Last week’s article we discussed an overview of Washington States Energy Code Changes. This week we are going into more detail about the assemblage of the exterior walls.

wall construction using the new Washington State Energy Codes in a new homeA typical wall has layers such as: siding, house warp/continuous insulation, OSB, windows, blown-in batt insulation, and sheetrock. Sandwiched between the siding material and the sheetrock contains material to help keep your house warm in the winters and cool in the summers.

Windows, however, act more or less as a hole in the wall where heat can transfer through. This past week has been quite warm and amount of windows and the lack of insulation can cause your HVAC system to work extra hard due to the cool air escaping from your home. This would now decrease the efficiency of your home.

The entire reason behind the code changes is to construct a home that uses less energy, which not only cost less in utilities but better for the environment. The new code first calls for a better U value glazing for windows. This means that heat will have a harder time passing through the windows due to the glazing.

The next change is to beef up the wall sandwich with insulation. The code is calling for more insulation in the walls and underfloor. The measurement of insulation is termed as an R-Value. This means that the higher the R-Value the better the insulation, this is usually based on a per-inch basis. These code changes are here to stay and you will see builders using better products to meet these changes.

Next week we will discuss how the wall assemblage affects the air leakage in your home. We will also explain what the code allows, and how that affects the industry in the near future.

I hope this helps and thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian of Vancouver, WA a part of your day.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com. Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800