Superinsulation is an approach to building design, construction, and retrofitting. A superinsulated house is intended to be heated predominantly by intrinsic heat sources (waste heat generated by appliances and the body heat of the occupants), without using passive solar building design techniques or large amounts of thermal mass, and with very small amounts of backup heat. Body Heat is a 1981 Neo-noir film written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan. Passive solar buildings aim to maintain interior Thermal comfort throughout the sun's daily and annual cycles whilst reducing the requirement for active heating and cooling This has been demonstrated to work in very cold climates but requires close attention to construction details in addition to the insulation.
Some may consider that superinsulation is an alternative to passive solar design (although many building designs include features of both with special attention to preventing summer overheating). Superinsulation is one of the ancestors of the passive house approach. The term passive house ( Passivhaus in German) refers to the rigorous voluntary Passivhaus standard for energy use in buildings A related approach to efficient building design is zero energy building. A zero energy building ( ZEB) or net zero energy building is a general term applied to a Building with a net energy consumption of zero over a typical year
There is no set definition of superinsulation, but superinsulated buildings typically include:
Nisson & Dutt (1985) suggest that a house might be described as "superinsulated" if the cost of space heating is lower than the cost of water heating. Solar hot water is water heated by the use of Solar energy. Solar heating systems are generally composed of solar Thermal collectors a Fluid Hot water heat recycling (also known as drain water heat recovery, greywater heat recovery, or sometimes shower water heat recovery) is the use of
The term "superinsulation" was coined by Wayne Schick at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This article is about the flagship campus For other uses and locations of University of Illinois, see University of Illinois (disambiguation The University of In 1976 he was part of a team that developed a design called the "Lo-Cal" house, using computer simulations based on the climate of Madison, Wisconsin. Madison is the capital of the US state of Wisconsin and the County seat of Dane County. The house was never built, but some of its design features influenced later builders.
In 1978 the "Saskatchewan House" was built in Regina, Saskatchewan by a group of several Canadian government agencies. Regina (rɨˈdʒaɪnə is the capital of Saskatchewan, Canada. It was the first house to publicly demonstrate the value of superinsulation and generated a lot of attention. It originally included some experimental evacuated-tube solar panels, but they were not needed and were later removed.
In 1979 the "Leger House" was built by Eugene Leger, in East Pepperell, Massachusetts. East Pepperell is a Census-designated place (CDP in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It had a more conventional appearance than the "Saskatchewan House", and also received extensive publicity.
Publicity from the "Saskatchewan House" and the "Leger House" influenced other builders, and many superinsulated houses were built over the next few years, but interest declined as energy prices fell. Many US builders now use more insulation than will fit in a traditional 2x4 stud wall (either using 2x6 studs or by adding rigid foam to the outside of the wall), but few would qualify as "superinsulated".
It is possible to retrofit superinsulation to an existing older house. The easiest way is to build new exterior walls that allow more space for insulation. A vapor barrier can be installed on the outside of the original framing. The phrase vapor barrier is often used to refer to any material typically a plastic or foil sheet that resists passage of moisture through wall ceiling and floor assemblies of buildings Care should be exercised when adding a vapor barrier at a location other than on the "warm-side in winter" to prevent condensation and consequent mold and mildew. Condensation is the change of the physical state of aggregation (or simply state of matter from gaseous phase into liquid phase WikipediaManual_of_Style#National_varieties_of_English --> Molds (or Mildew refers to certain kinds of Mold or Fungus. In Old English, it meant honeydew (a substance secreted by Aphids on leaves formerly This may cause health problems for the occupants and damage existing structure. Many builders in northern Canada use a 1/3 to 2/3 approach, placing the vapor barrier no further out than 1/3 of the R-value of the insulated portion of the wall. This way, the vapor barrier will usually not fall below the dew point, and will minimize the possibility of condensation problems. With an internal room temperature of 20°C (68°F), the vapor barrier will then only reach the dew point for outside temperatures below −18°C (-1°F). The dew point (sometimes spelled dewpoint) is the Temperature to which a given parcel of Air must be cooled at constant Barometric pressure, An approved application of a building wrap on the outside of the insulation underneath the exterior siding helps keep the wind out, yet allows the insulation to breathe. Tar paper and other products are available for this purpose. Tar paper is a heavy-duty Paper used in Construction. Tar paper is made by impregnating paper with Tar, producing a Waterproof material useful
Interior retrofits are possible where the owner wants to preserve the old exterior siding, or where setback requirements don't leave space for an exterior retrofit. A setback, sometimes called step-back is a step-like recession in a Wall. Sealing the vapor barrier is more difficult and the house is left with less interior space. Another approach is to use the 1/3 to 2/3 method mentioned above, that is to vapor barrier the inside of the existing wall (if it isn't done already) and add insulation and support structure to the inside. This way, utilities (power, telephone, cable, and plumbing) can be added in this new wall space without penetrating the vapor barrier. Again, care must be exercised to prevent any area of the vapor barrier from becoming a condensation surface. Adding a second vapor barrier may trap moisture because the dead-space so created will not breathe. If in doubt, partial removal of existing wall surfacing might be desirable.
In new construction, the cost of the extra insulation and wall framing is offset by not requiring a dedicated central heating system. The cost of a superinsulation retrofit may need to be balanced against the future cost of heating fuel (which can be expected to fluctuate from year to year due to supply problems, natural disasters or geopolitical events).
A superinsulated house takes longer to cool in the event of an extended power failure during cold weather, for example after a severe ice storm disrupts electric transmission. A power outage (also known as power cut, power failure, power loss, or blackout) is the loss of the Electricity supply to an Freezing rain is a type of precipitation that begins as Snow at higher altitude falling from a Cloud towards earth melts completely on its way down while passing Adverse weather may hamper efforts to restore power, leading to outages lasting a week or more. When deprived of their continuous supply of electricity (either for heat directly, or to operate gas-fired furnaces), conventional houses cool more rapidly during cold weather, and may be at greater risk of costly damage due to freezing water pipes. A furnace is a device used for Heating The name derives from Latin fornax, Oven. For the various smoking devices see Hookah or Bong. For other uses see Pipe. Residents who use supplemental heating methods without proper care during such episodes, or at any other time, may subject themselves to risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Fire is the heat and light energy released during a Chemical reaction, in particular a combustion reaction. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs after the inhalation of Carbon monoxide gas
The use of electric heaters are typically only used on the coldest winter nights when overall demand for electricity is low.
The first superinsulated houses used standard stud-wall construction, but other building techniques can be used: