Knowing your climate zone and building accordingly is one of the basic tenants of building science. Moisture, extreme temperatures and inclement weather require completely different building techniques to ensure longevity and efficiency. When you know your building climate zone you can select techniques and materials that are safe, cost effective, and efficient to install and provide an energy efficient building envelope.
Building enveloped that perform poorly reduce energy efficiency, increase ROI times, and increase carbon footprints and utility bills for building owners. A blower door test can help to establish the airtightness of small to medium buildings, measure the flow of air between different areas in a building and test the airtightness of ductwork.
Energy efficient home design relies on effective building envelopes and as these get tighter, some concerns are being raised about poor indoor air quality. This has led many construction professionals to add mechanical ventilation to their designs.
When installing attic insulation, a case can be made for both radiant barrier sheathing with typical types of insulation as well as spray foam insulation. A number of factors should be taken into consideration when choosing between these two, especially the climate zone that you’re building in. Radiant barrier sheathing is inexpensive and reflects thermal radiation to keep attic spaces cool. Spray foam offers insulation and provides some sound proofing from outside noise.
An energy audit is a series of tests run to determine the efficiency with which your building utilizes energy. Whether you are planning a renovation to reduce energy consumption, or have just completed a new build, energy audits establish the efficiency level of your building envelope. Energy audits help to show where you can get the most savings for your building buck and what improvements will give you the best return on investment.