Tag Archives: cellulose

Eco-Panels Installed

Eco-Panels came out on Tuesday and Wednesday and installed the S.I.P. roof.  The finished roof system for the Nauhaus Prototype will have an insulation value of about R80 when completed, because the spaces between the 8″ rafters will be packed with cellulose.

Some information about Eco-Panels, from their website:

For a truly superior building envelope Eco-Panels manufactures the only R60 panel on the market today coming in at just 8.5″ in thickness.  This panel, designed specifically for use in arctic regions, is perfect for the passive house or net zero energy designs where most modeling software calls for an R40 wall and R60 roof (of course this will vary based on region).  This roof panel will perform at better than R60 at 20deg F (-7deg C) using LTTP (long term thermal profile) and temperature vs k-factor performance data provided by the foam component manufacturer.

  • 8 1/2″(21.6 cm) = R60+
  • Maximum panel length is 12′-0″ (360 cm) although this can be increased to 16′-0″ for large opportunities
  • Maximum panel width is 4′-0″ (120 cm)
  • The insulation is high-R-value polyurethane foam injected at a density of 2.5 pounds per cubic foot.

Click here to view the entire Nauhaus Prototype Construction Chronology.

Garnet Igneous delivers supplies.
Garnet Igneous delivers supplies.
The framing is ready to receive the Eco Panels S.I.P.s.
The framing is ready to receive the Eco Panels S.I.P.s.

Chris Cashman
Chris Cashman
Eco Panels Truck
Eco-Panels Truck
Matt, Mike and Tim
Matt, Mike and Tim
The Eco Panels S.I.P.s are attached to a special bracket and lifted with a crane.
The Eco-Panels S.I.P.s are attached to a special bracket and lifted with a crane.
Craig Payne
Jeffrey
Matt and Elijah install panels.
Matt and Elijah install panels.
Matt prepares for an Eco Panel.
Matt prepares for an Eco Panel.
Matt and Elijah attach panels to the North side of the roof.
Matt and Elijah attach panels to the North side of the roof.
8.5" R-60 Eco Panel on Rafter
8.5" R60 Eco-Panel S.I.P. on 8" Rafter
Eco Panels being installed on the South side of the roof
Eco-Panels being installed on the South side of the roof
Northeast Corner
Northeast Corner

West Gable
West Gable
All of the Eco Panels are installed.
All of the Eco-Panels are installed. Next we will add the overhangs and metal roofing.

How to Make Sure Cellulose Insulation is Dense Packed

Home Energy Magazine | The Dry-Pack Cellulose Alternative:

One of the key components of a successful dense pack installation is a powerful enough blower. Bill Hulstrunk, technical manager of National Fiber Cellulose, recommends a pressure of no less than 80 water column inches (80 inches WC, or 2.9 psi), measured at the blower outlet while blowing air and not material. These numbers seem to be appropriate, based on follow-up tests that Hulstrunk and I conducted with a calibrated cavity test box. Packing this test box of known weight and volume can reveal the net added weight of cellulose per cubic foot. Inspectors have yet to see a blowing machine that can reach 80 inches WC and can’t achieve a standard 3.5 lb of cellulose per cubic foot. The blowers that can’t generate the necessary pressure can’t pack the cellulose to the optimal density. Also, blowing equipment that blows with enough pressure to dense pack the cellulose is easier and faster to work with. The cavity fills quickly and to the proper density.

There are a number of reasons for the lackluster densities. They include

  1. old, undersized, or otherwise under performing blower motors;
  2. failure to maintain equipment, especially worn seals (when air can bypass worn seals, less pressure is available on the outlet side);
  3. inadequate power due to low voltage or small-gauge wire;
  4. a flawed air-material ratio (decreasing material feed and/or increasing blower air setting results in higher density); and
  5. poor installer technique—including withdrawing the wall tube too quickly or not using a wall tube at all.

Consistent dense-pack is a readily obtainable and worthy goal, but ongoing testing indicates that it doesn’t happen by accident. The following recommendations will greatly increase the likelihood of getting consistent dense-pack results:

  1. Use an infrared thermal imager for quality control inspection.
  2. Conduct equipment pressure-testing on a regular basis, supplemented by the appropriate ongoing maintenance program.
  3. Train field crews with a calibrated test box to ensure that they have the right air-material ratio and installation technique.

Improvements in cellulose manufacture, advances in blowing equipment, and access to infrared cameras are moving the weatherization industry in a positive direction. For years we had to endure stories from homeowners who had remodeled their bathroom, only to find that their blown-in insulation had “settled.” This led to the notion that cellulose settles more and more as time goes on. We now know that much of this cellulose was never dense-packed to begin with, and much of the “settling” had already taken place before the contractor’s truck pulled out of the driveway. Fortunately, we now know how to avoid it.