IN DEPTH: Insulation

Continuous insulation Dow Styrofoam

Code changes and growing awareness of insulation benefits are expanding the types and the ways that builders are using products in their projects.

By: Craig A. Shutt – The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code has put builders on alert, making them evaluate their insulation strategies and expanding their interest in new products. As they do, they also are looking at other benefits that insulation can provide and how building- science techniques can be turned into marketing advantages.

“The 2012 building code is raising more questions and concerns than any code in the past,” says Jim Ash, North American marketing manager for new business development at DuPont. “The comments we are getting range from ‘I don’t understand’ to ‘I don’t agree with what they want’ to ‘It gives me options, so which should I use?’”

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Gary Parsons, Dow Fellow and building expert at Dow Building Solutions, agrees. “Changing building codes are having a significant impact on how insulation purchasing decisions are made.

New codes are encouraging exterior continuous insulation and encouraging builders to use a system approach to achieve thermal, moisture and air protection.

The days of just ‘insulating’ a home to a specific R-value are over. Today, builders must consider everything to determine the best assembly to meet codes efficiently and cost effectively.”

“I wish I could say that builders all saw these changes coming and are ready with good options in place to handle them,” notes Brett Welch, building specialist at Knauf Insulation. “Some builders are ahead of the curve and understand their cost structures well enough to know that it’s cheaper to learn about options when there’s no cost for failure.