Tag Archives: insulation

Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind: Specifying thermal insulation below-grade and under-slab

All photos courtesy Insulfoam

Balancing performance and cost for insulation installed on below-grade foundation walls and under floor slabs can require specifiers to rethink common assumptions about rigid foam insulation. Misperceptions about the moisture absorption of expanded polystyrene (EPS) compared to extruded polystyrene (XPS) may be limiting more cost-effective choices. Test results demonstrate the long-term durability and moisture resistance of EPS insulation and the stability of its thermal performance. In many applications, substituting a strong and adequate, yet lower compressive resistance insulation, can result in significant cost savings.

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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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R-values: Controversy and performance values (cont’d)

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The first article in this two-part series lays the groundwork for this discussion on R-values and their use as a metric for thermal insulation performance. Now, in this second part, the author examines the real-world use of it as a gauge for ensuring insulation products function as intended.1

When it was created, R-value was really the only useful tool in evaluating the effectiveness of the available building insulations, among …

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