The most important part of energy efficiency is the “building envelope”. The building envelope is the barrier between the indoors and the outside world.
We can all switch to the newest light fixture and appliances as they become more energy efficient, but the “building envelope”, the walls, floor, windows, doors and roof system (and the insulation in them) are not so easy to replace. We use the industries “best practices” to make sure that all these elements are designed and built to the highest standards because the main structure of your building will last for centuries if it is built correctly.
At The Hybrid Group Inc, we are constantly studying building science and improved techniques in order to bring you a higher quality, longer lasting, and more energy efficient building. Our building procedures include the most advanced methods.
Systems we use include:
• ICF walls
• Spray foam insulation (both open and closed cell) in walls, roofs, and floors Unvented roof systems
• Unvented crawlspaces
• Under-slab insulation
• Geothermal heating/cooling
• Ultra high efficiency windows
• Some high performance products we prefer to use include:
• Integraspec ICFs
• Alpen Windows
We incorporate the most efficient practices of LEED, Passive House, and the Green Building Initiative, while leaving out some of the ideas that cost money without adding energy efficiency over the lifetime of the structure.
We are occasionally asked if we can build a LEED certified building; the answer is “Yes, if that is really what you want…. but do you want to spend your money on getting the building certified, or on actually improving it’s performance?” LEED certification can be expensive, and so far our Clients have all agreed that the building’s performance is more important than getting a certification.
During the design and building phases, we are going to encourage you to use your budget dollars on items that will bring a high “Return On Investment”. Solar electric is great, but those dollars are more effectively spent on better windows. We believe in Geothermal, but if you have to choose between ICF and Geothermal because of budgetary constraints, ICF is more important. We are here to help you make the choices that will maximize the performance of your budget.
How does ICF reduce my heating & cooling costs?
ICF walls work as a part of the whole building envelope.
The ICF wall consists of:
2.5 ” of EPS foam / a solid concrete core / another 2.5″ of EPS foam
The EPS foam insulates the concrete core from both sides.
The concrete core eliminates air infiltration through the walls.
The thermal mass of the concrete core modulates the outdoor temperature swings to maintain a constant, comfortable indoor temperature.