Saturday, December 16, 2017

Pro Clima, Smart Envelope construction and 475 building Products

This summer I published an article on 475's website discussing the benefits of using Intello with specific focus on Energy conservation.  While there are many benefits including breathability, red list compliance, non toxicity, vapor control without relying on paint, having a continuous air barrier on the inside of your insulation can virtually double the performance of any envelop system.

Waterproofing, moisture control, breathable membranes, non toxic, healthy, sustainable and affordable are a few topics for which there are no answers.  While there are solutions for some, these are all complex problems which all too often aren't' considered by architects and builders.

Intello applied to interior of dbBrad microbuilding

In the article, I looked at energy savings in two ways.  One based on actual experience of one of our MicroBuildings which wasn't performing well at all until we wrapped the interior with Intello.  The other was an Energy calculation for the Whannell residence where we used real data from 475 which based on research done in Germany basically says the following:

  • A traditionally insulated building with no interior air barrier will perform at 25%-40% claimed value. (thus if you are insulating 2x6 walls with r-21, your effective envelope will perform more like R-5 to R-8
  • The same building with Intello on the interior will perform at 80%, more like R-17.

Intello in bathroom taped with vana tape provides a continuous
air barrier that keeps vapor out of your building cavity but still breaths.

Based on my personal experience in these buildings, I am absolutely convinced that the thermal efficiency of our MicroBuildings doubled by applying Intello smart air barrier to the interior.

Intello moisture and air barrier in dbBrad microbuilding

One other advantage is that the intello encapsulates the wall cavities not only sealing warm air in but keeping the insulation dust out.  While I'd love to use wool insulation on all my projects, it is not as easily obtainable and certainly costs more and while I'm not at all in love with fibreglass, I feel better knowing it's safely sealed behind my non toxic Intello air barrier.  This also means I can use real wood as an interior finish without milling it into T and G or painting it for a vapor barrier.

Salvaged wood over Intello air barrier on one of dbBrad's microbuildings.

For more on smart envelop construction and a multitude of membranes for virtually any application, go to 475 Building Products.

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