Tag Archives: continuous insulation

Designing Masonry Buildings to the 2012 Energy Code: Thermal Mass Basics

A material’s thermal mass denotes its ability to store heat within a cycle of time. K-values, generally calculated on a 24-hour cycle, are important because they give general references to a material’s capabilities for storing heat. All materials may be considered for use in a thermal mass calculation, but steel, aluminum, and other metal claddings tend to cycle too quickly, while wood tends to cycle too slowly to offer desirable design values.

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Designing Masonry Buildings to the 2012 Energy Code

All images courtesy Mortar Net Solutions

The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will bring tremendous change to the way buildings are designed, constructed, and renovated. For example, the insulation requirements for masonry construction have been written to higher performance levels. The prescriptive energy code for the masonry industry is based primarily on the requirement for continuous insulation (ci) within the wall envelope. This becomes an issue when one looks at the standard concrete masonry unit.

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Exterior Wall Assemblies: Are you getting what you specified?

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Exterior wall systems have received a lot of well-deserved attention as no amount of ink has been spared over the last decade writing about the critical importance of a tight, fire safe, and tested building enclosure. However, the traditional project delivery process seems designed to undermine the intent of achieving a building enclosure that meets all of these criteria even when it has been properly specified.

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Specifying NFPA 285 Testing

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By Joseph Berchenko AIA, CSI, CCS

For testing certain wall assemblies, the 2012 International Building Code (IBC) requires National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 285, Standard Fire Test Method for Evaluation of Fire Propagation Characteristics of Exterior Non-load-bearing Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components. (That standard’s title notwithstanding, the test is performed on both load-bearing and non-load-bearing wall assemblies.) Its successful completion demonstrates the ability of an exterior wall mockup to contain vertical and horizontal flame spread …

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Detailing Masonry and Frame walls with Continuous Insulation and Air Barriers

Photo courtesy Sto Corp.

Both conductive heat transfer and air leakage through the building enclosure have been identified as obstacles to truly energy efficient buildings. This article delves into the necessity for proper detailing of both continuous insulation and fluid-applied air barriers, pointing out the difficulties in avoiding pitfalls such as thermal bridging in wall assemblies. It also explores why more insulation is not necessarily a means to increase energy efficiency.

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