A well insulated, air tight building is much quieter and comfortable to live and play in.
The building envelope separates the inside of your home from the outside, protecting the interior while facilitating climate control. This includes your windows, doors, roof, floor, foundations, and insulation. A sealed building envelope makes your home more comfortable and dramatically reduces your heating and cooling costs.
Building Strong Foundations
INSULATING CONCRETE FORM (ICF) FOUNDATIONS
Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) foundations are a stay-in-place expanded polystyrene concrete forming system that delivers high energy performance and is superior to conventional methods.
With integrated air/vapour barrier and finish attachment provisions, additional framing and plastic vapour barriers are unneeded. Dimpled damp-proofing membrane is used underground to ensure basement dryness.
Advanced Wall Systems
HP+ WALL SYSTEM
Developed by BASF, the HP+ Wall is engineered for strength, durability, and efficiency and is a solid option to consider when building a Net Zero Energy home. Effective R-values (how well a type of insulation can keep heat from leaving or entering your home) can range between R-25 to R-50 depending on Neopor thickness and type of cavity insulation.
The HP+ Wall includes the following:
- A combination of Neopor exterior rigid insulation, Wall-Tite spray foam, and batt insulation to provide maximum insulation levels.
- Fully sealed rigid insulation with Masterseal NP1 caulking and flexible air barrier tapes. This is placed on the exterior to prevent thermal bridging through wall studs.
- Spray foam insulation is installed on the interior face of Neopor, adding thermal performance, air tightness, structural rigidity, and vapour permeance protection.
Double-stud framing is when two walls are separated to eliminate thermal bridging and provide a deep cavity for high-insulation levels, a requirement in Net Zero Energy homes.
The exterior wall is used for structural load-bearing, and is separated from the interior for a total thickness of 12”-16”. Cellulose insulation is then compressed into the wall cavity to deliver effective R-values from R-42 to R-56 (well above Canadian industry standards).
Properly installed energy-efficient windows contribute to an effective building envelope and make your home more comfortable. The best windows include:
- High-quality frames with certified sealing systems.
- Triple glazing with low-e films, argon gas, and insulating spacers.
- Low-emissivity films optimized for solar gain/shielding depending on location and performance requirements.
Before concrete is poured for the basement floor, a layer of insulation is laid over the ground and foundation footings, fully isolating the interior environment from heat-stripping ground beneath.
South-facing windows allow energy from the sun to be absorbed by the thermal mass of the concrete floor. This thermal mass gathers the heat energy in the daytime, releasing it in the nighttime hours.
Installing significant attic insulation and spray foam in appropriate spaces greatly reduces heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.
Good ventilation is also an important detail to reduce attic heat buildup in summer months and ensure a condensation-free winter environment.
For more information on the benefits of a sealed building envelope, check out How An Energy Efficient Home Can Benefit You.