We are currently building our own 5,500 sq. ft. custom home. We have full 2 x 6 stud walls with 1″ hardboard insulation, wrapped with commercial Tyvek and 1″ thick board and batten hemlock wood siding. We are slab on grade with a combination radiant floor heat system and forced air heat exchanger fired from a wood boiler (dual purpose duct work for air conditioning). The entire electrical system is in conduit. We live in a cold northern climate. Our current dilemma is regarding the insulation. Originally, we constructed the house to allow for full fiberglass insulation in the walls. During our research, we found an open cell foam insulation product trademarked as Icynene. The problem is that we cannot find independent confirmation / comparison to determine that this is really the route that we want to go. My concerns include the Icynene cost (approximately $12 – 15,000 to completely insulate the home) and long-term issues about the potential chemical reactions, mold/moisture/rot problems, etc. What is attractive about the product is the ability to completely fill the voids around the conduit and around the ends of the floor trusses. We have included an outside air system for circulation due to the tightness of the proposed insulation. We expect to be in this home for many, many years and I don’t want to be short-sighted on something that you only get one shot at. So anyone with experience or insight on this dilemma would be great appreciated.
FHB chats with Linda Reeder, an architect, professor, and author of books on green and sustainable building, about her career experience.
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