This week we will stay with our conversation about Energy Efficiency and actually look again at how Vermont Modular Homes builds exterior walls.
During the winter when the wind howls, the snow flies, and it seems as though the cold is everywhere it is the exterior wall of your new home that protects you from the cold. It is that exterior wall that will allow excessive heat loss or save energy and money. Granted the wall itself is but one part of your winter protection however, it is the biggest single part of the protective system.
Today's photograph clearly shows how we build our double 2x4" wall creating a 9½" cavity for insulation. Don't forget the significant reason for staggering the 2x4's. Lumber is a very good transmitter of heat; by staggering the lumber we create a Thermal Break as compared to using solid framing studs that would create a Thermal Bridge.
The other day someone called the office asking whether using 2x4's is structurally strong enough. Virtually every home built before 1973 was built using only 2x4" framing and virtually all of those homes remain in service all across the country today. Honestly, they are everywhere!
Almost overnight the entire construction industry moved away from 2x4's and went to 2x6's for one reason only; it created a larger cavity for more insulation. During the summer and on into the fall of 1973 we suffered through the Energy Crisis where there simply wasn't enough "oil" to satisfy the country's needs. Hence home construction changed. The insulating R-Value of a "Pre 1973" home was typically R-11 or many times insulation wasn't installed at all. By changing wall construction to 2x6" the R-Value jumped from R-11 all the way up to R-19 where it stayed for years and years. The manufacturing process to create Fiberglass Batt ("Pink Stuff") improved so that the R-Value inched up to R-21 where it basically remains today.
Now in the 21st century the world's attention is focusing on Global Warming and again there is increased concern with Energy Consumption. Vermont Modular is responding to that concern and we want to remain as a Responsible Business. Therefore, we have changed the way we build our exterior walls so that our homes will consume less energy. The Double Wall construction at Vermont Modular creates an exterior wall with an R-Value of R-39.5. That is almost double the insulating value of today's conventionally built home. Which would you rather have?
To us it all makes common sense.
As you can see a home from Vermont Modular is certainly NOT a typical home. Honestly, we are very proud that we are constantly updating and changing our building techniques.