Continuous Exterior

Continuous Exterior Featured Articles

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Air-Sealing and Insulating a High-Performance Shell

Take pains to seal all possible leaks, then run a blower-door test before insulating. More

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Building a High-Performance Shell for a House

Advanced framing and exterior foam reduce conductive heat loss and provide good air-sealing opportunities. More

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Retrofitting Exterior Insulation

Adding rigid foam to the outside of the shell dramatically increases R-value while... More

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Log Cabin Envelope Makeover

How a New England contractor replaced a deteriorating log exterior with a new,... More

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Holes in the Wall: Understanding Total R-Value

Today’s builders are learning to mitigate thermal bridging by using alternative... More

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Continuous Exterior Instruction

Creating a Palette of Foam-Free Superinsulation Details

There’s more than one way to build a highly insulated, air-tight house—or to tighten up and super-insulate an existing home. Here’s a look at an evolving array of superinsulated details that don’t use spray foam. More

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Working With Roxul Insulation

A veteran contractor chose mineral wool insulation rather than cellulose for a... More

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Reusing Loose-Fill Cellulose

Working around existing attic insulation to seal air leaks may be more cost-effective than removing and replacing it More

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Fire Retardant in Spray Foam

Is it a potential health hazard? More

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Can Fiberglass Batts Perform Well in Tightly Sealed Houses?

I understand that fiberglass batt insulation can allow air to move through it and that this air movement degrades the insulation's R-value. Two causes I've heard about are wind-washing at the eaves and convective loops that can start in a wall cavity on really cold days and wick warmth from inside to the outside wall surface. But recently I have taken pains to do a very good air-sealing job on everything I build, whether it's an addition or a new house. I'm getting blower-door readings of less than 1.5 air changes per hour at 50 pascals. I also use baffles at the eaves, and seal the sheathing to the framing before insulating. Under these conditions - with air movement cut to a minimum - will fiberglass insulation perform at its stated R-value? More

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