Builders’ Circle Blog: Is that Santa Up on the Roof?

Jim Baker, B & G Drafting

No Santa, no red suit, no “Ho, Ho Ho”…in fact there is almost no sound at all on this roof. The color up there is a yellowish brown and is the gift that keeps on giving year-round. What’s “up on the roof top”, you ask? It is open cell spray foam, found on the under-side of the roof deck in the HBA Habitat house.

Insulating the roof deck in this fashion has become very popular with many HBA members in the upper-level housing market. As a Rater and Green Verifier I have noticed how Spray Foam on the underside of the roof deck changes everything. It adds points to the NAHB Scoring of the project and resolves some of the ENERGY STAR Version 3 changes. However, the major advantage comes in the way a house functions.

On those 105 degree days last July, the temperature in most attics was off the charts. After the AC units struggled to squeeze cold air out of this extreme heat, most houses probably sent that precious and expensive cooled air though ducts located inside those “fiery furnaces” we call attics. And this extreme heat in your attic becomes the Grinch that steals your money.

Houses like our Builders’Circle Habitat homes do not experience this issue. All that heat is kept out of the attic, making the temperature difference between where people live and the attic about the same. The same is true in cold weather. Less temperature difference means less energy dollars spent.

Some think that the increased volume of the attic makes this technique invalid. However, computer analysis verifies the improved efficiency. But ask those who live with this technology and they will grin as they show you the real proof in their utility bills.

This technique is like a thermos bottle. A big thermos just keeps more coffee hot. The volume has little effect on how long your coffee stays hot. The HBA Habitat house is a lot like a thermos bottle, and will keep the new owners comfortable no matter what is happening on the outside. And that is the kind of “present” we would all like to have.

Merry Christmas!

Jim D. Baker, B & G Drafting—HERS Rater and NAHB Verifier with this project.

In January 2011, the HBA of Greater Springfield announced it would partner with Habitat for Humanity of Springfield to build the first two homes in Habitat’s new Builders Circle development. The homes will be certified to the National Green Building Standard and their construction will serve as a demonstration of flexible and affordable methods by which construction professionals can build green in a residential setting.
Jim Baker (B&G Drafting) is a Certified Green Professional (CGP), a HERS Rater, and a certified NAHB Green Building Verifier.  He also helped design these and other green-built homes throughout the area. This Builders Circle Project Blog helps keep HBA industry professionals and curious consumers up to date on the latest green building features being incorporated into the project. The blog also provides updates on the project’s latest progress and upcoming needs. Those who would like to help with the project are encouraged to leave their comments at the end of blog posts, or on the project’s facebook page, to offer your assistance.

Jim D. Baker, B and G Drafting – HERS Rater and NAHB Verifier on this project.