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From Stucco and Stone

ProCoat - March 11, 2013

What is Continuous Insulation?

Everyone is talking about it. It’s required by ASHRAE 90.1-2004. It diminishes the negative effects of thermal bridging. But what is it? The Buildings Energy Code website defines Continuous Insulation as “insulation that runs continuously over structural members and is free of significant thermal bridging”.

We know, based on previous discussions that it is vital to the life cycle of your building to properly protect it from air and moisture intrusion but if you’re asking why a thermal blanket – continuous insulation – is needed, you’ve come to the right place. Different climate zones in the US, as mandated by ASHRAE 90.1-2004, require specific R-values to meet the minimum prescriptive values for insulation. Climate zones 3 and up all have a minimum requirement for CI in addition to the R-13 requirement for batt insulation.

Sto Corporation offers a full range of air barriers and moisture barrier products to protect your building from moisture intrusion and air leakage. According to Energy Star, sealing the building envelope is one of the most cost effective ways to increase the energy efficiency of a building. Installing air barrier systems delivers significant energy savings in both hot and cold climates, and helps improve indoor air quality. Sto’s fluid applied membrane is an air barrier and wall moisture barrier that is structural and continuous, so it won’t rip or tear away from the sheathing like traditional sheet housewraps or building wraps.

In one of our trade show demos, we show the positive effects CI has on a structure. A sample was created as a triangle – one side, standard EIFS, the second, a standard siding application, and the third, a placeholder for heat lamps to demonstrate the true effects. Once the lights are turned on and a significant amount of heat fills the interior of the sample, we can clearly see the CI working in real time.

At max temperature of 120 degrees F, the sample clearly outlines how EIFS (bottom right) provides a thermal blanket for your building.

CI is the proven solution for long term energy savings and is the most effective way to insulate the building envelope.

the right finish for the job. Long walls with light sources at either end are often difficult to touch-up, as are walls with surface imperfections.

In these cases, use a flatter finish. It will be more forgiving with surface and touch-up flaws.

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