Northern Cal. Builder meets Title 24 on 600 New Homes with Total Wall Platinum

Northern Cal. Builder meets Title 24 on 600 New Homes with Total Wall Platinum

Insulfoam’s Platinum Total Wall Insulation provides National Builder K.Hovanian Homes’ new Northern California neighborhoods with the exterior continuous insulated sheathing required to meet California’s impressive Title 24 building code and energy requirements.

With 11 new Northern California Neighborhoods being built according to impressive sustainable/energy efficiency standards, 600 homes are surrounded with Platinum Total Wall to achieve “Continuous Insulation” requirements.  K. Hov recognizes that adopting this building envelope insulation building practice is beyond a requirement –  it will help save the state’s energy resources, provide more comfortable homes and will save homeowners in operating costs (think hot summers, and lower AC costs!). Truly a building method that makes a difference for the future.

So why does continuous insulation make a difference, and why has California specifically required it for new construction? It all starts with a natural phenomenon called thermal bridging. This is one of the key factors as to how heat and cool air are transferred through a building (its not just gaps and cracks that causes air to escape). With thermal bridging, the warm and cold air transfers through different structural members, such as wood or steel framing.  In the case of K.Hov homes, with wood framed building envelopes, if they had not installed Platinum Total Wall continuous insulation, the wood studs would serve as a bridge from the inside to the outside (and vice versa). This causes conduction, which is responsible for approximately 23-30% of heat/cooling loss. [Another example of how thermal bridging causes conduction would be to think of a metal spoon in a hot cup of coffee… the heat from the coffee transfers up the spoon. Just like when hot or cold air transfers through wood/metal studs in a building envelope.] When a qualified insulation covers these “bridges” continuously this conduction/ heat transfer is minimized – if not stopped.

Continuous Insulation incorporated

Stick walls transfer heat through studs (indicated in yellow)

To further illustrate how thermal bridging occurs, this visual shows a home (on left) without continuous insulation, while the home on the right incorporates continuous insulation. Yellow and Red in the infarred thermal images is air transferring in and out of the building.

California isn’t the only state to require continuous insulation (ci). On a National basis (think all of America) The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) has expanded the requirement for ci to be included in nearly 90 percent of the country. ASHRAE (Go to source for National Energy Standards for Buildings) includes prescriptive R-value cavity and ci requirements for commercial buildings in all eight Climate Zones. Basically, all agencies are saying that fiberglass insulation isn’t enough anymore. Continuous insulation over all wall assemblies is no longer an option.

Ci is pretty clear, so why is K.Hov choosing Platinum Total Wall over other continuous insulation options? Total wall offers high long-term stable R-Value (sustains its R-Value for life, with a matching 20 year 100% thermal warranty – other competing rigid insulations offer 80-90% warranties) with less required materials. And because moisture control is a concern, the GPS (Graphite Polystyrene) insulation core has extensive testing including a 15 year in-situ field study demonstrating how EPS based insulation both absorbs less and sheds more moisture than all other rigid insulations (XPS vs EPS study) over the long term – which is largely why the GPS R-Values are warranted at 100%.  Further, Total Wall incorporates factory laminated facers that are breathable to reduce surface cracking (EIFS and stucco favorite), improve jobsite durability, and impact resistance. The icing on the cake, is that Total Wall Platinum has integrated weep channels and T&G edges on all large panels, which allows for secondary moisture relief… Total Wall is the ultimate back up for your wall systems. 

We’ll be keeping an eye on K.Hov’s new developments and are glad to be a part of surrounding their homes for years and years to come.

Want to investigate incorporating Total Wall Platinum in your projects? Contact a your local Rep for a free consultation.