Green Building, whether in commercial or residential construction, results in greater material efficiencies, smarter construction practices, reduced energy consumption, and a more healthy living and working environment. While Green Building has many objectives, two of the most important are reduction of energy consumption and durability of the structure.
Reduction of energy consumption
To create an energy efficient structure, every part—from the foundation to the roof, the HVAC system to the lighting—must be carefully considered. The wall system in particular, with its numerous openings and exposure to both air and water, requires special design considerations, such as:
• Understanding the thermal resistance properties of different wall components
(cladding, wood, drywall, windows and doors, etc.)
• Using the best insulation for the wall system
• Sealing cracks
• Insulating the exterior of the wall
• Reducing air infiltration
• Keeping the wall dry
By correctly utilizing all of these components, an energy efficient wall achieves a specific thermal performance and maintains that performance level over time, reducing energy consumption and cost.
Durability of the structure
One of the most important ways to preserve the durability of a structure is through water managed wall practices. A water managed wall combines exterior cladding, secondary weather barriers, and flashings to defend against moisture infiltration, protecting the structure from water damage, mold, mildew, and rot. By minimizing water impact throughout the expected life of the structure, there is no deterioration of insulation, so thermal performance is also maintained over time.