Q: What is Continuous Insulation?

A: We have used Continuous Insulation on our homes for the last 3 years. We really like it—-a lot. So much that it is now standard on every home we build.

To achieve ultimate comfort and energy efficiency you must minimize air leakage, insulate well and right size your heating and cooling equipment. Continuous insulation aids in insulating well.

Building codes are the minimum for which a builder should build. Codes have determined a minimum level of which to insulate. Building Science, on the other hand, is focused on performance as determined by energy efficiency, durability and comfort. We have spent much time working with some of the best minds in the Building Science community to develop a cost effective approach that delivers excellence here in our climate zone.

Continuous insulation is the difference maker. We wrap our homes with a foam board on the exterior of the home. Our standard approach is 1” boards. The board we use comes in a 4’ x 8’ sheet. It has an R-5 insulating value (R value is a measure of insulations ability to resist heat traveling through it. The higher the R-value the better). The R-5 helps with more insulation. But, there are more benefits.

When you wrap the home with Continuous Insulation you create a Thermal Break. You virtually eliminate any hot or cold energy transfer between the inside and outside of the home. When we frame walls, the lumber we use is a conductor. Energy is transferred between the walls. Using Continuous Insulation you minimize it.

Any home that is exposed to weather really should have Continuous Insulation. We will recommend in extreme situations like atop hills, along rivers, in the mountains to use 2” foam board. It truly is a difference maker.

Next week I will discuss Air Exchanges per Hour (ACH).

Thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian a part of your day. Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!