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Old 05-06-2011, 05:29 PM   #1
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Insulating Superior Walls


Hi everyone,

My wife and I just built a new house (Central PA) with Superior Walls in the basement. I believe they have the blue foam Dow R12.5 insulation. I'm planning on finishing the basement into a home theater/family area.

My question is, do I need additional insulation? What R-value? What type of insulation? (Foam, fiberglass, etc).

Thanks everyone!

Jason
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:32 PM   #2
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Insulating Superior Walls


What is the temperature of the soil on the other side (cold side) of the wall when it is -0F or lowere air temperature outside? - In your area it is probably not below 55F as an average.

Dick
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:47 PM   #3
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Insulating Superior Walls


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What is the temperature of the soil on the other side (cold side) of the wall when it is -0F or lowere air temperature outside? - In your area it is probably not below 55F as an average.

Dick

What if it is lower than 55F? What if it is higher?
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:02 PM   #4
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You are in Zone 6? Clearfield= 6A. http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...001_par001.htm

Zones 4,5,6,7, and 8 require R-10 continuous, R-13 cavity (footnote "c"): http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico..._11_sec002.htm

You didn't use it exterior? Under the perimeter slab, I hope.

Gary
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:06 AM   #5
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Insulating Superior Walls


Our climate (MN) is colder than PA and that is what is normal here. It is an average that is usually close to the average annual temperature and represent the temperarure difference used for determining heat loss. Thr soil temperature is quite uniform and is not affected by short daily or weekly temperature swings due to the thermal inertial of the soil. In solid or relatively solid materials heat/cold flows in all directions and not just up and down as it does in air (convection)

The depths and criteria GBR mentioned are code numbers usually used for design of frost footing depths in relatively undisturbed areas or as prescriptive numbers for easy code enforcement by generalists. They are extrememely conservative because they are based on worst one-time combination of conditions over an approximately 100+ year period mutiplied by an additional safety factor, especially for frost depths.

With a Superior/inferior wall system there will be very large heat losses ("thermal short circuiting") through the ribs since they are usually not insulated as much as the flat portions.

Your floor slab will still be a major heat loss since it is about the same temperature as the bottom of the foot or two of the wall.

Dick
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
You are in Zone 6? Clearfield= 6A. http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...001_par001.htm

Zones 4,5,6,7, and 8 require R-10 continuous, R-13 cavity (footnote "c"): http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico..._11_sec002.htm

You didn't use it exterior? Under the perimeter slab, I hope.

Gary
I'm actually in zone 6.

I'm not sure what you mean about using it exterior and under the slab...I'm about as green as you can get with respect to construction.

Here are pics of the walls.


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Old 05-09-2011, 01:43 PM   #7
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Insulating Superior Walls


Jason,

The data that Gary posted is correct according to the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC), which is the code currently adopted by PA. Keep in mind however that PA has 3 possible paths to energy compliance. 1. 2009 IRC, 2. 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and 3. the PA Energy Alternative.

You get to decide which one you want to comply with if you are doing the finishing yourself or acting as the general contractor. In zone 6 you only need to meet the R10 continuous requirement for the IRC and the PA energy alternative. According the 2009 IRC and Superior Walls of America, and the PA Housing Research Center you are in compliance without adding any additional insulation.

The Xi Superior Walls panel system has an R-Value of around 12.5 based on an area weighted average calculation of just the insulating materials only.

The IECC, however, requires an R15 continuous and R19 cavity. If you wanted to meet this requirement then you would need to add insulation.

Also remember that if you have a walkout basement you will want to add enough insulation to meet the above grade wall insulation requirement.

If you have any specific questions about how to add insulation to a Superior Walls panel system just call 1 800 452 9255. We will be happy to help. You can also download the Homeowners Guide for additional guidelines on how to add insulation to a Superior Walls system at www.superiorwalls.com. Go to the Consumers section – mouse over the Consumers box under the people and you will find a link to the Homeowners guide.

Ed
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:26 PM   #8
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Thanks, Ed. Dick is correct; the Code is minimum, like passing grade in class with a “D”. Codes average locations, it takes time to research more for a fine tune; http://www.buildingfoundation.umn.ed...timum-main.htm

I would add some cavity foam board blocks (bottom plate), and cavity insulation to prevent any basement air to create convective loops in the cavities. Air-seal the drywall. Insulate the rim joist with foam board, add drywall clips for inside corners and add ceiling backing at running walls. The "biggest loser" in fiberglass insulation....


http://joneakes.com/jons-fixit-database/743


http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...wall-approach/


http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...m-at-rim-joist



Gary

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Old 05-09-2011, 04:01 PM   #9
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Insulating Superior Walls


Once again Gary has offered you some very good advice. Building Science Articles are first class.

If forgot to mention this earlier, but in addition to adding insulation to the wall cavity, Superior Walls of America can provide you with technical details on how to isolate the footing beam thermally from the basement floor to optimize the performance of the wall. This is expecially handy if you have a heated slab.

Ed
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by EdinPA View Post
Once again Gary has offered you some very good advice. Building Science Articles are first class.

If forgot to mention this earlier, but in addition to adding insulation to the wall cavity, Superior Walls of America can provide you with technical details on how to isolate the footing beam thermally from the basement floor to optimize the performance of the wall. This is expecially handy if you have a heated slab.

Ed
Thanks Ed!
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