One of the great benefits of going out into the field to do quality assurance and training for HERS raters is that I get to see what’s going on in new construction. Last week I visited HERS raters in Nashville, Memphis, and Birmingham and got to see that there’s some good stuff happening in the world of home building. Yesterday I wrote about a net zero energy house near Memphis. Today, I’m going to just show you a photo of something I’ve seen only three times now – fiberglass batt insulation installed to RESNET Grade I quality.
The photo above shows how fiberglass batt insulation should be installed. Each batt is cut to the correct width and length for the cavity. The installers cut notches out so that the batts fit around electrical junction boxes. They split the batts to go around wires. What you see above is just about perfect.
One thing that I believe makes them easier to install well is that they’re unfaced. There’s no kraft-paper facing on them, so they’re easier to cut and fit properly. The building code now allows unfaced batts for the warmer climate zones, so if you want to go with batts, get the unfaced type if they’re allowed in your climate zone.
If you’re wondering what kind of batts these are, they’re the Ecobatt made by Knauf. Any batt can be installed well, and any batt can be installed poorly. The Ecobatt has some other properties in its favor, though. They’ve reduced the petroleum that goes into the making of this material and kept some of the other nasties out as well.
This particular installation is a Habitat for Humanity community in Nashville, in which the homes will have the ENERGY STAR label and be certified in the LEED for Homes program. They’ve got it going on up there, and these Grade I fiberglass batts prove that you can build affordably and still do it right.