It’s time to insulate the Newton accessory apartment that we’ve been writing about. We know…we’re probably the only ones that get excited about insulation, but choosing the right materials for the job and using the best installation techniques are not only what will keep this family warm in the winter and cool in the summer, it’s the key to keeping their energy bills down.
We always put a lot of thought into energy efficiency – that’s what we pride ourselves on here at steveworks and is what makes us different from other design build contractors. We’re lucky that our clients are also environmentally aware and actually requested that no foam insulation be used anywhere in the project – we were thrilled to hear that!
The best choice for this project is cellulose insulation which is made of shredded newsprint or cotton that is densely packed into the walls and floors. Using cellulose meant that we had to create 6” thick walls rather than the typical 4” wall to accommodate the correct amount of cellulose. We’ve blogged previously about reducing the carbon footprint of remodeling projects by using this type of insulation.
Once thing to note with accessory apartments – fire separation between units MUST be included. What does that mean for our project? We used fire-rated drywall and doors between the units that have a slower “burn rate.” In other words, if the worst happened and a fire were to start in either unit, it would take longer for the fire to penetrate the walls/doors. There are also special electrical junction boxes that are used for fire safety and wisely required to meet code.
We’ll be working on the HVAC system next, including a heat pump system. We hope you’ll stop back by our web site to read about it soon!