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Energy Performance Methods for Post-Frame Construction

Sept. 13, 2016

The advantages of a properly insulated structure are elimination of drafts, energy savings, and occupant comfort.  In 1971, Morton Buildings, the industry leader in post-frame construction, introduced its revolutionary insulation system, Energy Performer, to the construction industry.  This insulation system was so advanced, it exceeded energy conservation mandates that would be introduced two decades later.  Today, it is still one of the most efficient systems on the market. 

One prime example of this is a client who replaced its existing 5000 square foot office/warehouse building with a new 25,000 square foot Morton Building, designed and built using the Morton designBUILD team.  Due to the energy improvements efforts in the new construction, the client realized a 32% energy savings in the much larger facility.

In our 100 years of existence, we continually strive to deliver the most efficient building possible.  We know that the characteristics of a properly insulated post-frame building include:

  • Wood framing that is an insulator, not a conductor
  • Insulation that fills the cavity from column to column, and is continuous from grade to ceiling (less breaks in the insulation)
  • Air barrier
  • Vapor retarder
  • Deep truss heel
  • Well-ventilated attic

Our large wall cavities, 9” thick with 6” of insulation room with options to add more, create adequate space for insulation.  We utilize wide, non-compressed blankets of insulation, virtually eliminating any breaks in the sidewalls, except for where our wood columns are located.  However, wood is a naturally insulating material, and Morton’s wood columns are spaced farther apart than other structures, so the interruption is less intrusive.  Our extra deep truss heel allow for insulating to the wall without reducing insulation thickness, and it also eliminates cold spots.

A vapor retarder is then secured over the insulation to keep it dry and reduce infiltration and heat loss.  This creates a seal between the elements and the inside of the building.  Penetrations through the vapor retarder are kept to a minimum with electrical conduit runs placed along the nailers.

Just as important as insulation is proper ventilation, to ensure condensation control and efficiency.  In attics, vent openings must be placed as to allow air to flow from one opening, across the insulated area, and out the other opening.  Energy Performer buildings feature a continuously ventilated attic to keep moisture out of a building.  Our vented overhangs allow air in and guide the air up the slopes of the roof with air deflectors and out through the continuously vented ridge at the peak of the roof, leaving blow-in ceiling insulation undisturbed.

These layers of exceptionally well-performing materials provide a quality insulation system that uses less energy and cost to keep your building’s interior environment properly maintained.

To learn more about efficiency, energy savings, and sustainable design, visit www.mortonbuildings.com/design-build.   

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