Ice Storms and High Winds

It is a rather early and rough start to winter eather for most of the United States and Europe.  Wide spread ice storms, record-braking extreme temperatures, large snowfalls and 90+ mile per hour winds are unseasonable in the late fall, though extreme weather events like these - all seen in only the past week - appear to be the new "normal" in our world.  (And didn't we just come from a summer of record breaking HOT weather?)  And with all of these events, how our homes are constructed can mean the difference between comfort and truly hard times - or worse.  Where we live in western North Carolina we have seen power outages lasting for many days at a time, mostly due to ice storms or similar.  And when you lose power, your home can become very cold - or very hot, very fast.

A stick-built home, as we have discussed before, has a wooden frame that is about 25% of the surface area of the building envelope (this according to USDOE building scientists).  Since wood has an R value of one per inch (R1), this means that 25% of your home is about R4 in insulation.  Windows and doors, also comprising 20-25% of your home's building envelope, also have an R value of around R3 or R4.  That means that close to FIFTY PERCENT of most stick-built homes have an R value of about R4.  It starts to not even matter how you insulate the rest of the home if you are starting with 50% at R4 - it all comes down to weighted averages of surface area.

The Eco-Panels system is the only structural insulated panel system on the market today that can offer a CONTINUOUS envelope of insulation around your home, uninhibited by framing members at the panel joints or corners as other systems have.  And when you have a super insulated building envelope, things like solar orientation start to matter less (think about it) because the effective efficiency of any heating or cooling device you have starts to increase dramatically.  We know of one of our buildings presently seeing sub-zero temperatures that is being comfortably heated with a small portable electric heater that costs about $30.  AND the building is still moderately warm the next day when the occupants return for another day of business.

Stronger - safer - and significantly more energy efficient than stick-construction.  Eco-Panels - for an increasingly chaotic world.