Building Codes for Insulation – A Primer
Building codes for insulation are designed to reduce indoor air pollution and to improve energy-efficiency in buildings. The primary objectives of these codes are to maintain comfortable temperatures in indoor spaces, protect against heat loss or increase the effectiveness of existing insulation, and prevent moisture and sound transmission through the structure. The secondary objectives include increasing building functionality and usability, preventing infiltration by human beings and animals, and maintaining the comfort of occupants. There are also codes that address aspects related to energy efficiency, such as energy-efficiency ratings and occupant comfort.
A building codes expert is a professional who evaluates and ensures compliance with building regulations regarding insulation. In most jurisdictions, building codes for insulation are implemented when new buildings are being constructed. There may be some changes in thermal condition and design where retrofits or extensions are being undertaken. Often, retrofits are not required, because the additional insulation can achieve the same objectives, and with a lower cost. However, in cases where retrofitting is necessary, the building codes for insulation should be reviewed to ensure compliance with current standards.
When it comes to insulating materials, there are two general categories – cellulose and loose fill. Both provide similar levels of energy efficiency, but there are differences in the time it takes to develop each type of material, its installation procedure and installation considerations. Cellulose is more expensive than loose fill, because of its production process. Loose fill is easier to install than cellulose, which makes it a popular choice for many new buildings.