R-17 Composite Wall – Playing to Insulation Strengths

Originally published by: Fine HomebuildingJuly 23, 2019

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There is more than one way to build an energy efficient wall assembly using spray foam as a key component. Even though spray foam is a fairly new product in the construction scene, it is clear that changes to the energy code combined with a sustained desire for continuous insulation and air tight wall construction will allow spray foam to quickly become a common application. There are a variety of ways to install and integrate spray foam into a building assembly. For additional insight, please review the approach taken by energy-efficient building expert architect Peter Pfeiffer from Texas.

Peter Pfeiffer

No other insulation system I am familiar with provides the real r-value that spray foam does, accomplishes the air-sealing it does, or thwarts vapor flow as well. Closed-cell spray foam greatly reduces the chance for condensation within the framing of a home. I think it is critical that houses be built to thwart vapor flow correctly. I insulate all homes pretty much the same. However, in colder climates, I use 2x6 exterior walls, create a cold roof, and insulate the basement or crawlspace. 

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For additional information and commentary on the effects of insulation, please read the following articles: