New Roof-Attic Design Improves Efficiency

The media relations group for Oak Ridge National Laboratory just released more information about recent field tests by ORNL of a new roof and attic system that keeps homes cool in the summer and prevents heat loss in the winter.  The system is explained in the graphic embedded above (click to expand).  In addition, I’ve included some graphics below to illustrate more of what the system looks like and how it saves energy.

The system employs a passive ventilation strategy that is expected to cost about $2,000 for a retrofit situation with savings of roughly $100 per year, yielding a payback of about 20 years.

Foil covered polystyrene insulation (with the ventilation gap) is installed over and between rafters for new construction or on top of an existing shingle system in a retrofit.  With the new roof assembly, air moves from the underbelly of the attic into an inclined air space above the roof, according to an ORNL statement, so that “heat that would have gone into the house is carried up and out,” said Bill Miller of ORNL’s Building Envelope Group.

In the summer, the temperature of the attic is reduced as a result of the roof detailing and, according to observations by ORNL, the thermal load of the home is thereby reduced. Further, ORNL found improved efficiencies even if the attic floor is insufficiently insulated.

The research and findings are discussed in more detail in a paper, “Prototype Roof Deck Designed to Self-Regulate Deck Temperature and Reduce Heat Transfer,” published by the National Roofing Contractors Association.  A PowerPoint of the background research can be found here [PDF].

[+] More about this roof-attic system tested by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Related Articles on

  1. Glass Tile Roof Solar by SolTech Energy
  2. CertainTeed Intros New Apollo Solar Roof
  3. How to Insulate an Uninsulated House

Original post: New Roof-Attic Design Improves Efficiency

Twin SIP Panel Sett Studios in Austin

Several months ago, I shared photos of a tiny studio shed by Texas-based Sett Studio and want to share details of cool new project by the same firm in same area.  Sett Studio recently worked with The Goodlife Team, a local real estate company, and created these two studios that are now being used as extra space for the company’s expanding East Austin offices.

You may catch a glimpse of several naked Plumen CFLs hanging in these offices.  Mike Speciale of Sett Studio told me his company is using these on a regular basis now because the bulbs “add an artistic look without the bulk of a full light fixture.

The Goodlife Team studios — one is 12′ x 12′ (144 square feet) and the other is 12′ x 14′ (168 square feet) — were built with floor-to-ceiling Ply Gem windows and structural insulated panels for the walls, floor, and roof.  Sett Studios installed the tiny structures in about four days, as documented here.

The twins are joined by a white cedar deck and clad in a mixture of U-channel galvalume and yellow pine style siding with a shou-sugi-ban treatment.  It’s a great look, the combination of charred wood and textured metal, worth pinning if you have an exteriors board like mine on Pinterest.

Sett Studio fabricates their studios off-site within 45 days of contract signing and installs them in two days.  They have models of various sizes and prices, but to give you an idea, a couple studios like the ones purchased by The Goodlife Team will run about $55,000, including the deck.

[+] More information about Sett Studio structures from Austin.

Credits: Lisa Hause Photography.

Related Articles on

  1. Sett is a Tiny, Green, Modular Studio
  2. Building an Austin Tiny House [Video]
  3. Blue Crest Prefab Set in Austin [Video]

More here: Twin SIP Panel Sett Studios in Austin

IBHS Hurricane Demonstration Illustrates Importance of Sealed Roof Deck

Tampa, FL (PRWEB) August 25, 2011

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has conducted a full-scale research test program of how wind-driven water, such as that occurring during hurricanes, penetrates openings in residential roof systems at the IBHS Research Center in South Carolina.

?Wind-driven rain that gets into a house through openings in the roof can collapse ceilings and cause extensive damage to interior finishes, furnishings and other family possessions,? said Julie Rochman, president & CEO, IBHS. ?The testing conducted by our engineers at the IBHS Research Center clearly demonstrated that water penetration during hurricanes could be substantially reduced by sealing the roof deck seams.?

For new construction or re-roofing, roof deck seams can be sealed from the exterior using a modified bitumen tape. For retrofitting when the roof cover is not replaced, homeowners can seal the roof deck seams from the inside with a closed-cell foam spray adhesive.

IBHS researchers built a 1,300 sq. ft., single-story duplex test building with construction features common in many coastal and inland areas of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states with hurricane exposure. The interior of the duplex was furnished with light fixtures, ceiling fans, furniture, carpeting and laminate flooring made to look like wood. Both sides of the duplex roof were identical, with the critical exception of using modified bitumen tape to seal the between-sheathing joints and gaps on one side of the roof.

The building was placed inside the 21,000 sq. ft. test chamber at the IBHS Research Center and subjected to several individual test sequences involving both high-speed, multi-directional, gusty winds and prolonged exposure to ?rain? typical during a hurricane, delivered at a rate of up to 8 inches per hour.

During the testing, 24 cameras were placed inside the test specimen to capture the water entering the duplex. Video footage of the interior of both sides of the building showed water entering the side with the unsealed roof deck, streaming off of light fixtures and ceiling fans. Approximately 30 minutes after the completion of the test, pieces of the ceiling on the unsealed side began to collapse.

?As the attic insulation became saturated, the water began to soak into the ceiling gypsum wallboard,? said Dr. Anne Cope, IBHS research director. ?The combination of the weight of the saturated insulation and the weakened gypsum wallboard caused the ceiling to collapse in three places on the unsealed side of the home. However, on the sealed side of the duplex the ceiling did not collapse and there was much less water entry.

?In the real world, a family would be uprooted from the home without the sealed roof deck potentially for months while repairs were made,? Cope added. ?However, a family living in the home with the sealed roof deck could probably stay in the home while repairs were made, and if they did have to leave they would likely be able to return to the home much sooner.?

Following the test, IBHS brought in a claims adjuster from a local insurance company who is trained in catastrophe claims adjusting to estimate the amount of damage each house suffered. He assessed the damage to the front three rooms on both sides of the duplex, including the kitchen, dining room, and family room. During a hurricane or high wind event, winds generally come from a relatively small range of directions after the roof cover blows off, so damaged confined to one area of a house would be typical of most people?s experience.

According to the adjuster?s report, estimated damage on the unsealed side totaled nearly $ 17,000, while estimated damage on the sealed side totaled approximately $ 5,400. This is a substantial difference totaling almost three times as much for the side of the duplex with the unsealed roof deck. Of particular note is that the furniture in the side with the unsealed roof deck had to be replaced, while the furnishings in the side with the sealed roof deck only had to be cleaned.

?The moment water enters your home you have a potentially catastrophic loss waiting to happen,? said Rochman. “Water travels along beams, through electrical conduits, along wiring, and into walls, ceilings and floors; in other words, it can get just about everywhere, so keeping it out in the first place is the homeowner’s best bet for preventing damage.

“Sealing the roof deck can significantly strengthen this critical part of a home and reduce the chances of a catastrophic loss due to water damage when the roof covering is compromised or blown off entirely during a high-wind event. And taping the seams on an average-sized roof costs only about $ 500 ? a great, relatively small investment that could pay huge dividends when a storm hits,? she added.

Editor?s note: IBHS has produced additional media assets for use with this story. To access and download the extra assets please visit the Hurricane Testing: Sealed Roof Deck Demonstration Media Asset page.


Importance of selecting the right building materials

Roof seams being sealed

Elements of a sealed roof deck

Still Photos

Test and IBHS Research Center

Closed-cell foam sealant underneath roof deck

Roof structure bisection


Sealed roof deck fact sheet

Consumer hurricane brochure

Wind-driven water damage repair cost estimates

About IBHS

IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.


Roofing Contractor in Sacramento, CA Private Labels GAF/Elk Deck Armor

Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) December 1, 2010

Quality First Home Improvements Inc., an exterior home improvement contractor has completed a private labeling agreement with GAF/ELK, the largest manufacturer of roofing material in America. The agreement allows Quality First Home Improvement to special order Deck Armor with its company name printed on the product.

Deck Armor is a roofing underlayment that is far superior to tar paper. It lays flatter, is six times stronger than tar paper, helps wick moisture, and won’t mildew. Unlike tar paper, you cannot tear Deck Armor, and the product won’t melt on to the roof.

“Only GAF Master Elite roofing contractors are offered the option of private labeling GAF’s Deck Armor. As far as I know, we are the first GAF Master Elite roofing contractor in Northern California to have a private labeling agreement in place.” said Gary Kluck CEO of Quality First.

Deck Armor with the private labeling is currently being installed in the Citrus Heights and surrounding Sacramento area, and will soon be used in all of the company’s six locations

Quality First Home Improvement Inc. ( is a Diamond Certified licensed contractor specializing in a full line of exterior home improvements. The company’s headquarters is located in Citrus Heights, California, (Sacramento) with branch offices located in Redding, Concord, San Jose, and Fresno, CA; and Reno, NV. Quality First Home Improvements Inc., utilizes manufacturer certified installers, a full sales and marketing team, and is an environmental friendly company.

# # #

Related Roofing Tar Press Releases

Home, Deck and Garden Projects

Home, Deck and Garden Projects
Fifteen Home and Deck Project plans, Spiral Stairs, Whirlpool spa, Spa wood heater, Retractable Awning, Compost Tumbler, Under Deck Roofing, Double Carport, Trimmer Mower, Abrasive Saw, Patio, Miter Saw Table, Pot Rack, Joggle Board, Pool Heat, Ping pong
Home, Deck and Garden Projects

Home Energy Kit – Hot New Energy Product!
Killer graphics and sales letter, we Will dominate the Home Energy niche. We dare you test this site up against the highest converting home energy products on Cb. Killer upsell converting at 60%!
Home Energy Kit – Hot New Energy Product!