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ENERGY STAR® Qualified Homes THERMAL BYPASS CHECKLIST GUIDE 1 Thermal Bypass Checklist Version 2.0 Updated June, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "ENERGY STAR® Qualified Homes THERMAL BYPASS CHECKLIST GUIDE 1 Thermal Bypass Checklist Version 2.0 Updated June, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 ENERGY STAR® Qualified Homes THERMAL BYPASS CHECKLIST GUIDE 1 Thermal Bypass Checklist Version 2.0 Updated June, 2007

2 2006 IRC SECTION N AIR LEAKAGE N Building thermal envelope. The building thermal envelope shall be durably sealed to limit infiltration. The sealing methods between dissimilar materials shall allow for differential expansion and contraction. The following shall be caulked, gasketed, weather- stripped or otherwise sealed with an air barrier material, suitable film or solid material. 2

3 1. All joints, seams and penetrations. 2. Site-built windows, doors and skylights. 3. Openings between window and door assemblies and their respective jambs and framing. 4. Utility penetrations. 5. Dropped ceilings or chases adjacent to the thermal envelope. 6. Knee walls. 7. Walls and ceilings separating the garage from conditioned spaces. 8. Behind tubs and showers on exterior walls. 9. Common walls between dwelling units. 10. Other sources of infiltration IRC SECTION N AIR LEAKAGE

4 ENERGY STAR® THERMAL BYPASS SECTIONS 1.Overall Air Barrier and Thermal Barrier Alignment 2.Walls Adjoining Exterior Walls or Unconditioned Spaces 3.Floors between Conditioned and Exterior Spaces 4.Shafts 5.Attic/Ceiling Interface 6.Common Walls between Dwelling Units 4

5 5 Thermal Bypass Inspection Checklist

6 6

7 7 THERMAL BYPASS CHECKLIST: INTRODUCTION KEY POINTS THERMAL BYPASS CHECKLIST 1.If a state, local, or regional energy code contradicts the ENERGY STAR® Thermal Bypass Checklist, precedence must be given to the state, local, or regional energy code. Precedence should also be given to guidelines set by regional ENERGY STAR® programs. 2.Not every specific detail and field condition can be covered in these guidelines. EPA and the Residential Services Network (RESNET) rely on Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Providers and raters to employ their judgment when determining compliance with the general intent of the Thermal Bypass Checklist. 3.Builders may self-verify up to six items on the list; the remaining items, however, must be verified by a certified home energy rater. 4.The certified rater shall always sign the Checklist, and the builder shall only sign the checklist if the builder verified any of the items. 5.Any items found to be non-compliant with the Thermal Bypass Checklist must be corrected in order for the home to be qualified as ENERGY STAR®.

8 1. OVERALL AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL BARRIER ALIGNMENT Requirements: Insulation shall be installed in full contact with sealed interior and exterior air barrier except for alternate to interior air barrier under item no. 2 (Walls Adjoining Exterior Walls or Unconditioned Spaces) All Climate Zones: 1.1 Overall Alignment Throughout Home 1.2 Garage Band Joist Air Barrier (at bays adjoining conditioned space) 1.3 Attic Eave Baffles where Vents/Leakage Exist Only at Climate Zones 4 and Higher: 1.4 Slab-edge Insulation (A maximum of 25% of the slab edge may be uninsulated in Climate Zones 4 and 5.) Best Practices Encouraged, Not Required.: 1.5 Air Barrier at All Band Joists (Climate Zones 4 and higher) 1.6 Minimize Thermal Bridging (e.g., OVE framing, SIPs, ICFs) 8

9 Resists Heat Flow Air Flow …need Air Barrier any solid material that blocks air flow including sealing at edges and seams AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT

10 AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT Thermal image of a knee wall without an air barrier.

11 Courtesy of Southface Institute AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT Continuous Full contact with interior air barrier (e.g., sheet rock) Fully enclosed conditioned space

12 AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT Figure Gaps (left) and voids (right) allow air to flow through insulation.

13 AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT Figure – Misalignment of insulation due to compression.

14 AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT Figure Insulation installed with gaps and voids.

15 Alignment of insulation and air barrier. 1.1 AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT Image courtesy of Environments for Living

16 16 Image courtesy of Environments for Living Figure Insulation is fit around piping and wiring. 1.1 AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT

17 17 Figure Blown cellulose insulation. 1.1 AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT

18 18 Figure – Spray foam insulation. 1.1 AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT

19 19 Blow in Blanket Insulation. 1.1 AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT

20 20 Blown Fiberglass Insulation. 1.1 AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT

21 21 Installation Criteria: Insulation shall be installed in full contact with the air barrier on all six sides to provide continuous alignment with the air barrier. Two general exceptions to the requirement for a six-sided air barrier with insulation are at band joist insulation and at the top of ceiling insulation. 1.1 AIR BARRIER AND THERMAL ALIGNMENT KEY POINTS Tips and Best Practices: When choosing insulation, consider options that most readily achieve the proper installation requirements. Verify that insulation subcontractor installers are trained and/or certified in proper installation practices.

22 22 No gaps at ends 1.2 GARAGE BAND JOIST AIR BARRIER Figure – Gap between garage and conditioned space due to incomplete blocking.

23 23 Filler blocking much simpler shape with dimensional lumber Filler blocking much harder shape with Engineered lumber 1.2 GARAGE BAND JOIST AIR BARRIER Figure – Two types of joist-gaps created between garage and conditioned space.

24 24 Installation Criteria: Ensure blocking is complete and fully sealed at all band joists between garage and conditioned space. Ensure insulation is installed without any gaps, voids or compression. 1.2 GARAGE BAND JOIST AIR BARRIER KEY POINTS Tips and Best Practices: Instead of continuous framing extending from the garage to conditioned spaces, terminate framing at the boundary wall to the conditioned space so end-blocking can be installed.

25 ATTIC EAVE BAFFLES Figure Wind intrusion from a soffit vent.

26 wind-wash insulation baffle ATTIC EAVE BAFFLES

27 ATTIC EAVE BAFFLES Figure Cardboard baffles. Image courtesy of MaGrann Associates

28 ATTIC EAVE BAFFLES KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: Solid baffles shall be provided at all framing bays with soffit vents to prevent wind washing at attic insulation. Tips and Best Practices: Even if soffit vents are not continuous, wind baffles are strongly recommended at all framing bays since air gaps commonly occur between roof sheathing and the fascia board. This can allow wind intrusion along the entire roof edge.

29 29 Figure Options for slab insulation. 1.4 SLAB-EDGE INSULATION Diagrams courtesy of the US Department of Energy

30 30 Installation Criteria: In Climate Zones 4 and higher, continuous slab insulation meeting the R-value specified in IRC 2004 shall be provided to avoid thermal bypass at exposed concrete slabs. A partial exemption applies to Climate Zones 4 and 5 where a maximum of 25% of the slab perimeter may be un-insulated. 1.4 SLAB-EDGE INSULATION KEY POINTS Tips and Best Practices: Consider solutions to accommodate flooring materials and their required installation details (e.g., adhesive for sheet flooring, and nailing strips for carpet) where slab edge insulation will be exposed at exterior walls.

31 31 Figure Options for insulation/air barrier alignment at band joists. 1.5 AIR BARRIER AT ALL BAND JOISTS

32 AIR BARRIER AT ALL BAND JOISTS KEY POINTS Tips and Best Practices: In order to eliminate higher utility bills, discomfort and potential moisture problems, inside air barriers are highly recommended for Climate Zone 4 and in any home with open web truss-joist floors.

33 MINIMIZE THERMAL BRIDGING Figure – Advanced corner framing techniques.

34 MINIMIZE THERMAL BRIDGING Figure – Advanced corner framing techniques.

35 MINIMIZE THERMAL BRIDGING Figure – Advanced interior/exterior wall framing techniques. Ladder framing

36 MINIMIZE THERMAL BRIDGING Figure – Advanced interior/exterior wall framing techniques.

37 MINIMIZE THERMAL BRIDGING Figure – Complete thermal break with rigid insulation sheathing.

38 MINIMIZE THERMAL BRIDGING Figure Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs).

39 39 Figure Insulated Concrete Form (ICF). 1.6 MINIMIZE THERMAL BRIDGING

40 40 Installation Criteria: OVE (Optimal Value Engineering) still needs to address quality control issues with insulation installation to ensure continuous alignment with the air barrier with no gaps, voids, or compression. Tips and Best Practices: OVE reduces thermal bridging by laying out a framing plan that minimizes the studs and plates needed for structural support. Two factory built assemblies that ensure thermal bridging along with full alignment of insulation and integrated air barriers with no gaps, voids or compression, are SIPs (Structurally Insulated Panels) and ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms). 1.6 MINIMIZE THERMAL BRIDGING KEY POINTS

41 2. WALLS ADJOINING EXTERIOR WALLS OR UNCONDITIONED SPACES Requirements: Fully insulated wall aligned with air barrier at both interior and exterior, OR continuous top and bottom plates or sealed blocking 2.1 Wall Behind Shower/Tub 2.2 Wall Behind Fireplace 2.3 Insulated Attic Slopes/Walls 2.4 Attic Knee Walls 2.5 Skylight Shaft Walls 2.6 Wall Adjoining Porch Roof 2.7 Staircase Walls 2.8 Double Walls 41

42 42 Image courtesy of Building Science Corp. Figure Tub installed against exterior wall without air barrier or insulation. 2.1 WALL BEHIND SHOWER/TUB

43 43 Images courtesy of Fort Collins Utilities Figure Infrared image showing thermal bypass at tub with incomplete insulation and air barrier. 2.1 WALL BEHIND SHOWER/TUB

44 WALL BEHIND SHOWER/TUB Figure – Architectural detail of tub installation with complete air and thermal barriers. Diagram courtesy of MaGrann Associates

45 WALL BEHIND SHOWER/TUB Image courtesy of Energy Services Group Figure Two installations of air barriers at tubs adjoining exterior walls. Image courtesy of Building Science Corp.

46 WALL BEHIND SHOWER/TUB

47 WALL BEHIND SHOWER/TUB

48 WALL BEHIND SHOWER/TUB KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: Exterior walls shall be enclosed on all six sides, including a complete and continuous air barrier behind the tub. Tips and Best Practices: Use a material that is readily available to ensure the air barrier is installed prior to setting the tub. Plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), sheathing boards, and drywall are good choices. Using spray foam at framing behind tubs is also an option to avoid labor installing both air barrier and insulation installed prior to setting the tub or shower. Insulation material and air barrier sheathing should be made available on site for installation by the framing subcontractor prior to plumbing rough-ins, or the framing subcontractor could install an air barrier behind the tub with the wall cavity left accessible for installation of loose fill or blown-in insulation by the insulation subcontractor.

49 WALL BEHIND FIREPLACE Image courtesy of EnergyLogic Figure Fireplace installed without air barrier. Air barrier missing at framed exterior wall

50 WALL BEHIND FIREPLACE Diagram courtesy of MaGrann Associates Figure – Architectural detail of fireplace air barrier installation.

51 WALL BEHIND FIREPLACE Image courtesy of Building Science Corp Figure Fireplaces installed with air barrier and insulation. Image courtesy of EnergyLogic

52 WALL BEHIND FIREPLACE KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: For Climate Zone 4, an inside air barrier shall be installed that is fully aligned with the wall insulation, and any gaps shall be fully sealed with caulk, foam, or tape. Fire-rated caulking along with flashing or UL-rated collars must be installed continuously around any fireplace flue and wall penetration. Drywall, thermoply, or other air barrier materials may be used to create an interior air barrier on the exterior wall behind the fireplace. Tips and Best Practices: Install insulation prior to the installation of the inside air barrier. However, this will often rely on the builder to verify proper installation of insulation and therefore complete verification of this item on the Thermal Bypass Checklist.

53 INSULATED ATTIC SLOPES FOR UNVENTED ATTIC SPACES Figure – Unvented attic with spray foam insulation at slopes and walls.

54 IRC Figure – Unvented attic with spray foam insulation at slopes and walls. R806.4 Conditioned attic assemblies. Unvented conditioned attic assemblies (spaces between the ceiling joists of the top story and the roof rafters) are permitted under the following conditions: 1. No interior vapor retarders are installed on the ceiling side (attic floor) of the unvented attic assembly. 2. An air-impermeable insulation is applied in direct contact to the underside/interior of the structural roof deck.

55 55 Installation Criteria: Insulation shall be installed in full contact with the air barrier on all six sides to provide continuous alignment with the air barrier. 2.3 INSULATED ATTIC SLOPES FOR UNVENTED ATTIC SPACES KEY POINTS Tips and Best Practices: In Climate Zone 4, there are several different strategies that will accomplish this assembly, including a variety of insulation types. If chosen, spray foam insulation will act as both an air barrier and insulation in one application without any R-value restrictions due to truss framing dimensions.

56 ATTIC KNEE WALLS Figure Infrared image of attic knee wall detail. Images courtesy of D.R. Wastchak

57 THERMAL BYPASS CHECKLIST: INSULATED FLOOR OVER GARAGE ATTIC KNEE WALLS 125 o F 110 o F 100 o F BonusRoom Garage Thermal Bypass Solution: align insulationalign insulation add air barriersadd air barriers 57

58 ATTIC KNEE WALLS Diagram courtesy of MaGrann Associates Figure – Architectural detail for an attic knee wall.

59 ATTIC KNEE WALLS Figure Examples of properly blocked and air sealed attic knee walls. Images courtesy of Energy Services Group

60 ATTIC KNEE WALLS Figure – Attic knee wall with no exterior air barrier. Figure – Attic knee wall with exterior air barrier.

61 ATTIC KNEE WALLS

62 ATTIC KNEE WALLS

63 ATTIC KNEE WALLS

64 ATTIC KNEE WALLS KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: Continuous top and bottom plates shall be installed along with an air barrier on the attic side of insulated walls, including exposed edges of insulation at joists and rafters. Where truss framing is used, blocking is required at the top and bottom of each framing bay. Tips and Best Practices Recognize that attic knee wall barriers are only needed when adjoining an unconditioned attic. Acceptable materials for attic-side barriers vary significantly around the country. Be sure to confirm that the preferred material is acceptable to the local code official. FSK radiant barrier facing material typically meets code requirements for flame spreadability on attic-side materials.

65 SKYLIGHT SHAFT WALLS Figure – Architectural detail for insulation and air barrier at skylight shaft.

66 SKYLIGHT SHAFT WALLS Figure – Example of an un-insulated light tube.

67 67 Installation Criteria: Light tubes can represent a significant amount of exposed surface area to unconditioned attics, and therefore need a complete insulation and air barrier assembly. 2.5 SKYLIGHT SHAFT WALLS KEY POINTS Tips and Best Practices: Consider using R-8 duct insulation to provide both an air barrier and insulation in one step. However, where possible, more insulation (e.g., R-13 to R-19) would be appropriate.

68 WALL ADJOINING PORCH ROOF Image courtesy of Energy Services Group Figure – Air barrier missing at porch roof. Image courtesy of Energy Services Group Figure Cold air thermal bypass at a porch roof.

69 WALL ADJOINING PORCH ROOF Image courtesy of Energy Services Group Figure Appropriate blocking at intersection of flat porch roof and conditioned space.

70 WALL ADJOINING PORCH ROOF Image courtesy of Environments for Living Figure Appropriate blocking between sloped porch roof and conditioned space.

71 WALL ADJOINING PORCH ROOF KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: A complete air barrier shall be installed at the intersection of the porch roof and conditioned space. Where truss framing is used, blocking shall be provided at the top and bottom of each wall/roof section. Blocking shall be installed prior to insulation. Tips and Best Practices: At sloped porch roofs, the porch/conditioned space intersection is effectively an attic knee wall. Follow the tips and best practices included in Section 2.4. At flat porch roofs, the porch/conditioned space intersection is effectively a band joist that is not required to include an interior gside air barrier. However, it is highly encouraged per recommendations in Section 1.5.

72 STAIRCASE WALLS Image courtesy of Energy Services Group Figure Staircase adjoining unconditioned attic needs to be fully blocked and sealed.

73 STAIRCASE WALLS Diagram courtesy of MaGrann Associates Figure – Architectural detail for staircase with complete air barrier.

74 STAIRCASE WALLS KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: Structural sheathing can be used to extend above and below stringers to allow for taping with joint compound. Air barrier shall be fully aligned with insulation and any gaps are fully sealed with caulk or foam. Tips and Best Practices: If stair air barrier is complete at HERS inspection, builder verification may be needed for this item.

75 DOUBLE WALLS Figure – Double wall with air barrier. Figure – Double wall with filled cavity.

76 DOUBLE WALLS Figure – Example of a double wall.

77 77 Installation Criteria: Insulation shall be installed in full contact with the air barrier on all six sides to provide continuous alignment. 2.8 DOUBLE WALLS Tips and Best Practices: Fill the entire wall cavity with blown-in insulation or spray foam. If blown-in insulation is used, provide shelves located approximately every two feet of vertical distance up the wall to prevent excessive settling over time with such a wide unsupported area of insulation. If spray foam is used, it only needs to be the thickness required for the specified R-value without a separate air barrier since it functions as both insulation and an air barrier.

78 3. FLOORS BETWEEN CONDITIONED AND EXTERIOR SPACES Requirements: Air barrier is installed at any exposed insulation edges Insulation is installed to maintain permanent contact w/ sub-floor above  3.1 Insulated Floor Above Garage  3.2 Cantilevered Floor 78

79 79 Figure – Thermal bypass at garage ceiling. Thermal Bypass Garage ceiling Floor Diagram courtesy of Environments for Living 3.1 INSULATED FLOOR ABOVE GARAGE

80 80 Figure Alignment of insulation and air barrier at garage ceiling. Garage ceiling Floor Air barrier Diagram courtesy of Environments for Living 3.1 INSULATED FLOOR ABOVE GARAGE

81 INSULATED FLOOR ABOVE GARAGE Figure Alignment of insulation and air barrier at garage ceiling with spray foam or faced batt insulation. Garage ceiling Floor Air barrier if batts are used Spray-foam or faced batt insulation Diagram courtesy of Environments for Living

82 INSULATED FLOOR ABOVE GARAGE Figure Blocking for floor over garage. The installation of a blocking material is required on the open ends of each joist cavity. Diagram courtesy of McGrann Associates, Inc. Subfloor Drywall ceiling

83 INSULATED FLOOR ABOVE GARAGE Figure Enclosing four edges of open web truss floor. Diagram courtesy of McGrann Associates, Inc. The installation of sheathing material on all four edges to enclose the floor assembly. All joints in the sheathing material must be air sealed. The sheathing must be air sealed to the subfloor and also to the drywall on the bottom. Air seal Subfloor Drywall ceiling

84 INSULATED FLOOR ABOVE GARAGE KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: Except where spray foam insulation is used, air barriers shall be provided at any exposed edges of insulation.

85 INSULATED FLOOR ABOVE GARAGE KEY POINTS Tips and Best Practices: Before choosing to completely fill the floor cavity (as in Figure 3.1.2), make sure that the weight of the insulation will not be excessive for the drywall ceiling due to the depth of the floor framing. Check with the drywall manufacturer to determine whether netting installed for blown-in insulation effectively removes the extra weight from bearing on the drywall ceiling. If weight is not an issue, blown-in insulation completely filling the floor space may be the simplest and most cost-effective solution for assuring alignment with both sub- floor and ceiling, but it is critical to ensure proper density to avoid settling away from the sub-floor. Since spray foam functions as both insulation and an air barrier, consider using spray foam insulation to avoid completely filling thick framing space between garage and sub-floor with insulation and installing edge air barriers. Batt insulation may be installed with metal staves holding the insulation against the sub-floor above the garage. Any pipes in the floor system should have adequate insulation installed below them.

86 CANTILEVERED FLOOR Figure – Cantilevered floor with no air barrier between overhang and conditioned space. Image courtesy of Energy Services Group

87 CANTILEVERED FLOOR Figure – Insulation settling away from sub-floor.

88 CANTILEVERED FLOOR Images courtesy of Fort Collins Utilities Figure Infrared image of a cantilevered floor without thermal bypass details.

89 CANTILEVERED FLOOR Figure – Architectural detail for cantilevered floor assembly. Diagram courtesy of MaGrann Associates

90 CANTILEVERED FLOOR Figure Proper installation of insulation under a cantilevered floor. Images courtesy of MaGrann Associates

91 CANTILEVERED FLOOR KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: After July 1, 2008 the complete framing space between floors shall be filled with insulation so it is aligned with the top and bottom air barrier. If spray foam is used, the bottom surface of the foam functions as the air barrier and therefore does not need to be full depth. Except where spray foam insulation is used, air barriers shall be provided at the inside edge of the wall top plate across the cantilever. The air barrier shall be fully air sealed between sheathing, gaps, cracks and edges with a compressible sealant, caulk, foam, or mastic. Tips and Best Practices: If the cantilever is completely closed in at inspection, builder verification may be needed for this item since the insulation will not be exposed. Spray foam insulation installed to desired thickness functions as both insulation and an air barrier.

92 4. SHAFTS Requirements: Openings to unconditioned space are fully sealed with solid blocking or flashing and any remaining gaps are sealed with caulk or foam (provide fire-rated collars and caulking where required)  4.1 Duct Shaft  4.2 Piping Shaft/Penetrations  4.3 Flue Shaft 92

93 93 Figure – Duct penetration to attic that needs blocking. 4.1 DUCT SHAFT. Courtesy of Building Science Corp.

94 DUCT SHAFT Image courtesy of EnergyLogic Figure – Duct shaft with ineffective air barrier (insulation).

95 95 Figure – Effective air barrier and sealing at duct shafts. 4.1 DUCT SHAFT

96 DUCT SHAFT Figure Blocking and foam air sealing in chase. Image courtesy of Energy Services Group

97 DUCT SHAFT KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: Openings to unconditioned spaces shall be sealed with solid blocking as required and any remaining gaps shall be sealed with caulk or foam. Tips and Best Practices: Since the flashing or framed caps at shafts and penetrations are typically installed by the framing subcontractors before the HVAC trades do their work, make sure subcontractors understand the importance of complete air barrier assemblies. Use mastic to seal cracks and gaps.

98 PIPING SHAFT/PENETRATIONS Figure – Typical piping penetrations leaving large holes.

99 PIPING SHAFT/PENETRATIONS Image courtesy of Building Science Corp. Figure Caulking around piping penetration.

100 PIPING SHAFT/PENETRATION KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: Openings to unconditioned spaces shall be sealed with solid blocking as required and any remaining gaps shall be sealed with caulk or foam. Tips and Best Practices: Work with plumbing and electrical subcontractors to make the smallest openings needed for penetrations. Since the flashing or framed caps at shafts and penetrations are typically installed by framers before the plumbing and electrical trades do their work, make sure subcontractors understand the importance of complete air barrier assemblies.

101 FLUE SHAFT Figure Insulation improperly used as an air barrier. Image courtesy of EnergyLogic Batt insulation

102 FLUE SHAFT UL-rated metal collar installed around a flue shaft. Image courtesy of Building Science Corp.

103 FLUE SHAFT Figure Fire-rated caulk around a flue shaft. Image courtesy of EnergyLogic

104 FLUE SHAFT Installation Criteria: Flue openings shall be fully sealed with flashing as required and any remaining gaps sealed with fire-rated caulk or sealant. Combustion clearance between flue openings and combustible materials (e.g., OSB) shall be properly closed with UL-approved metal collars. Tips and Best Practices: Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC trades should be informed to prevent degradation of the flue shaft air barrier assembly typically installed by the framing subcontractor. Special colored fire-rated foam used for sealing difficult air gaps at flue openings should be checked for acceptability with local building code officials prior to construction.

105 5. ATTIC/CEILING INTERFACE Requirements: All attic penetrations and dropped ceilings include a full interior air barrier aligned with insulation with any gaps fully sealed with caulk, foam or tape Movable insulation fits snugly in opening and air barrier is fully gasketed 5.1 Attic Access Panel (fully gasketed and insulated) 5.2 Attic Drop-down Stair (fully gasketed and insulated) 5.3 Dropped Ceiling/Soffit (full air barrier aligned with insulation) 5.4 Recessed Lighting Fixtures (ICAT labeled and sealed to drywall) 5.5 Whole-house Fan (insulated cover gasketed to the opening) 105

106 106 Images courtesy of Energy Services Group Figure Infrared images of thermal bypass at attic access panels. 5.1 ATTIC ACCESS PANEL

107 ATTIC ACCESS PANEL Figure Example of properly insulated and sealed attic hatch. Images courtesy of Energy Services Group Gasket

108 ATTIC ACCESS PANEL Installation Criteria: Attic access panel shall be fully gasketed for a snug fit. Attic access panel shall be fitted with insulation (minimum of R- 5) that fits snugly in the framed opening. Tips and Best Practices: To increase durability, consider using a pre-insulated door panel or SIP panel for the attic access panel.

109 ATTIC DROP-DOWN STAIR Images courtesy of Energy Services Group Figure Infrared images of thermal bypass at attic drop-down stair.

110 ATTIC DROP-DOWN STAIR Figure Improperly installed insulation is compressed and impedes the use of the drop-down attic access stair.

111 ATTIC DROP-DOWN STAIR Figure Option for insulation of drop-down stair. Diagram courtesy of the US Department of Energy

112 ATTIC DROP-DOWN STAIR Figure – Insulated box made specifically for attic drop-down stair.

113 ATTIC DROP-DOWN STAIR Factory-installed R-6 ¾” thick, rigid, aluminum foil faced polyisocyanate panel. Figure – Pre-insulated/sealed attic drop-down stair assembly.

114 ATTIC DROP-DOWN STAIR KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: Attic drop-down stair shall be fully gasketed for a snug fit. However, gaps in weather-stripping to accommodate hinge hardware shall be acceptable. Attic drop-down stair shall be fitted with minimum R-5 insulation that fits snugly in the framed opening or firmly covers the opening. Tips and Best Practices: Factory made attic drop-down stair assemblies that are fully gasketed and include a rigid insulation panel much like an exterior insulated door are a great simple solution.

115 DROPPED CEILING/SOFFIT Image courtesy of Maryland Energy Administration Figure Improperly installed insulation over a dropped ceiling.

116 DROPPED CEILING/SOFFIT Figure – Infrared image of dropped ceiling without an air barrier and proper insulation.

117 DROPPED CEILING/SOFFIT Diagram courtesy of MaGrann Associates Figure – Architectural detail illustrates proper air barrier assembly at dropped ceiling.

118 DROPPED CEILING/SOFFIT Images courtesy of Energy Services Group Figure Air sealed soffits.

119 DROPPED CEILING/SOFFIT KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: A complete sealed air barrier shall be provided at all attic framing above soffits and dropped ceilings fully aligned with the attic insulation. Where drop ceilings or soffits occur at exterior walls, air barriers shall be included at the wall as well as at the attic floor. Tips and Best Practices Check with local building code officials prior to construction that air barrier sheathing material meets fire code requirements. Where acceptable to code officials, rigid foam insulation sheathing provides both an air barrier and a complete thermal break with the attic.

120 RECESSED LIGHTING FIXTURES Images courtesy of Energy Services Group Figure Infrared image of thermal bypass at IC recessed lighting fixture. Figure Infrared image of thermal bypass at non-rated recessed lighting fixture.

121 RECESSED LIGHTING FIXTURES Figure Recessed light fixture in a sealed soffit.

122 RECESSED LIGHTING FIXTURES Figure ICAT-rated fixture installed with gasket.

123 RECESSED LIGHTING FIXTURES Figure ICAT-rated fixture installed with gasket.

124 Air Tight Insulation Contact Fixtures

125

126 RECESSED LIGHTING FIXTURES KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: All recessed lighting fixtures to unconditioned attics shall be “insulation contact, airtight rated” (ICAT), and shall be sealed to drywall with gasket, caulk, or foam. Tips and Best Practices: Consider using non-recessed lighting fixtures at all attic/ceiling interface locations where appropriate to design preferences. Install recessed lighting fixtures in dropped ceilings with a complete air barrier assembly above. Use ICAT fixtures that do not have air gaps in the housing assembly and with built-in gaskets. Where ICAT fixtures are selected that come with air gaps in the housing assembly, manually seal the gaps on the job site. However, manufacturer recommendations must be followed since lighting fixtures get very hot. Recognize that ICAT recessed lighting fixtures are only needed at ceilings adjoining unconditioned space. If gaskets are not built-in, develop a system for storing trim seal gaskets provided by the manufacturer after initial installation of the recessed cans so they are available at the end of the job.

127 WHOLE-HOUSE FAN Figure Whole-house fan cover. Figure Whole-house fan with built-in cover.

128 WHOLE-HOUSE FAN KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: Whole-house fan shall include a minimum R-5 insulated cover that is fully gasketed to the framing assembly and opens automatically or with a simple mechanism that does not require the homeowner to climb into the attic. Tips and Best Practices: Select a whole-house fan with a built-in insulated cover fully gasketed to the assembly that operates automatically when the fan is turned on. Make sure any modifications for an insulated cover to a whole-house fan do not conflict with manufacturer requirements. Make sure the homeowner understands how this product works and operates with an insulated cover.

129 6. COMMON WALLS BETWEEN DWELLING UNITS Requirements: Gap between drywall shaft wall (common wall) and structural framing between units is sealed at all exterior boundary conditions 6.1 Common Wall Between Dwelling Units 129

130 130 Images courtesy of Energy Services Group Figure Infrared image of thermal bypass at a common wall. 6.1 COMMON WALLS BETWEEN DWELLING UNITS

131 131 Images courtesy of Energy Services Group Figure Poorly sealed common wall. 6.1 COMMON WALLS BETWEEN DWELLING UNITS

132 COMMON WALLS BETWEEN DWELLING UNITS Framed wall Drywall Air seal here Diagram courtesy of EnergyLogic Figure – Architectural detail of air sealing at common wall.

133 COMMON WALLS BETWEEN DWELLING UNITS Image courtesy of MaGrann Associates Figure Example of properly air sealed common wall with fire-rated caulking (in red).

134 COMMON WALLS BETWEEN DWELLING UNITS KEY POINTS Installation Criteria: Air gap between fire-rated assembly and framed walls (i.e., common wall) in duplex, townhouse, and apartment construction shall be fully sealed at all exterior boundary conditions. Tips and Best Practices: Acceptable materials for air-sealing common walls can vary significantly around the country. Confirm that the preferred material is acceptable to the local code official prior to construction. Fireproof spray foam with a special color is a sealing material likely to be acceptable to code officials for common walls, and is highly effective for air sealing.


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