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Six Proven Ways to Build Energy-Smart Walls

Whether you build new homes or remodel, these alternative framing techniques will allow you to reach R-40 or better.

For builders and homeowners thinking ahead, energy-smart walls are the best choice. Architect Bruce Coldham outlines six strategies for constructing energy-smart walls, with several suitable for retrofits -- meaning that owners of existing homes can take advantage of energy savings that will result from construction upgrades. Coldham's techniques include double stud walls (for an R-value of 40.0), Larsen trusses (for an R-value of 39.5), engineered-lumber walls (for an R-value of 44.0), spray-foam shells (for an R-value of 41.5), layers of rigid-foam insulation (for an R-value of 40.0), and SIPs (for an R-value of 40.0). Coldham emphasizes that for highest efficiency, walls need to be airtight and water resistant but also have drying potential in the event that moisture gets in.

Six Proven Ways to Build Energy-Smart Walls

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