Retrofit Panels Wrap Existing Housing Stock in Affordable Efficiency

In case you haven’t heard, the USA is arguably the only country on the planet without a housing shortage.  The Building America Teams with DOE support and funding have been focused not on building better new homes, but on technologies that help make the existing housing inventory more energy efficient.

A Nailbase Panel is the SIP industry’s answer to deep energy retrofits.  By removing one skin from the structural insulated panel you create an insulated panel.  This nailbase panel is much closer to a commodity building component than a traditional SIP, as design, engineering, and code issues are a fraction of its fully clad big brother.

The nailbase approach allows a remodeler to attack the structure from the outside.  The nailbase panel has been successfully used in both wall and roof applications.  When old siding and roofing is removed, the nailbase panel can be easily attached (with SIP screws, no less) to the exposed framing.  This approach leaves existing insulation intact and the foam of the nailbase becomes an added layer of thermal efficiency.  The installation of nailbase employs many techniques used with SIPs as it relates to sealing the envelope for maximum air tightness.

The exterior application also avoids dealing with any existing mechanicals and wiring.  Equally important, the interior finish remains basically untouched as the makeover is largely an exterior operation.  With a big exception – your window package.  When the added thickness of nailbase is applied to a structure’s exterior, it almost always forces a do-over with the windows.  This is not necessarily a bad idea for a deep energy retrofit.  A new window and door package will compliment a new and improved exterior shell.

Keep in mind that nailbase panels and a new window package don’t complete your deep energy retrofit.  A complete review of the mechanicals and appliances is essential.  Your new  skin can change the airtightness of your structure to the point where certain combustible appliances could become dangerous.  All deep energy retrofits should be accompanied by an analysis of the entire house and all systems by a trained individual.  This same individual should also stick around to perform the blower door test at the end of your retrofit to ensure that the new shell is properly air sealed.

SIPschool is hosting a FREE 2.5 hour seminar

Nailbase Panels in a Deep Energy Retrofit

This 2.5 hour course includes:

  • Tour of manufacturing facility and review of processes involved in foam manufacturing.
  • Observation of laminating process in production of nailbase panels.

Following tour, SIPschool’s Al Cobb will review the various applications of nailbase on existing buildings.  This portion of the class will include:

  • Choosing the right thickness and core material
  • Modification and attachment of panels to wall and roof assemblies
  • Special concerns of windows and doors
  • Satisfactory indoor air quality
  • Safety concerns with combustion appliances

Online registration is required

Class will begin at 1:00pm Monday October 31, 2011


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