ly/kniOW
Our EPS (foam) is used to aid sustainability, preservation, & more. ow.ly/kiLeg
Advantage ICF Did You Know…
The average home spends $300 per month on heating & cooling, Advantage ICFs saves you 30%-50% of that? ow.ly/kpGDG
Windows can easily be incorporated with Advantage ICFs for architecturally pleasing deep wall thicknesses, window seats & ledges?
Advantage ICF in Edmonton holds Product Knowledge Seminars for builders, homeowners and architects interested in learning more about ICFs? www.advantageicf.com
Our product is sustainable in product, process, and production! Happy Earth Day!
Insulspan SIPs Did You Know…
A key component of SAK™ House is an energy-efficient building envelope constructed with Insulspan® SIPS ow.ly/kpDVN
Our SIPs were chosen for Active House for superior energy efficiency & improved air quality standards? ow.ly/kpCOO
The continuous core of EPS insulation in a SIP reduces air leakage & heat loss, providing better control of indoor air quality?
Sustainable Affordable Kit House packages Insulspan® SIPs with sustainable materials ow.ly/d/1csN
Coming up next week is a feature on the Sustainable Affordable Kit House packages that utilized Insulspan SIPs…..
Did You Know these facts about Plasti-Fab?
1) Last week PFB Corporation published their 2012 Annual Report.
ow.ly/k6XnX\(of which Plasti-Fab is a subsidiary)
2) Household furniture manufacturers use our EPS as packing material for the furniture they design & build.
3) DuroFoam Insulation is a laminated board with one side silver and the other side green.
4) DuroFoam has large white lines down the middle to make cutting 2 foot pieces easier.
5) DuroFoam can be used in both interior & exterior applications.
How about these facts about the Advantage ICF System?
1) A home built with ICFs provides a wall structure 40% more energy efficient than one of stud & batt.
2) All things considered, by drinking one less specialty drink/day you will pay for your Advantage ICF home.
3) You can use the Advantage ICF System for your below AND above grade walls.
4) Advantage has trained ICF system installers to help on site when needed.
5) Last week PFB Corporation published their 2012 Annual Report .
ow.ly/k6XnX\ (of which Advantage is a subsidiary)
Did you know these about Insulspan SIPs?
1) Insulspan University, a hands-on & classroom learning session for builders, architects, & DIYers.
April 26 ow.ly/k6Yud
2) Panels can be completely pre-cut to size in our manufacturing facility including rakes, eaves,
bevel cuts, doors & windows.
3) An experienced Insulspan technician can assist you on-site with the installation of your SIPs.
4) You can order a free Insulspan Design Manual CD.
5) At the end of this week, Insulspan will host its first Insulspan University hands-on learning seminar.
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