Thermal barrier / Guides

Air barriers are essential to a properly functioning wall system
Air and vapour barriers

What is an air barrier?

...barriers 100 times more important than vapour barriers, so why is no one talking about them? We don't talk about air barriers because we are too busy talking about vapor barriers. An air barrier is not something you walk into a building supply store and buy; it is a design concept, and arguably a commitment. Products...

Interior sheathing as air & vapor barriers in wood frame construction
Air and vapour barriers

Interior sheathing as an air and vapour or vapor barrier

...barrier and vapour barrier, and eliminating the need to install a separate product to do that job. One of the benefits of OSB as an air barrier is that it is solid. A polyethylene or foil air barrier can be easily pierced by the slightest touch with a sharp tool, without even realizing it. In contrast, it is unlikely...

Passive House wall system ; Larsen Trusses & dense-packed cellulose insulation
Wall assemblies - new construction

Larsen truss wall systems with double-stud construction & extra insulation for new homes & energy efficient home renovation

...thermal bridging . The sheathing is used as the air barrier and vapor barrier , by using a high-performance building tape to seal the joints and the Larsen Trusses are effectively a cost-effective and lightweight way of creating a double-stud wall assembly without creating problems. As for the sheathing, see here to he...

Building science for LEED v4 wall design made easy
Concept and design

Building science for LEED v4 wall design made easy - video

...thermal bridges: When one section of a wall conducts heat much quicker than another, we refer to it as a thermal bridge , and that can greatly reduce the overall R value of a wall. Virtually every thermal bridge in this wall assembly was identified and eliminated in the design phase. Thermal breaks in exterior insu...

How to Insulate Exterior Walls from the Outside US Canada Ecohome
Walls and Roofs

The easiest way to insulate walls from the exterior in older homes

...thermal insulating qualities. How to avoid thermal bridges when fixing exterior wall insulation in place For insulation to work properly on exterior walls and have a long functional lifespan, the wall system needs to have all the appropriate components , including an air barrier, a vapor barrier /vapor control laye...

Choosing a building envelope
Wall assemblies - new construction

Choosing a building envelope - starting with the perfect wall

...thermal control layer, or insulation: To slow the movement of heat from inside to out in cold months. This is your insulation. It also helps keep heat out of the interior in summer. A vapour control layer, or vapor barrier : Although commonly known as a 'vapour barrier' a better term to use would be a vapour reta...

Celsius Solar Igloo
Solar thermal collectors

Celsius: The solar heated igloo!

...barrier (interior) and the air barrier (exterior). Us: How is the sun used to heat and power the igloo? L. McC : Recessed in the south wall are solar air heating panels that capture the heat of the sun during the day and store it in the thermal mass bench which then radiates heat at night. On the roof are photovoltaic ...

Off grid, passively heated and cooled house in the Gatineau Hills, Que
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off grid living blog, part 2: passively heated, this house in Quebec aims for LEED certification

...thermal bridging through studs, provides lots of room for insulation, and the air/vapour barrier is sandwiched between walls where it won't need to be punctured for electrical work, as all wiring is done on the interior 2x4 wall. High efficiency Double wall assembly © Bala Structures Not punch...

How to Build With Less Wood for Best Performance
Wood and organic materials

How to build high performance homes with less lumber

...thermal barrier, which is pretty much double what code would require in many cases, and it's also a smarter long term investment in colder climates. Legalett ThermalWall rigid foam insulation panels This wall assembly doesn’t need an interior poly vapor barrier as the foam will be the vapor barrier. Double st...

How to insulate basements properly
Insulation and soundproofing

Best practices for basement insulation in new home construction

...thermal performance of basements, reducing heat loss and operating costs. It also helps reduce the chance of interior moisture issues by raising the temperature of the first interior condensing surface, the concrete. Below is a thermal image of the basement descibed above with insulation on both sides. The effective ...

Poly vapour barriers in air conditioned houses can cause mold and rot
Healthy indoor air quality

Why you should Never Install Air-Con in a Home with a Vapor Barrier

...Barrier + Air-Con = Damp Moldy Walls So here's a little known fact that most HVAC installers won't tell a potential new client for central air; Polyethylene vapor barriers in combination with air conditioning in homes can rot walls because of the condensation they may cause. This is why if you have a newer home with ...