02/03/2014

Meet R-Value Needs with Wood Insulation

Tips and tricks to make sure your isoboards meet code

By Richard L. Fricklas

 
  • ASHRAE

    Climate zone map

    /Portals/1/images/OnlineImages/2014/0214/rr/1-climatezones.jpg

    ASHRAE requires differing R-values for roof insulation depending on which U.S. climate zone your building is in.

    Climate zone map
  • Zones

    ASHRAE climate zones

    /Portals/1/images/OnlineImages/2014/0214/rr/2-rvaluemap.jpg

    ASHRAE’s R-value map splits up the United States into eight climate zones.

    ASHRAE climate zones
  • Nailers

    Wood nailers must match thermal insulation in thickness

    /Portals/1/images/OnlineImages/2014/0214/rr/3-perimeter1.jpg

    The thickness of the wood nailers used at roof perimeters must match the thickness of the thermal insulation. But most people don’t realize that with wood, 1 inch doesn’t always mean 1 inch.

    Wood nailers must match thermal insulation in thickness
  • SMACNA

    SMACNA illustration on wood nailers at roof perimeters

    /Portals/1/images/OnlineImages/2014/0214/rr/4-perimeter2.jpg

    The thickness of the wood nailers used at roof perimeters must match the thickness of the thermal insulation, per this SMACNA illustration.

    SMACNA illustration on wood nailers at roof perimeters

Energy requirements for buildings have progressively become more rigorous. Units of resistance to heat flow (R-factor) are now aligned with maps of the U.S. by climate zone, with minimum values of R=20 for warm climates to R= 40 in extremely cold climates. R-values per inch for commonly used roof insulation boards range from 2.7 for wood fiber, perlite, and foamed glass to 5 for extruded polystyrene and 5.6 for isoboards.

Meeting Code-Mandated R values
If, for example, you need an R-value of 25, you would need 9 inches for perlite (!) to 4.46 inches of thickness for isoboards. To find your needed R-value, see the climate zone table and maps above.

Does Thickness Matter?
In commercial roof design, the thickness of the wood nailers used at roof perimeters needs to match the thickness of the thermal insulation (see illustrations above). However, 1 inch doesn’t always mean 1 inch.

Why?

Everyone has heard of a 2x4, but few people realize that the actual height and width of a 2x4 is really somewhere close to 1 1/2 x 3- 1/2 inches, depending on the dryness of the material and milling methods. Similarly, a 1x ("one-by") is only about 3/4 inches in thickness, according to Wikipedia. To be safe, multiply the required inches of thickness by 1.5. This means that for insulation with high R-values, such as isoboard, you would actually need 6.7 inches of lumber, not 4.46. That is a lot of wood, plus metal roof edging must extend below the exposed nailer.


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
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