Cost-effective zero net energy homes begin with the design: the designer should be familiar with all the factors involved in building a net zero home. The two most important aspects to consider are airtightness and insulation.
A typical home can lose as much as 40 % of its energy through cracks and gaps in walls and the roof. A Net Zero Home produces enough energy to provide the amount of energy used by the home. This is possible because of its low-energy use. The design should specify the following:
- The wall, floor and ceiling systems using advanced framing techniques.
- The insulation R-values for walls, ceiling, and floors.
- The airtightness standard for the building shell.
- Measures to avoid thermal bridges.
There are still other factors that will determine if the house can become a net zero energy home: the siting, the windows and the doors, the hot water system, etc.
Spray Foam Insulation: airtightness, insulation and thermal bridging
Polyurethane systems act 3 in 1 in Net Zero Homes. They act as an air barrier, as thermal insulation and they avoid thermal bridges thanks to their continuity.
Why to use polyurethane spray foam for Net Zero Homes?
- Polyurethane spray foam is able to prevent air infiltrations by filling vacant air gaps; by eliminating moisture, it protects you against potentially harmful mold and mildew.
- Acoustic insulation made of flexible polyurethane foam offers the high performance sound proofing solution needed to eliminate noise and ensure comfort.
- Keymark certified, polyurethane exterior wall insulation optimizes thermal insulation.
- Polyurethane roof insulation is one of the most efficient, high performance insulation materials available and offers low thermal conductivity that keeps your home warm in winter yet cool in summer.