Knowing what R-value and U-values mean is key to following energy issues and to selecting products that best suit the climate zone you are building in. R-value is essentially a product’s resistance to heat flow. Adversely, U-value measures the rate of heat transfer. This means that products with a lower U-value will be more energy efficient. It is tempting to think that these two values are direct opposites of each other, but there are some important differences to note.
Building enveloped that perform poorly reduce energy efficiency, increase ROI times, and increase carbon footprints and utility bills for building owners. A blower door test can help to establish the airtightness of small to medium buildings, measure the flow of air between different areas in a building and test the airtightness of ductwork.
One way to work smarter is to build using raised-heel trusses. From the APA: “Also known as energy-heel trusses, raised-heel trusses deliver cost-effective energy performance especially when combined with continuous plywood or OSB sheathing.”
As the cost of building materials increase and building codes demand more effective envelopes, construction professionals are looking to taller wall sheathing to fill in the gaps. OSB wall sheathing already makes for a sustainable and cost-effective option but with taller OSB wall panels, the efficacy of the building envelope is increased by creating fewer seams while labor costs, waste and installation time are reduced.
High wind events place an enormous amount of shear and uplift forces on a building. Now you can easily meet hurricane wind codes, while eliminating or reducingthe hardware expense of hurricane straps and the hassle of cutting
The term ‘shear’ is used in construction in several different ways. Shear can be used when referring to a lateral load or force that is applied during high wind events or earthquakes, but it is also more generally used to describe stress on a wall system that occurs due to an applied load.
Innovative manufacturers like Norbord that think outside the box have flipped the structural sheathing panels for vertical installation and increased their height. Longer wall sheathing like TallWall enables an overlap at the joists which eliminates hinge points to increase wall strength. Longer sheathing also reduces the number of seams which improves energy efficiency and makes for a stronger, smoother, flatter wall.
A common summer problem is condensation on walls around AC air vents. Moisture is insidious and, once allowed to enter wall structures, can result in damage, mold and mildew. While quick-fix solutions may provide cosmetic relief, it is best to spend the time and money to ensure that moisture is not seeping into your wall structures.