Originally published in Building Products Digest, October Products Spotlight (pg 14)
None of your contractor customers would build a single family home or apartment building without insulating the walls and ceilings, right? But, what about not instilling insulation on the foundation walls or under the floor slab? These often overlooked parts of the building envelope play an important role in an energy-efficient structure.
When discussing insulation needs with builders, following are key points to help educate them not eh importance of below-grade insulation, and in selecting appropriate products.
Why Below-Grade Insulation Matters
While it might seem that soil would adequately insulate building foundations and floor slabs, a lack of insulation in these areas accounts for up to 25% of a building’s total energy loss, according to the EPS Industry Alliance. The U.S. Dept. of Energy elaborates on this point, “In addition to reducing heating costs, a properly insulated foundation will keep below-grade rooms more comfortable and prevent moisture problems, insect infestations and radon infiltration.” The insulation also helps protect concrete from freeze-thaw cycling, thereby helping minimize cracking, spalling, and frost heave.
- Large scale developer who recognized multiple benefits of below-grade insulation
- Choosing a below-grade insulation
- EPS vs XPS