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Question: What does "Superinsulation" mean? What makes "Superinsulation" better
than other insulations?
Answer: Superinsulation is really an approach to solving thermal
envelope problems. First, we make sure that the installation will solve the
problem, then we make sure that our work will last and won't violate any
building-science principles that can cause other problems. Finally, we install
the appropriate high-performance insulation or other climate control
materials. The insulation is usually, but not always, one of the several
polyurethane foam systems we work with. We prefer these materials because they can be quality controlled immediately
after being installed; and, because they are unique in that the insulation
itself provides the air infiltration barrier, moisture barrier, and 'R'-
value (all three elements that a thermal envelope requires) in a one-step
process. We don't have to wait until the finishes are installed to test for
performance. We can do infrared thermographic scans to verify product
R-value and find any remaining leaks with infrared, blower door, and fog
testing as part of the installation protocol.
Question: What is "Superinsulation" besides just insulation?
Answer: Superinsulated buildings, meaning buildings that have both
our insulation and quality assurance procedures, will perform better than
other structures with the same theoretical insulation values. Building
envelopes systems are only as good as the weakest link in
the chain. Buildings with high R-value insulation materials will still
perform poorly if air-leakage barriers and vapor-control measures are not
working properly. These two important components of the thermal envelope
system rarely are fully understood, and almost never are tested for quality
Question: If the "Superinsulation" process costs more,
how will I benefit?
Answer: Our clients will have significantly lower operation and
maintenance costs. Trade-offs in other areas of construction can produce
real additional savings. Operation costs include fuel savings, lower HVAC
system energy and maintenance costs, and fewer related problems like ice
dams, frozen pipes, peeling paint, etc. It also means that buildings can
use smaller furnaces, air-conditioning equipment, and distribution systems.
In large buildings, smaller wall cross-sections have resulted in significant
additional floor area without an increase in building size. Because foam
insulation has built-in vapor and air-leakage control, other barrier
materials and labor are not required.