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Superinsulation FAQs

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Question:  What does "Superinsulation" mean? What makes "Superinsulation" better than other insulations?
Answer:  Superinsulation is really an approach to solving thermal envelope problems.  First, we make sure that the installation will solve the problem, then we make sure that our work will last and won't violate any building-science principles that can cause other problems.  Finally, we install the appropriate high-performance insulation or other climate control materials.  The insulation is usually, but not always, one of the several polyurethane foam systems we work with.  We prefer these materials because they can be quality controlled immediately after being installed; and, because they are unique in that the insulation itself provides the air infiltration barrier, moisture barrier, and 'R'- value (all three elements that a thermal envelope requires) in a one-step process.  We don't have to wait until the finishes are installed to test for performance. We can do infrared thermographic scans to verify product R-value and find any remaining leaks with infrared, blower door, and fog testing as part of the installation protocol.

Question:  What is "Superinsulation" besides just insulation?
Answer:  Superinsulated buildings, meaning buildings that have both our insulation and quality assurance procedures, will perform better than other structures with the same theoretical insulation values.  Building envelopes systems are only as good as the weakest link in the chain.  Buildings with high R-value insulation materials will still perform poorly if air-leakage barriers and vapor-control measures are not working properly.  These two important components of the thermal envelope system rarely are fully understood, and almost never are tested for quality assurance.

Question:  If the "Superinsulation" process costs more, how will I benefit?
Answer:  Our clients will have significantly lower operation and maintenance costs. Trade-offs in other areas of construction can produce real additional savings.  Operation costs include fuel savings, lower HVAC system energy and maintenance costs, and fewer related problems like ice dams, frozen pipes, peeling paint, etc.  It also means that buildings can use smaller furnaces, air-conditioning equipment, and distribution systems.  In large buildings, smaller wall cross-sections have resulted in significant additional floor area without an increase in building size.  Because foam insulation has built-in vapor and air-leakage control, other barrier materials and labor are not required.