This is a very good day – for all those who own a masonry building, who are interested in a deep energy retrofit and who would like to insulate the masonry walls from the inside.
The frustration has been that there was next to no information available on the pros and cons of insulating the interior of masonry walls, or on how to go about it without damaging the structure.
The Building Science Corporation has taken another step to fill this information gap with the release of a brand new research report (RR-1105) “Internal Insulation of Masonry Walls: Final Measure Guideline,” authored by John Straube, Kohta Ueno and Christopher Schumacher.
Regular readers of the blog will remember my epic search for reliable and sound information on this subject. At the time, I came across one document – to repeat, one document – on this subject, also published by Building Science Corporation.
Do you really want to make an insulation decision of this magnitude based on one document? No, not really. But that’s all that was out there, in addition to some other documents that offered tangential information and the occasional anecdotal evidence.
We had to knit the little information we had together and hope that we got it right. I am glad to report that I see our decisions confirmed, after having read the executive summary of the new research report.
If you have done research yourself on the subject of deep energy retrofits and how to insulate, you will have noticed the abundance of information available for framed buildings or new construction. I cannot fathom why the existing masonry building stock, which is rather significant in metropolises like Chicago, is left without resources.
If we are to get serious about reducing our energy consumption and carbon footprint, we have to get serious about retrofitting the abundant existing masonry building stock. Building new and green can’t be the solution alone. We have to begin to reuse the resources we have.
I am glad that the Building Science Corporation is not shying away from this complex subject.