Tag Archives: insulation

Continuing Education on Continuous Insulation

continuous - Tom's article 2015 - 5th-&-Alton Shopping-Center

Continuous insulation (ci) has been a component of exterior wall assemblies for more than 40 years in North America and even longer in Europe. It has always been the smart way to design wall assemblies from the standpoint of energy conservation and water management. By minimizing energy loss caused by thermal bridging and the risk of condensation caused by water vapor diffusion, exterior ci can improve building durability and benefit the environment.

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Using Temperature to Control Condensation in Cold Climates

Photo © BigStockPhoto/Pavel Losevsky

Initially, water vapor diffusion was seen as the likely culprit for condensation problems; designers and consultants spent hours running and analyzing wall assemblies using the dewpoint method. With such analyses came the concept the wall system should be tuned for maximum condensation resistance by altering or selecting the appropriate permeability of the wall components. However, to create a truly robust wall system with the greatest condensation resistance and drying potential, designers need to look at altering the temperature profile of the wall assembly by moving insulation as far as possible to the exterior of the wall.

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Concern regarding long-term insulation data

The December 2013 issue of The Construction Specifier included the article, “Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind,by Ram Mayilvahanan. The feature focused on expanded polystyrene (EPS) and included reference to a particular industry study. In response to the piece, we recently received the following e-mail from John Ferraro, executive director of the Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association (XPSA):

This article included conclusions on the long-term thermal performance of XPS in below-grade applications contrary …

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Designing Plaza Hardscapes: Considerations from insulation and waterproofing to structural support


Plaza construction typically incorporates various products from different manufacturers intended to provide the thermal resistance, water management, structural capacity, and wearing surface needed to meet a particular project’s requirements. This article discusses the importance of evaluating the strength and stiffness characteristics of a plaza system, particularly when heavy loading is anticipated. Designs that do not properly account for overall system strength and stiffness are vulnerable to damage, potentially resulting in cracking and displacement of the hardscape materials, reduction of drainage capacity, and reduced service life of the plaza.

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