Dedicated followers of this blog will recall that we have seven design principles guiding us, six of which we have posted on so far: solar gain, thermal mass, insulation, reduce, reuse, and recycle. In our video, Introduction to Passive Solar Design we mentioned the importance of draft-proofing but we have not blogged about it yet.
Now that we have passed our pre-line inspection and are ready to put up plaster board, it would appear to be a good time to write on this subject as some of the draft-proofing will disappear behind the Gib. As you can imagine, most drafts come around doors and windows. In order to have a tight, energy-efficient home it is critical to pay attention to these areas.
Insulating the gap between the door frame and lintel.
Because it takes extra time to do a thorough job, some contractors will skimp on this to save themselves time and money. If you have a contractor working for you, insist that they show you all of the insulation and draft-proofing around doors and windows before they cover it up. This is critically important for an warm, dry, energy-efficient home.
Expanding foam concealing "window worm."
Fortunately, the New Zealand building code is very clear about insulating and sealing around doors and windows which is inspected before the Gib goes up. The code calls for the use of foam tubes ("window worms") and expanding foam. While these products in and of themselves are neither eco nor thrifty, the use of them will ensure a high-performance dwelling. As we are renovating a 100 year-old villa, we find extra gaps in some unexpected places.
Sealing a gap at the bottom of the wall where the match lining was removed.
Unraveling the worm.
It's all about attention to detail.