Heating and cooling account for 39% of the energy used in U.S. commercial buildings. This represents a large opportunity to save energy throughout U.S. buildings. One of the leading cause of energy waste from heating and cooling in commercial buildings is inadequate insulation.
Proper insulation is a key element for a more comfortable and energy efficient building. It is important to have a continuous boundary of insulation between the conditioned, indoor spaces and the unconditioned, outdoor spaces. This boundary is referred to as the “building envelope” and consists of the walls, floor, and ceiling or roof and it provides the thermal barrier between the indoor and outdoor environment. Insulating ceilings, walls, and floors decreases the heating or cooling needed by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.
Advanced Code Options
There are many new and innovative insulation products not specified by the model codes that can save energy, money, and enhance thermal comfort. For more information, visit buildinggreen.com.
Commercial Policy Options
From the 2012 IECC Proposals:
Expand insulation options by adding r-value choices that don’t force the use of specific types of insulation. By slightly altering r-values of insulation builders and architects will be able to better choose the insulation that meets optimal energy and cost savings.
Images courtesy of Building Energy Codes Resource Center and Headwaters Energy and Finance