29 May '13, 9pm

Green Building Q&A: In search of the elusive "perfect wall" assembly

To hit R30 as a whole-wall R (all thermal bridging included) in a 12" thick wall is doable, but not with 8" CMU. Even with 6" CMU and R6.5/inch polyiso or R7/inch closed cell spray polyurethane it's coming right up against the stops, and you'd have no space for the mechancical routing. You just can't get around the low-R and thickness of the CMU. An 8" CMU is still barely more than R1, and a 6" is less than R1. For a bunch of money you can inject non-expanding foam into the hollow cores and maybe hit R2-ish with a 6" CMU. That leaves you 6" for the insulation, gypsum, and stucco. Allowing 2" for stucco + gypsum + drain plane cavity, you have 4" for all insulation, including the 3.5" depth of the 2x4s. Even without the thermal bridging it then demands R7/inch to hit R30, and WITH the thermal bridging of steel studs you'll be at about half that best case, with an all closed ...

Full article: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/community/forum/energ...

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