by Sally Bone
(San Diego, California, USA)
For insulation recommendations tailored to your home, visit the DOE for the Zip Code Insulation Calculator
For new construction or home additions, R-11 to R-28 insulation is recommended for exterior walls depending on location.
To meet this recommendation, most homes and additions constructed with 2 in. x 4 in. walls require a combination of wall cavity insulation, such as batts and insulating sheathing or rigid foam boards.
If you live in an area with an insulation recommendation that is greater than R-20, you may want to consider building with 2 in. x 6 in. framing instead of 2 in. x 4 in. framing to allow room for thicker wall cavity insulation—R-19 to R-21.
Today, new products are on the market that provide both insulation andstructural support and should be considered for new home constructionor additions.
Structural insulated panels, known as SIPS, and masonry products like insulating concrete forms are among these.
Some home builders are even using an old technique borrowed from the pioneers, building walls using straw bales.
Check online at EnergySavers for more information on structuralinsulation.
Radiant barriers (in hot climates), reflective insulation, and foundation insulation should all be considered for new home construction.