State and local building codes typically include minimum insulation requirements, but if you want to maximize the energy efficiency of your new home, you should consider designing an ultra-efficient home or buying a new Energy Star home or a home prepared for zero energy emissions. To ensure compliance with the code, construction documentation, permits, plan review, and field inspection may need to be submitted, depending on the specific details of renovating the exterior walls of an existing home. The whole-house system design approach is a strategy that takes into account the interaction between insulation and other building components to optimize energy efficiency. To help, the United States Department of Energy has a map that shows the recommended range of R values for different regions of the country.
For example, homeowners in parts of the southern United States can insulate their attics with materials that have R values in the range of R30 to R60 and R13 to R19 for floors.Modernizing and remodeling an existing building offers one of the best opportunities to improve energy efficiency, comfort, health, durability and economy to achieve a more sustainable building in the future. Therefore, when a remodeling project presents practical opportunities to improve the performance of the building envelope, they should not be wasted.In most climates, you'll save money and energy when building a new home or expanding it if you install a combination of cavity insulation and insulating cladding. Whether you're building a new home or remodeling an existing one, taking the time to research ways to improve insulation is a worthwhile step, and the best starting point is understanding the R-value of insulation.The opportunities to improve the thermal envelope of your building depend on the sets of building envelopes that are part of or may be affected by your remodeling project. Any new construction, such as a new wall or an entirely new extension, must meet the energy code requirements for new buildings, even if it is part of a larger remodeling or renovation project.
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