A Historic Building Gets an Energy Upgrade

Before the renovation, the building was essentially sound, but the years had not been kind to it. Asbestos shingles covered the walls.

Much of the trim had deteriorated beyond saving. As the exterior layers were peeled back, any of the original cyprus trim that still had life was set aside to be reinstalled later.

Before the nailing strips went on, cellulose insulation was blown into the walls; housewrap was attached to the original sheathing to keep the cellulose from leaking out.

Then the walls were wrapped with foil-faced foam and the seams taped. Vertical strapping was screwed through the foam and into the framing to attach the siding and trim. Extra stock was later added around window and door openings for nailers.

Vent strips were installed at the top and bottom of each wall for drainage and to allow air to flow freely behind the clapboards.

Plywood sheathing, screwed through the foam insulation on the roof and into the rafters, provided continuous nailing for the red cedar roof shingles. The seams were taped per the manufacturer’s instructions, and a mesh drainage layer went between the sheathing and the shingles.

When the trim went back on the building, original detailing was followed as closely as possible based on archival photos and the trim that was removed.

Metal connectors and beams were added where the old structure needed strengthening.

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