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Updated Code Requirements Driving Tennessee Home Builders
to Adopt New Insulation Methods
Minimum R-Value of R-20 Now Mandatory for Residential Construction
Newly adopted residential building codes set by the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) are about to become the standard for homes built in the Tennessee counties of Davidson, Williamson, Maury, Rutherford, and Sumner. Starting March 1, 2021, these counties will move from the IECC’s 2012 standards to the code’s 2018 benchmarks, which means all residential construction must meet a minimum insulation value of R-20.
The new minimum R-value ensures builders are constructing much more energy-efficient homes, enabling those homes to maintain comfortable interior temperatures over the long haul. These higher-performing buildings will reduce heating and cooling energy demands, produce savings on energy costs, help to improve indoor air quality, and increase the longevity of the structure.
For builders, selecting the right insulation method is crucial for on-time, on-budget project delivery and for compliance with the new rules. While some builders are choosing “flash-and-batt” (spray foam and fiberglass batt insulation), there is a simpler and more effective method to meeting the R-20 requirement: Continuous insulation.
“Continuous insulation is a smarter, more integrated, higher-performing solution compared to flash-and-batt,” explained Todd Gluski, director of marketing for Ox Engineered Products. “Builders are able to deliver structural sheathing, an air barrier, and a water-resistive barrier with integrated continuous insulation products while eliminating thermal bridging, which is also in line with the newly adopted energy codes. Plus, it is cost-effective and easy to install. For the long-term performance of exterior walls and the house in general, it just makes sense to go with continuous insulation over some of the traditional approaches.”
Continuous insulation eliminates the concern for condensation within walls (common with the flash-and-batt solution), and builders may still use 2×4 framing. It can also contribute to a lower Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating, enhancing the value of the home and making it even more attractive to prospective buyers.
OX-IS, developed by Ox Engineered Products, is a four-in-one product that allows builders to install the structural insulated sheathing, continuous insulation, air barrier, and water-resistive barrier simultaneously.
“When you do the math, OX-IS gets you to R-20 all at once,” Gluski noted. “Use ½” OX-IS (R-3), add in high-density batt insulation (R-15), and factor in R-2 for using continuous insulation. With OX-IS, the home immediately becomes code-compliant.”
For builders in these Tennessee counties seeking an immediate solution for projects beginning after March 1, 2021, the following suppliers are currently carrying OX-IS:
- 84 Lumber
- 111 Tennessee Way, Hendersonville, TN 37075
- 136 Wheeler St, La Vergne, TN 37086
- Builders FirstSource
- 712 Massman Dr, Nashville, TN 37210
- 300 Pryor Creek Rd N, Lebanon, TN 37090
- Kight Home Center
- 444C Dick Buchanan St, La Vergne, TN 37086
For more information on OX-IS, visit: www.oxengineeredproducts.com/product/ox-is/