Insulation and Sheathing

Insulation is a critical component of a tight building envelope. Insulation will reduce heating and cooling loss and improve the comfort of a home.  Insulation and air sealing is the most cost effective measure a homeowner can take when making energy efficient improvements to a home.  For the best energy efficiency, insulation is recommended from roof to floor, including attics, walls, crawl spaces, and basements.

The entire home is being insulated with a densely packed closed cell fiber glass blown in insulation in combination with a vapor retarder, both provided by Certainteed.  Walls will be insulated to R-20, and the attic will be insulated to R-40. Even the garage door is insulated to R-17.  Fire-rated high density gypsum interior sheathing from American Gypsum will then be installed to cover all walls and ceilings.   

Paul Kriescher, from Lightly Treading Incorporated, is performing the inspections for LEED certification of the home. His expertise and consultation will help ensure that EEC will reach its goal for platinum LEED certification.  When discussing insulation options for the home, his opinion was,

"With air-leakage often resulting in 40% or more of the heating loads in existing homes across Colorado, cutting air-leakage is critical when seeking to comply with LEED. One of the best ways is to apply a skim-coat of CertaSpray polyurethane foam to walls and ceilings. In my 11 years of testing homes, we at Lightly Treading Inc. have seen that houses insulated with polyurethane foam have only 1/4 as much air-leakage as the same house insulated with fiberglass batts. When CertaSpray is combined with Optima fiberglass-fill, you have ensured there are no insulation gaps in the entire cavity, which optimizes the R-value and prevents any risk of condensation on the foam; it simply is an outstanding way to air-seal and insulate a new home."

During the Energy Star Summit home tour, David Van Thuyne, from CertainTeed, explains the hybrid insulation system being installed in the home.

Division 7 Insulation Contractors install Certainteed insulation in the exterior walls of the home.

Optima insulation after being blown in.

platinum leed home insulation

Fiberglass batts waiting to be installed in the PLH.


CertainTeed produces home insulation products with all the thermal, acoustical and energy-saving features you need. All CertainTeed fiber glass insulation products are made with the highest quality standards in the industry. CertainTeed fiber glass insulation products are right for you and your environment. The entire platinum LEED home has been insulated with CertainTeed insulation products.

Features and Benefits CertainTeed fiber glass insulation offers the following benefits:

  • Thermally efficient
  • Excellent acoustics
  • Low cost
  • Non corrosive
  • Does not absorb moisture
  • Noncombustible (unfaced only)
  • Won't settle over time
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to handle and install
  • GREENGUARD Certified for superior indoor air quality (IAQ) performance
  • The CertainTeed OPTIMA system of fiber glass blow-in insulation is designed for installation in sidewalls, cathedral ceilings, floored attics and other closed cavity applications. It is pneumatically installed behind non-woven OPTIMA fabric. This product is approved for use in the Blow-In-Blanket System (BIBS). OPTIMA fiber glass blowing insulation is used in residential and commercial construction as a thermal and acoustical insulation. This product has Greenguard certification for low emissions, and contains 20 percent recycled content.

    OPTIMA Spec Sheet


    CertainTeed MemBrain SMART Vapor Retarder is a vapor retarder sheeting intended for use with unfaced, vapor permeable mass insulation (fiber glass and mineral wool) in wall and ceiling cavities.

    Benefits: MemBrain SMART Vapor Retarder is a polyamide film that changes its permeability with the ambient humidity condition. This process allows closed building envelope systems to increase their drying potential with seasonal climatic changes. With a high resistance to water vapor in winter, MemBrain reacts to relative humidity by altering pore size, allowing water vapor to pass through it. When conditions change and relative humidity increases above 60%, the pores in the material expand and its permeability increases. This transformation permits drying to occur, in either direction, through the process of vapor diffusion. Thus, its lowered resistance value supports the drying process, therefore decreasing moisture accumulation within the construction and potential moisture damage.

    MemBrain Spec Sheet

    American Gypsum

    FireBloc Type X gypsum wallboard is the preferred product in the industry due to its consistently high quality standards. The core has been reinforced with the addition of fibers, increasing its strength and providing fire resistance ratings when used in tested assemblies. The fire-resistant gypsum core is encased in 100% recycled natural-finish paper on the face side and sturdy liner paper on the back side. The face paper is folded around the long edges to reinforce and protect the core, with the ends being square-cut and finished smooth. Long edges of the panels are tapered, allowing joints to be reinforced and concealed with a joint compound system. FireBloc Type X wallboard is 5/8" thick, and comes in a variety of lengths for standard construction uses.

    There are several environmental benefits of using American Gypsum board. Their products are manufactured locally in Gypsum, Colorado, qualifying these materials as local materials for LEED certification, and they used recycled materials in their products.  In addition, American Gypsum wallboard contains no asbestos, so excess material and scraps are recyclable. Our scraps will be sent to Waste Not Recycling in Loveland, Colorado.

    American Gypsum sheathing being installed on the second floor.


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