Pushing the (Model Building’s) Envelope

sips panels and new windows

A panel waiting to be installed and new windows at the model building.

One of the first essential design elements in creating an Energy Star Model is to reduce the overall heating and cooling loads.  When the building is more efficient, the renewable energy systems will work better.  Several upgrades will be made to help tighten the buildings envelope and help bring down the heating and cooling loads. These envelope measures will conserve over 50% of the heating and cooling losses when compared to pre-existing conditions. Two areas of improvement are essential for tightening the envelope include upgrades on insulation, and windows and doors. 1.          INSULATION Cool-Vent II Venting Composite Insulation Board (4.6” inch) will be used and is currently being installed on the Energy Star’s roof. It is constructed with a top layer of plywood/OSB, middle layer of wood spacers and a bottom layer of H-Shield-NB – a nail base roof insulation panel consisting of polyisocyanurate foam insulation bonded in the manufacturing process to the plywood/OSB. Cool-Vent II is an ideal choice for steep slope roofing applications. Its primary function is to provide thermal insulating properties and promote air circulation (92% open air space). The installers are also incorporating a vapor barrier into the roofing assembly. The Cool-Vent II panels are made by Hunter Panels.

Layers of the SIPS panels.

2.       WINDOWS & DOORS The Energy Star Model will use Harvey’s GreenSeal certified Tribute triple paned vinyl high performancewindows. These windows surpass the ENERGY STAR standard for outstanding thermal performance. Two panes of glass utilize Low-E coating, and both airspaces contain Krypton gas for superior energy efficiency. The polyethylene foam closed cells (foam-filled chambers) of the window frames and sashes helps to increase the overall insulating value. The windows also have a dual-acting lock/tilt latch for increased convenience and cleaning. During construction there will be a pre- and post-insulation inspection by the HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rater including thermal imaging to make sure there are no major leaks in the building envelope. After the gypsum board walls and ceilings are installed there will be a final inspection by RPM including a final blower door test, to measure and compare the conditions of the upgraded building to the baseline values. This will ensure that the building is energy qualified and eligible for Energy Star rebates. As of April 8th, the building’s “rough installations” had been approved by the City’s building inspector and the go ahead was given for interior insulation. The roofing panels and windows have already been installed.

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