How to Future Proof your Home for Thermal Protection?


SIP wall panels

If your home is built with superior technology and design it will provide the highest level of protection from wind, rain, heat and cold. Your home's ability to do this efficiently is one of the most crucial aspects of the home's ability to keep consistent ambient temperature. This means you need to select a builder that knows how to construct a home with the highest standards of thermal protection. There are several ways you can provide thermal protection for your home.

Making Sure Your Home is Ready for the Future

When your home is built above current energy codes you can be assured it is ready for the future. For example, a builder that is using future energy codes when constructing a roof will ensure it is warranted for a lifetime. SIPs (structural insulated panels) are high quality panels that can be used in roofs, walls and floors. They come with a lifelong delamination warranty and are easier to assemble than a stick frame. They can also provide labor savings and less waste.

Not only does a future-ready home include materials that are built to last a lifetime, but better materials and construction can help you save money in other ways. EnerSmart states that SIPs can provide you with long-term energy savings as well as a higher resale value on your home. Everything from high performance windows to well-insulated, durable products will make sure the home being built will keep heat out during the summer and warm air in during the winter.

Keeping Up with Energy Codes

Products such as insulation are constantly changing and improving. A code R-19 insulation value can now be expected in a six-inch wall. An R-value relates to the ability of a material to resist energy or heat flow. Higher R-values mean higher insulating capacities. Not all states, however, are keeping up with rigorous energy codes. You'll want to choose a builder that is keeping up with future energy codes.

California is a state that is leading the way and setting a strong example for energy efficient builders to follow. It's estimated that California is five to ten years ahead in requirements. According to Energy.gov, approximately 75 percent of buildings in the United States will either be renovated or new by 2035. Building for future standards ensures your new home has the highest level of thermal protection for years to come.

Questions You Should Ask About Thermal Protection

When you're getting ready to build a new home there are several important questions you should ask your builder about thermal protection:

  1. What is Thermal Protection? - This is how much protection your home has from the external elements and heat loss. When your home has superior thermal protection it will efficiently maintain it's ambient temperature when it's cold and stay cooler when it's warm.
  2. Why is Thermal Protection Important? - How well your home maintains heat during cold weather and keeps out heat when it's warm is extremely important. This will not only determine how comfortable you and your family are in your home, but will have a tremendous impact on your electrical and gas utility bills.
  3. Are There Standards of Thermal Protection Required? - The United States currently does not have national energy or building codes. Each state adopts their own codes based on national models, a modified version or their own specific codes.
  4. What Codes Do You Build By? - Make sure you ask any builder you may be considering what codes they build by. You'll want a builder that not only meets state codes but exceeds these standards, too.

Walls, Windows and Roofs are Important

Walls, windows and roofs are the outer shell of your home that will keep you and your family safe and warm. Using low-grade materials will likely mean higher energy bills because of increased thermal efficiencies and more susceptible to structural damage. Selecting superior products is the smart investment that will save you money in the long run.

  1. Walls - Walls make up the outer shell of your home and should be made of the highest quality materials possible, such as SIP panels. Your builder should address any leakage points when air sealing the home. It's also important to use the right types of sealants to prevent excessive air flow in gaps. Double entry doors may be needed in areas that are exposed to excessive wind.
  2. Windows - Windows are a major source of heat loss in many homes. There are several energy efficient window designs to choose from. Awnings are not only attractive but are a great choice for reducing solar heat during summer months. It's also important to make sure windows are properly insulated and tightly sealed.
  3. Roofs - GreenHomeGuide suggests three ways to make your roof as energy efficient as possible. Installing a cool roof, making your roof sustainable and insulating it correctly are ways to increase the energy efficiency. For example, a cool roof uses lighter colors and reflective materials to keep your home cooler in warm weather.

Finding an Zero Energy Home Builder

Once you've decided to build an zero energy ready home it's crucial to find the best builder possible. It's necessary to find a builder who has become a Zero Energy Ready Home partner with the Department of Energy (DOE). You'll also want a company with years of experience building homes that are attractive, functional and energy efficient.

High Performance Homes (HPH) can provide you with a home that is both extremely energy efficient and beautifully designed. HPH has conducted years of testing and market research and is able to offer their customers state-of-the-art technology and the highest quality home building available. Contact us for more information.


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