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Building America Reports

BA-1108: Hybrid Foundation Insulation Retrofits: Measure Guidelines

By Kohta Ueno and Joseph Lstiburek    Created: 2012/02/13

Basements can account for up to one quarter of the typical energy consumption in a house. Therefore, insulating foundations is a critical measure for achieving high performance buildings. This is important in both new construction and retrofits of existing buildings. The fundamental problems and “best practice solutions” for moisture-safe basement insulation have been well established. However, many foundations are damp (either due to bulk water or capillary “wicking” of moisture) or of a type of construction that is not easy or straightforward to insulate (such as rubble foundations). Damp foundation repair methods can be “leveraged” to provide energy efficiency benefits. An example of this “hybrid” approach is spray foam insulation, which can be an effective means of liquid phase water control (leaking basement), vapor phase water control (diffusion and air leakage transported condensation) as well as an effective insulation.

 

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