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Continuous Insulation Requirements

Are you finding that you know more about the continuous insulation requirements of the new energy codes than the code officials do? If so, tell us what you think they’re not understanding, and what needs to be done to educate them.

Yes, like proper detailing of flashing membranes on windows in building envelopes. Some of these inspectors are not motivated to get more knowledge … after all, they are the official (or god to you peons), which, unfortunately, we will always have to deal with.

A possible solution is to have an organizational entity (AWCI, etc.) rank these officials in their knowledge, fairness and ease to work with, this being based on the premise that if a community wants to attract more industry (business and money for their tax base) and be perceived as “friendly” (knowledgeable, proactive toward a good community to do business in), this will help them to attract such business. And if they are smart, they’ll cull out those officials whose rankings hurt those factors. A difficult task to accomplish, but worth it to those who want a better community and want team players and not a demigod who wears an “official” title.


Everything!!! Most new code officials are pushing foam and they don’t have a clue about the problems related including fire, insects, off-gassing, etc. What kind of book are they reading to where people have to put fire—I mean foam—in their house??


We need to make it simple and just start specifying spray foam for all exterior cavity situations! It’s high R-value and seamless application provides an air and moisture barrier plus the insulation requirements.

My name is David Mitchell, president/owner of Sol – Con Energy Systems LLC, in business since 1977 ( Specializing in blown-in cellulose insulation for attics and walls.

First: Bathroom exhausts vents need to be vented out through the roof using a specifically designed vent for bath fans that does not allow any of the bathroom air back into the attic. The ducting to connect the two needs to be an insulated duct.

Second: Ridge vents do not work in the “real world.” They may work in a laboratory where there is no dust or dirt, but when you install them to vent an attic, the dust and dirt that is always flowing through that attic ends up plugging up those ridge vents. If you have ever looked at a ridge vent, it is the same as a furnace filter. Have you ever changed a furnace filter? Roof vents need to be mandated for the correct way to ventilate attics. Performance always takes precedence over ethics.

Third: Fiberglass needs to be banned from anymore use in home building, of any kind. You have no idea how many homes that I have seen where the people are paying high energy bills, and their comfort level is ridiculous. It is a known fact that if an attic with fiberglass gets below 20 degrees, the fiberglass insulation loses 40 percent of its R-value, and that as little as 3 inches of cellulose blown over the top stops that R value loss.

These are just a few. Thanks for listening.
The jury is still out in our market. We are seeing plans in the bidding process with myriad differing Ci applications incorporated into the exterior envelope—some correct, some close and others completely off the mark. So for sure the design professionals have less of an understanding than the subcontracting community. Having only been successful on the correctly designed projects, we cannot speak to the actions of the code officials once these projects are submitted for approval; however, there are several “drive-bys” planned once these get going.

—C. Brent Allen,

Compass Construction, Inc., Dublin, Ohio

In our region many code officials are dealing with something new to them. The codes are written with so much wiggle room it remains difficult for them just to keep up with what they are dealing with on a regular basis. Too many big companies are making claims and creating support documentation that are causing confusion with what is marketing and what is actual. To understand how many cities and towns operate with the limited funds and people to do the work, it’s a wonder why we even asking the question. It will take more time for the inspection community to catch up, but they will.

Our business is about 20 percent outside the box continuous thermal today and growing. What we see that can help educate the most people in a short time is Web-based training. Companies launching new systems need to introduce it to the inspection community first before selling to the architects and contractors to specify and build.
—Paul Dion, President,

Closed Cell Structures LLC,

Peabody, Massachusetts

Code officials need to know the fire hazards of spray applied urethane foam when left exposed. They should also know the difference between a thermal barriers and ignition barriers. I have seen way too much exposed foam on projects and eventually people are going to die in


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