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Plasti-Fab Solutions Home: Exterior Sheathing Insulation

April 17, 2015

written by Melissa Carruthers
Follow her on twitter: @MelissaC_PFB

People are continually looking at different ways to increase their energy efficiency and decrease their energy costs. So what do they do? Replace windows and doors. Well that’s a great start, but what about all that space between your windows and doors? How much energy do you think is leaving through your walls every day? Parents are always after their kids to shut the door so we don’t let the heat or cool air out but in reality, you could be losing up to 33% of your heating and cooling through your walls each day.

So how do we fix this? Well, this is where PlastiSpan insulation saves the day. It is more cost effective and time effective to increase your R-Value above grade by going from the outside in then from the inside out. Make sure you check your local building code; see what they have for rules, requirements and restrictions. This will save you from problems later on.

Let’s get down to work.  By adding PlastiSpan, PlastiSpan HD or DuroFoam insulation to your home we will increase your energy efficiency and decrease your costs.

*All insulation will be called PlastiSpan from here on, but any of the 3 is the right insulation solution for this application.

A little overview of the 3 types so you can chose the best for your application

  • PlastiSpan has the lowest cost/R-Value for rigid insulation
  • PlastiSpan HD is also a more cost effective product than other rigid insulations. It gives you a slightly higher R-Value and compressive strength than PlastiSpan too.
  • DuroFoam is an ideal product for sheathing because it has been laminated on both sides, one with a green film and one with a silver one

The reflective facer on DuroFoam insulation contains a thin layer of foil embedded within the film. The reflective facer does not increase the nominal R-value of DuroFoam insulation. The green face of DuroFoam insulation should be left exposed to make use of the markings on this face provided for easy cutting of insulation and spacing of interior framing as required.

After you have chosen which type of PlastiSpan insulation you are going to use and have removed all your existing siding, you need to plan out the joints. Apply one of the PlastiSpan insulation products over the exterior of the wood framing. All vertical edges of the PlastiSpan insulation need to be butted tightly together over stud locations for adequate support.

Make sure you are using the correct fasteners. PlastiSpan Insulation must be fastened to framing using fasteners with heads or washers at least ½” diameter where the cladding will be applied directly against the insulation. Fasteners with heads or washers at least 1″ in diameter must be used where an air space will exist between the PlastiSpan insulation and the cladding. (The fasteners are usually a nail with a green washer around it).

A sheathing membrane is not required if all joints between the PlastiSpan insulation and all openings in the wall are taped using a sheathing tape to seal them. Installing exterior cladding; cladding must be attached to the wood framing members so they need to be long enough to penetrate through the PlastiSpan insulation and at least 1″ into the wood framing.

This should finish off the exterior of your home. New doors, new windows and by using PlastiSpan insulation under your sheathing, it will make a huge difference on your energy bills every month, plus increase the comfort inside your home. It’s a win-win situation, and who can resist a win-win?

Next week we continue our solutions home as Aaron talks new construction with Insulspan Structural Insulating Panels for your above grade wall solution.

Visit www.plastifab.com for more information on exterior sheathing.

Building Energy Efficient Walls with Insulspan SIPs

April 13, 2015

Written by Aaron Hinde

Why is the insulation of your walls so important? Well for starters, 40% of the world’s energy consumption is in buildings. That energy converts to dollars. When building a home you want the most energy efficient method available, and Insulspan SIPs provides an excellent energy efficient solution.

The Insulspan Structural Insulating Panel (SIP) System “sandwich” of performance-rated oriented strand board (OSB) structurally laminated to a continuous core of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation allows you to build and insulate your building in one step. You gain benefits not only from the energy efficiency of the product, but also from the speed of construction, the designed system that is tailored to each project (see Designing with Insulspan SIPs Blog), and a Ready-To-Assemble end product which includes your essential materials such as lumber in one complete package.

Red Wood Terrace by Insulspan SIP by Design
Our design process reduces construction time and improves efficiency. Blueprints for your home are loaded into our computerized factory equipment, where Insulspan SIPs are manufactured to your exact specifications, then delivered to your location as a ready-to-assemble building system.

Energy Efficiency
Higher R-value keeps conditioned air in. The R-value of a wall is a measure of its ability to keep heat from flowing through it. Higher R-value for walls means less heat loss from the interior or gain from the exterior means less energy needed for heating and cooling. The Insulspan closed cavity wall design limits air movement. The continuous core of EPS insulation in an Insulspan SIP vastly reduces air leakage and heat loss, while also allowing better control of indoor air quality.

SIPs under Construction
Insulspan delivers a full ready-to-assemble package for your walls where we do a complete HSB wall layout showing all connection and lumber detailing. The panels are cut with precise CNC equipment to meet specified tight tolerances. The walls come to the job site with all splines, corners and window and door bucking installed to make installation fast and accurate. The top and bottom plates are supplied and installed in the field to make for connections between top and bottoms of the panels. Insulspan cuts all lumber at connection points for the wire chases saving you the time in the field.

Insulspan tries to do everything in the factory setting and throughout design to save you time and money during the installation process. We also use the highest quality of adhesives and material to assure you receive the highest quality product the market can offer.

So in short, by using our structural insulating panel system, you have built an incredibly energy efficient, higher quality wall system.

Tips & Tricks
To see our product in action, and learn some of the tips and tricks used by the pros, check out our YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE604FB4BC11E368B&feature=plcp

SIPs are just one of the methods available to help create the most energy efficient home.

plastifab.com | advantageicf.com | insulspan.com

The Doren Home, Suspended Garage Slab

April 9, 2015

Advantage ICFWritten by: Greg Doren
Follow me on Twitter @GregDoren

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Hi everyone. In the fourth part of this blog series I will be providing progress updates on the building of the Doren Home.

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Maximizing space

Smaller lots in urban areas are here to stay. Infrastructure costs, urban sprawl and other factors have made it so that residential lots have grown smaller. My new family home in Chestermere Alberta is on a typical urban lot that has 15M (approx. 49 ft.) of frontage and is 33M (approx. 98 ft.) in depth. The setbacks are 1.5 M (approx. 5 ft.) on the sides. There are also guide lines for how much percentage of space can be utilized for the home and how much is required for front and back landscaping.

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The Advantage Insulting Concrete Forms (ICF) System I am building with have two panels of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) that are 2 5/8th inches thick with a 6” cavity for concrete, this makes the wall 11 ¼” thick before internal & external finishes. On the main and second floors this wall thickness does take away some square footage on the interior. Where can you find more space? On our project we decided use the typically unexcavated area under the attached garage slab.

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Engineered Suspended Slab

Local code requires a frost wall of 4 ft. under the garage and usually the frost wall is trenched out during excavation for the foundation. The middle area is left undisturbed to support the concrete slab. At the Doren home we had the entire area under the slab excavated and had a “suspended slab” engineered that provided us with 506 more sq. ft. of usable area. We did the same thing under the front veranda that gave us another 162 sq. ft. of indoor usable storage. The room under the garage will be utilized as a mechanical room, shop and storage area. There is also a large utility sink and dog wash, which is kind of weird as we currently don’t have a dog. My children are persistent and I am preparing for the inevitable.

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The method of construction was to make large beam pockets before we placed the ICF concrete walls for the foundation. After placement we slid 3 large steel I beam’s and 1 smaller one. Angle iron was attached to the inside walls around the garage perimeter. The angle iron is bolted to the ICF concrete walls and supports the Q decking along with the steel beams. A 4” concrete slab was placed on top of the Q decking with hydronic heating that will now support two vehicles.

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I will be giving more updates in my next blog. For more information about the Advantage ICF system, visit http://www.advantageicf.com

The Doren Home, On to the Foundation

February 23, 2015

Advantage ICFWritten by: Greg Doren
Follow me on Twitter @GregDoren

DSC02718-intro

Hello again everyone. I am happy to say we have been making great progress on the house. Using the Plasti-Fab Advantage Insulating Concrete Forming System we have completed the walk out foundation. All went according to plan and although we had some specific technical details such as beam pockets and structural lintel details we had it up and poured in about a week without too much difficulty. It took 600 Advantage ICF Standards, 90 Degree Corners and T Blocks, 45 cubic meters of ready mix concrete and 135 pieces of scaffolding. That sounds like a lot of scaffolding but in reality it was the type of scaffolding that was used.

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In the footing for lateral support at the bottom of wall there were 15M rebar dowels set to match the vertical rebar. Dowels need to be embedded 8” into the footing, since the dowels need to have 3” of concrete coverage from the bottom of the footing and the footing on this project are 8” deep, a 90 degree bend with a 5” leg was required. See Advantage ICF System Installation Detail Drawing Manual D.1.8 for detail. We also cut a keyway in the middle of the footing for additional lateral support. Always check local code to be compliant.

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We placed the forms starting in the walkout frost wall where we had made our steps in the footing with 16 ½ inch rises and minimum 24 inch runs. This required 3 steps to get to required frost wall depth for the walk out. We placed 4 rows of Advantage ICF forms around the entire project perimeter then started attaching the scaffolding. This was the first time I had used a component style scaffolding that had metal brackets that attached to 2 X 4 wood studs. The horizontal 2x4s were place approximately every 4 feet and the vertical 2×4’s approximately every 6 feet. We also started placing pressure treated wood bucks then continued Advantage ICF forms and scaffolding as we rose in wall height.

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When we neared the top of wall we placed beam pockets for the interior flooring system and for the suspended garage slab. We completed the Advantage ICF forms and scaffolding system and then embedded Simpson Strong Tie connector plates as specified. Next came the vertical rebar which was slid in from the top of forms The walkout wall presented some challenges as it was approximately 14 feet high but the scaffolding system worked great at keeping the wall straight and plumb during concrete placement.

The concrete placement went very well with no trouble at all, and for those of you who have worked concrete in this cold you know what a task it can be! We used an inch and a half mechanical vibrator to consolidate the ready mix. The pour was done in three passes and again no issues.

Next blog we will talk about specifics about the scaffolding system used, beam pockets, window and door bucks and the installation of the flooring system and the suspended slab in the garage.

For more information about the Advantage ICF system, visit http://www.advantageicf.com

A Energy Efficiency Story: A Visitor Center Demonstrates Top Notch Energy Efficient Design

February 9, 2015

insulspan-cutawayA nature conservancy visitor center demonstrates top notch
energy-efficient design

Building green was never considered optional for Kent and Kathy Lawrence. As the founders of Kickapoo/Mud Creek Nature Conservancy in Oregon, Ill., reducing the environmental footprint of their new Kickapoo Center was a priority from day one. The Lawrences wanted the center not only to serve as a meeting place and house educational displays for the conservancy, but also to set an example for cost-effective green home construction.

kickapoo 01
“We had a specific functional purpose from the beginning,” said Kent Lawrence. “We wanted to get low energy usage and modern day ambient conditions at real market prices.”
To design the 1,200-square-foot center, the Lawrences worked with fellow Oregon resident Victor Zaderej of Solar Homes, LLC. “What I’ve found is that a well insulated thermal envelope is really the most cost-efficient way to reduce energy use,” said Zaderej.

The thermal envelope begins below the ground with 8.5 inches of PlastiSpan EPS insulation beneath the center’s concrete slab. Advantage Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) were used for the below grade walls. Zaderej then specified the 12-inch Insulspan Structural Insulating Panel (SIP) system for the walls and roof.

“The key was that we eliminated all the thermal shorts,” said Zaderaj. “SIPs and ICFs also do a really good job of sealing the home and stopping heat loss through air infiltration.”

Zaderej used the center as a testing ground for several innovative techniques to reduce energy use. His patent-pending solar roof uses a fan system to transfer the warm air beneath the building’s metal roof to a network of pipes in the concrete floor, where the heat is stored and slowly released. When combined with the efficiency of the super insulated building envelope, no furnace is needed, only a back up heat source powered by the center’s water heater.

Learn more about energy efficiency in commercial construction at www.plastifab.com, www.insulspan.com, or www.advantageicf.com

Pouring Concrete in Cold Weather with Advantage ICFs

February 2, 2015

Advantage ICFCold Weather pouring
Written by Colin Showalter
Follow Colin on Twitter: @Colin_PlastiFab

Living in Canada, another question I frequently get asked is “how cold of temperatures can I pour concrete into ICF blocks?”

#concrete #Canada #coldweather #constructionConcrete construction during cold weather conditions requires special consideration to ensure that the concrete achieves the desired strength prior to freezing. Conventional concrete form walls can be constructed in all seasons; however, during cold weather months special measures must be taken to prevent the concrete from freezing. The special measures may include the use of windbreaks, insulated formwork and/or heaters. These extra measures can greatly increase construction costs.

Advantage Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) offer the ability to pour concrete into your walls at temperatures colder than that of conventional concrete forms due to their high insulating properties. This ability can drastically extend your construction season, possibly allowing you to pour all year round. In very cold weather conditions, minimal precautions may be required, especially at wall penetrations and edges.

#concrete #Canada #coldweather #constructionMany studies have been done on this topic and they have all concluded basically that concrete can be placed in ICF walls at temperatures much lower than that allowed for concrete walls using conventional forming systems.

Unfortunately I cannot give exact temperatures because people reading this may be in different climates around the world. However, I can say that using Advantage ICF blocks instead of conventional will prevent freezing and reduce or even eliminate the need for a heated enclosure. Covering the top of these forms is essential to retain all the heat of hydration.

Many building officials who are not familiar with Advantage ICF blocks may require ICF wall pours to follow the typical cold weather concrete practices that were developed for conventional concrete forms. Cold weather concrete practices may vary between jurisdictions. Be sure to check with your local official before pouring concrete on a cold day in your area. Also check with your ready-mix concrete supplier to see what options they for concrete being poured in cold weather.

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Do you have more indepth questions for Colin about pouring concrete in cold weather and how the Advantage ICF System is ideal for this?

Email him at cshowalter@plastifab.com or send him a direct message tweet on Twitter to @Colin_PlastiFab

For more on Advantage Insulating Concrete Forms visit http://www.advantageicf.com

Fight the Cold – Insulate your home with Plasti-Fab’s Exterior Sheathing Insulation

January 27, 2015

written by Melissa Carruthers
Follow her on twitter: @MelissaC_PFB

It’s January, It’s cold, and we are all trying to find the best way to keep our heat in and the cold out! So  let’s talk exterior sheathing. People are continually looking at different ways to increase their energy efficiency and decrease their energy costs. So what do they do? Replace windows and doors. Well that’s a great start, but what about all that space between your windows and doors? How much energy do you think is leaving through your walls every day? Parents are always after their kids to shut the door so we don’t let the heat or cool air out but in reality, you could be losing up to 33% of your heating and cooling through your walls each day.

So how do we fix this? Well, this is where PlastiSpan insulation saves the day. It is more cost effective and time effective to increase your R-Value above grade by going from the outside in then from the inside out. Make sure you check your local building code; see what they have for rules, requirements and restrictions. This will save you from problems later on.

Let’s get down to work.  By adding PlastiSpan, PlastiSpan HD or DuroFoam insulation to your home we will increase your energy efficiency and decrease your costs.

*All insulation will be called PlastiSpan from here on, but any of the 3 is the right insulation solution for this application.

A little overview of the 3 types so you can chose the best for your application

  • PlastiSpan has the lowest cost/R-Value for rigid insulation
  • PlastiSpan HD is also a more cost effective product than other rigid insulations. It gives you a slightly higher R-Value and compressive strength than PlastiSpan too.
  • DuroFoam is an ideal product for sheathing because it has been laminated on both sides, one with a green film and one with a silver one

The reflective facer on DuroFoam insulation contains a thin layer of foil embedded within the film. The reflective facer does not increase the nominal R-value of DuroFoam insulation. The green face of DuroFoam insulation should be left exposed to make use of the markings on this face provided for easy cutting of insulation and spacing of interior framing as required.

After you have chosen which type of PlastiSpan insulation you are going to use and have removed all your existing siding, you need to plan out the joints. Apply one of the PlastiSpan insulation products over the exterior of the wood framing. All vertical edges of the PlastiSpan insulation need to be butted tightly together over stud locations for adequate support.

Make sure you are using the correct fasteners. PlastiSpan Insulation must be fastened to framing using fasteners with heads or washers at least ½” diameter where the cladding will be applied directly against the insulation. Fasteners with heads or washers at least 1″ in diameter must be used where an air space will exist between the PlastiSpan insulation and the cladding. (The fasteners are usually a nail with a green washer around it).

A sheathing membrane is not required if all joints between the PlastiSpan insulation and all openings in the wall are taped using a sheathing tape to seal them. Installing exterior cladding; cladding must be attached to the wood framing members so they need to be long enough to penetrate through the PlastiSpan insulation and at least 1″ into the wood framing.

 

This should finish off the exterior of your home. New doors, new windows and by using PlastiSpan insulation under your sheathing, it will make a huge difference on your energy bills every month, plus increase the comfort inside your home. It’s a win-win situation, and who can resist a win-win?

Visit www.plastifab.com for more information on exterior sheathing.

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