27 Sep '12, 3pm

Video: Superinsulating a Home With Rigid Foam

1. Why do I see so much foil-faced rigid foam on the GBA website? My understanding (from Thermodynamics) is that radiation "is considered to be a surface phenomenon for solids that are opaque to thermal radiation...", so the foil will only be effective at reflecting heat (in the form of radiation) when the foil is exposed to an air space. As such, having foil-faced rigid foam sandwiched in a wall assembly is a complete waste of foil (this was all confirmed by several PhDs in Mech. Engineering that I consulted with). Furthermore, the presence of the foil (which is a highly effective vapor retarder) in the middle of a wall assembly creates the "double vapor barrier" no-no that we, in the Interior of Alaska, are trained vehemently to avoid. This traps moisture in the wall cavity and serves no purpose (in our climate, at least). In this particular case, it may not be problemat...

Full article: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/video-superinsulating...

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