New American Home with Icynene
- Delivered energy efficient construction of three high profile homes at the
International Builders' Show to meet Building America's energy efficiency
guideline of HERS 90.
- Introduced advanced insulation and airtightness solutions.
- Reduced heating and cooling equipment requirements by 30%.
The New American Home® 2003 (TNAH) project at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
International Builders' Show is a living demonstration of the construction innovations that are enabling
builders and architects to create Healthier, Quieter, More Energy Efficient® homes.
As the centerpiece display home for the International Builders' Show, a key goal of The New American
Home® 2003 was to surpass other homes in the delivery of superior energy efficiency, without increasing
construction costs. The challenge therefore was to build three different townhouse units designed for three
distinct lifestyles, while maximizing the buildings' thermal performance and airtightness.
Located on the outskirts of Las Vegas, the units range from 2,775 to 3,151 square feet. Under the scorching
Nevada sun, these units would normally experience high cooling loads on the HVAC equipment. The design
and construction team at TNAH needed strategies that could ensure the homes were energy efficient,
comfortable and affordable.
The Solution - Insulate with Icynene®
Amland Development, the builder of TNAH, with the assistance of IBACOS, a nationally recognized building
science and engineering firm, evaluated and tested methods of maximizing the energy efficiency. Using a
systems engineering approach, IBACOS determined that high-performance insulation techniques would be
required to tighten the building envelope, improve energy efficiency performance and enable the builder to
install smaller, less expensive heating and cooling systems.
The IBACOS recommendation included:
R-20 (5.5 inches) of The Icynene Insulation System®, which is both an insulation and air
barrier, sprayed into all exterior walls, floors, cathedralized ceilings and roof deck, thus
creating a continuous barrier and a tightly sealed building envelope. Using Icynene® required
only one simple application that was completed in 5 days.
- Using the unvented attic technique, the space was completely sealed with Icynene®. The
soffit areas, attic walls and underside of the roof deck were coated with this soft foam
insulation. When an attic is insulated using this technique, the temperature adjusts to within
10ºF of the ambient interior temperature of the house. By insulating the roof rafter
assembly, the attic space was converted from unconditioned to conditioned space.
- The HVAC equipment was placed in the attic, which, as a conditioned space, is protected
from outdoor temperatures and allows the equipment to operate more efficiently. Because
the attic is heated or cooled by air that would normally escape from the house, it does not
increase the load on the heating and cooling system.
Data supplied by IBACOS showed:
- These homes will use 49% less energy for heating and 52% less energy for cooling than the Model
- Each home required a smaller HVAC system, reduced from 7 tons to 5 tons [one 12 SEER (2-ton)
unit and one 13 SEER (3-ton) unit].
- The goal of superior airtightness was achieved.
- Improved construction productivity.
Chet Nichols, of Amland Development, enthusiastically added that Icynene® surpassed his goal of
making the homes more energy efficient, and reducing HVAC requirements. "If that is not enough",
he continued, "Icynene® provided superior sound control, which is an important feature in a townhouse
IBACOS will continue to extensively monitor the three homes' performance while occupied for a
period of one year to confirm the ongoing savings and homeowner comfort. Look for TNAH - Part two
follow-up case study to be released early in 2004.
Icynene® in a Multi-Unit Project Application:
Improved construction productivity with Icynene® installed in one application, in 5 days.
- Saved money with lower energy costs.
- Reduced the size of HVAC equipment required from 7 tons to 5 tons.
- Increased energy efficiency - 49% less energy for heating and 52% less energy for
cooling than the Model Energy Code.
- Achieved a HERS rating of 90 for superior airtightness.
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