Building Science | Insulation 101 | Medieval vs. Modern Envelope

When it comes to the most important energy saver in your building, insulation, there are two schools of thought. You are about to discover the benefits, costs, and differences between the two theories.

The original theory is a vented building envelope where air flows through the building. In this infographic lesson we will call the vented envelope Medieval. On the other side, you have a sealed building envelope that we will call Modern.

Who typically builds a Medieval vented envelope?

You will find this vented building in almost all older homes and all homes build by production builders like KB Homes, Taylor Morrison, and Buffington. Whereas, Austin’s custom home builders almost exclusively install Modern sealed envelopes which saves the building’s owner tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.

Why don’t more people demand that their building be a Modern Austin insulation sealed envelope?

My belief is that they have not had access to the right information to understand the importance of that choice. The production builders who create the leaky homes are only looking at the pretty finishes that get’s uninformed buyers excited. The customer cannot choose whether they want a Medieval or Modern envelope with a production builder.

Meritage Homes, is one of a few production builders in Austin Texas who do Modern envelopes in their homes. Most all custom builders in Austin install Modern envelopes. The exception, is when the home is a spec, where there is no education process for the buyer who will be paying the energy bills.

Can a vented building be transformed into a Austin insulation sealed envelope?

Short answer is Yes it can. Long answer is that there are several things to consider. The perfect time to transform your home into a closed envelope is when you have your HVAC unit replaced. A closed envelope requires a unit that is 90% or greater efficiency so you are safe and all combustable air is removed from the building. Unfortunately, this is a very important fact that many Austin spray foam installers ignore and put their clients in danger.

What’s next?

Now you have taken Building Science, Insulation 101, Medieval vs Modern Envelopes. I bet you will be choosing to create a sealed envelope whenever possible.

Continue learning by downloading our guides here!



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