This question-and-answer article about the choices of insulating foam board for use under stucco exterior finish on buildings, appears in full-text just below and quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.
Question: "In-Town Solar Condos: One Developers's Plan Book" (Solar Age, 9/83) includes mention of an exterior insulation system for masonry walls using 2-inch urethane under stucco.
I have had little success locating such a system in Phoenix that uses polyurethane and not polystyrene foam insulating board on the building exterior.
Can you supply me with information on a polyurethane insulation system or any other exterior insulation that might give me a better R-value than 2-inch polystyrene foam insulating board? - James Hoffman, Tempe, AZ.
Answer: First, a clarification - strictly speaking the rigid foam insulating board used in the La Vereda Compound (the subject of the article) was a foil-faced polyisocyanurate foam insulating board (Thermax™), not a polyurethane.
Ann MacKinnon, office manager of LaVereda developer Communico, said that The company often used Thermax™ over concrete block walls and under stucco on buildings, as do most builders in the Santa Fe area.
Wire stucco lath is placed over the foam insulating board and attached to the masonry below using concrete nails. MacKinnon said that "a builder Santa Fe who didn't know and use this technique would probably be out of business" because demand is high for adobe-like finishes. She added that lath and stucco can be used over sprayed-on urethane foam insulation as well.
Here we include solar energy, solar heating, solar hot water, and related building energy efficiency improvement articles reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
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Solar Age Magazine was the official publication of the American Solar Energy Society. The contemporary solar energy magazine associated with the Society is Solar Today. "Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is the nation's leading association of solar professionals & advocates. Our mission is to inspire an era of energy innovation and speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy. We advance education, research and policy. Leading for more than 50 years.
ASES leads national efforts to increase the use of solar energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable technologies in the U.S. We publish the award-winning SOLAR TODAY magazine, organize and present the ASES National Solar Conference and lead the ASES National Solar Tour – the largest grassroots solar event in the world."
Steve Bliss's Building Advisor at buildingadvisor.com helps homeowners & contractors plan & complete successful building & remodeling projects: buying land, site work, building design, cost estimating, materials & components, & project management through complete construction. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Bliss served as editorial director and co-publisher of The Journal of Light Construction for 16 years and previously as building technology editor for Progressive Builder and Solar Age magazines. He worked in the building trades as a carpenter and design/build contractor for more than ten years and holds a masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Excerpts from his recent book, Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, Wiley (November 18, 2005) ISBN-10: 0471648361, ISBN-13: 978-0471648369, appear throughout this website, with permission and courtesy of Wiley & Sons. Best Practices Guide is available from the publisher, J. Wiley & Sons, and also at Amazon.com
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