Yesterday we talked about how a Thermal Bridge conducts heat from inside your warm home to the cold outside whereupon that heat is lost and the energy it took to create the heat is permanently lost. Heat Loss across a Thermal Bridge is a foolish waste of energy, causes significant harm to the environment, and clearly wastes money that could be more wisely spent elsewhere to achieve a positive outcome.
The challenge is clear! What can we do to eliminate or cut back on the Heat Loss across Thermal Bridges?
Every home from Vermont Modular has included within its building envelope a Thermal Barrier to dramatically cut down on Heat Loss. Here in their proper order are the building products we use to create a highly Energy Efficient exterior wall: (starting from the inside and moving outward….)
- 5/8” drywall / sheetrock. We have increased the thickness of our drywall from ½” to 5/8” thick. The primary reason for this is to increase the strength of a shear wall of the building; it is simply stronger!
- 24” o.c. framing. By changing the layout of framing lumber from 16” on-center to 24” o.c. we obviously will be using less lumber which is a fantastic Thermal Bridge. If we have fewer Thermal Bridges then we will reduce Heat Loss.
- Roxul Insulation – Roxul / Rockwool is our insulation of choice. It performs better, has higher R-Values, and is generally speaking an all around better product than fiberglass.
- Our exterior sheathing is a product where 1½” of rigid Poly Styrene Foam is glued under pressure to the OSB sheathing. The FOAM that is on the exterior of the house is our Thermal Barrier.
Whenever foam is used on the exterior of a building it is referred to as Continuous Insulation. Think about that as it has within its name the concept that Thermal Bridges are eliminated. So, our Thermal Barrier on the outside of the exterior wall provides a continuous surface of insulation without Thermal Bridges.
The obvious conclusion is that the wall used by Vermont Modular is truly a very high performing wall against Heat Loss.
Our goal is to eliminate Thermal Bridges, almost the same way as the Old Bridge across Lake Champlain was blown-up in 2010. Isn’t today’s photograph cool? Today’s Champlain Bridge connects Addison County Vermont to Essex County, New York.
There is an obvious question at this point. Is there a better performing wall? We will try to answer that question tomorrow.
What do you think? What is your experience? Join in the conversation or call us at 802.985-5855