Title:
Continuous Insulation Envelope For A Building
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A building wall construction for walls having framing members includes an insulating panel having an interior surface and an exterior surface substantially parallel to the interior surface. The interior surface includes three or more substantially linear, substantially parallel, spaced apart recesses. The wall construction also includes a fastener configured to fix the panel relative to a wall framing member.


Inventors:
Devalapura, Ravi K. (New Albany, OH, US)
Application Number:
12/493497
Publication Date:
12/30/2010
Filing Date:
06/29/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/741.4
International Classes:
E04B1/74; E04B2/32
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MacMillan, Sobanski & Todd, LLC (One Maritime Plaza, Fifth Floor, 720 Water Street, Toledo, OH, 43604, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A building wall construction for walls having framing members comprising: an insulating panel having an interior surface and an exterior surface substantially parallel to the interior surface, the interior surface including three or more substantially linear, substantially parallel, spaced apart recesses; and a fastener configured to fix the panel relative to a wall framing member.

2. The building wall construction of claim 1, wherein the fastener is configured to fix the panel relative to the wall framing member without putting holes in the panel.

3. The building wall construction of claim 2, wherein the fastener is a bracket.

4. The building wall construction of claim 2, wherein the recesses are configured to align with framing members.

5. The building sheathing of claim 1, wherein the recesses are wider than the wall framing member.

6. The building sheathing of claim 5, wherein the recesses have side walls that are at a slope less than ninety degrees relative to the interior surface.

7. The building sheathing of claim 6, further comprising an adhesive on the side walls, the adhesive fixing the panel relative to the wall framing member.

8. The sheathing of claim 1, further comprising an air barrier layer substantially covering the exterior surface, wherein the air barrier layer is fixed relative to the panel by the bracket in a non-destructive manner.

9. The sheathing of claim 8, wherein the air barrier layer is fixed relative to the panel by the bracket.

10. The sheathing of claim 1, wherein the bracket includes a channel configured to receive an edge of the panel.

11. The sheathing of claim 10, wherein the bracket is configured to receive an edge of the panel at a recess.

12. A method of providing insulation on a building, the method comprising: providing an insulation panel having an exterior surface and a substantially parallel interior surface, wherein the interior surface includes three or more substantially linear recesses; fixing a bracket relative to a framing member; and fixing the insulation panel relative to the bracket.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the insulation panel is a first insulation panel and the bracket is a first bracket, and first insulation panel is fixed relative to the first bracket at a first edge of the first insulation panel, the method further comprising fixing a second edge of the first insulation panel relative to a second bracket, fixing the second bracket relative to a framing member, and fixing a second insulation panel relative to the second bracket.

14. The method of claim 12, further comprising providing an air barrier layer on one side of the insulation panel, and fixing the air barrier layer relative to the insulation panel by the bracket.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the air barrier layer is fixed relative to the insulation panel by the bracket in a non-destructive manner.

20. A building sheathing system comprising: an insulating panel having a first major surface and a second major surface substantially parallel to the first major surface, the second major surface including three or more substantially linear, substantially parallel recesses, the recesses configured to correspond to framing members and being wider than the framing members, the recesses having side walls at a slope of less than ninety degrees relative to the second major surface; an air barrier layer substantially covering the first major surface; and a bracket configured to fix the air barrier layer relative to the insulation panel in a non-destructive manner and to fix the insulation panel relative to a framing member in a non-destructive manner.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates in general to an insulation envelope for a building. More particularly, this invention relates to an insulation panel.

Modern buildings commonly include structures made of wood or steel. One common building technique involves building a stick frame or stud frame structure with a truss roof Siding and roofing materials, such as aluminum siding and roof shingles, are supported on the frame. The siding and roofing help to isolate the interior of the building from the exterior elements. However, these materials do not provide a sufficient barrier to heat migration into and out of a building.

Buildings typically include insulation materials to assist with keeping heat inside during the winter and excess heat outside during the summer. Materials such as foam boards and fiberglass batts are commonly used as insulation. These materials can be installed in the walls of a building between the interior finished walls and the exterior cladding. The insulation materials help to keep heat inside the building in cold weather and heat outside the building in hot weather. The insulation materials can also include an air barrier layer, that helps prevent drafts and the passage of liquid water through the insulation materials.

Stick frame or stud frame structures commonly include a layer of sheathing to enhance the strength of the structure. It is known to use various insulating materials as a structural sheathing, such as that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,715,249 the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference. It would be desirable to have an improved way of providing insulation to a structure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a building wall construction for walls having framing members. The wall construction comprises an insulating panel having an interior surface and an exterior surface substantially parallel to the interior surface. The interior surface includes three or more substantially linear, substantially parallel, spaced apart recesses. The wall construction also comprises a fastener configured to fix the panel relative to a wall framing member.

This invention further relates to a method of providing insulation on a building. The method includes providing an insulation panel having a first major surface and a substantially parallel second major surface, wherein the second major surface includes three or more substantially linear recesses. The method further includes fixing a bracket relative to a framing member and fixing the insulation panel relative to the bracket.

This invention further relates to a building sheathing system comprising an insulating panel having a first major surface and a second major surface substantially parallel to the first major surface. The second major surface includes three or more substantially linear, substantially parallel recesses, the recesses configured to correspond to framing members and being wider than the framing members. The recesses have side walls at a slope of less than ninety degrees relative to the second major surface. The sheathing system further comprises an air barrier layer substantially covering the first major surface, and a bracket configured to fix the air barrier layer relative to the insulation panel in a non-destructive manner and to fix the insulation panel relative to a framing member in a non-destructive manner.

Various aspects of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the disclosed embodiments, when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, from the front, of an exterior portion of a wall of a stick frame, including two insulation panels.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view, taken from behind, of the interior view of an insulation panel.

FIG. 3 is a cross section of the wall of FIG. 1, taken along the line 3-3.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view, taken from the interior side or from behind, of a bracket suitable for attaching the insulation panel of FIG. 2 to the wall of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view, taken from the interior side or from behind, of a bracket and an insulation panel.

FIG. 6 is a detail view of a portion of the wall of FIG. 3, showing the bracket in greater detail.

FIG. 7 is a cross section similar to that shown in FIG. 3, when the wall has interior finish and exterior siding installed.

FIG. 8 is a cross section of an outside corner of a wall, showing an alternative bracket design.

FIG. 9 is a cross section of an inside corner of a wall, showing a second alternative bracket design.

FIG. 10 is a cross section of an end of a wall, showing a third alternative bracket design.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a perspective view of a portion of a support structure, specifically a stick frame wall, indicated generally at 10. It should be appreciated that the wall 10 is typically part of a larger structure or building (not shown), such as a house. The wall 10 is made of individual members including studs 12 that extend from a lower sill plate 14 to an upper top plate 16. The studs 12, sill plate 14 and top plate 16 are made of wooden two by fours, and the centers of adjacent studs 12 are sixteen inches apart. The wall 10 is an exterior wall of the building, and consequently the wall 10 has an exterior side 18 and an interior side 20. The wall 10 can be made of lumber of different dimensions, such as two by sixes, or the wall 10 can be made of members made of steel or other desired materials.

An insulation panel 22 and a second insulation panel 24 are illustrated attached to the exterior of the wall 10. The insulation panels 22 and 24 are made of extruded polystyrene foam. However, it should be appreciated that the insulation panels can be made of a different material or combination of materials including other foam materials, such as urethane foams, molded foams, and boards of fibrous materials. Also, although the illustrated insulation panel 22 is a single piece of material, the insulation panel may be made of multiple pieces of the same material or different materials, if desired. It should also be appreciated that the specific configuration of wall 10 is for illustrative purposes only. The insulation panels can be used on structures having a different configuration, as well as on structures made of different materials such as steel framed buildings.

The insulation panel 22 has a first major surface, or exterior surface 26. The second insulation panel 24 has an exterior surface 28. The exterior surfaces 26 and 28 are substantially smooth and planar. Because the insulation panels 18 and 20 have similar thicknesses, the exterior surfaces 26 and 28 provide an even, substantially continuous surface. It should be appreciated that the exterior surface 26 can be textured in order to change the aesthetic, acoustic, mechanical adhesion or other properties of the insulation panel 22 if desired.

Referring to FIG. 2, a perspective view of the insulation panel 22 is shown. The view is taken from behind the insulation panel 22 so that a second major surface or interior surface 30 is visible. The insulation panel 22 includes a number of stud recesses 32. The stud recesses 32 are areas where the thickness of the insulation panel 22 is reduced. The stud recesses 32 are vertically-oriented and extend the full height of the insulation panel 22. The configuration of the stud recesses 32 is provided so that the insulation panel 22 may properly fit over the studs 12 of the wall 10, as will be described below. It should be appreciated that the configuration of the stud recesses 32 can be different from that shown, in order to accommodate a wall having a different configuration from the illustrated wall 10.

The insulation panel 22 also includes two optional plate recesses 34. The plate recesses 34 are areas where the thickness of the insulation panel 22 is reduced. The plate recesses 34 are horizontally-oriented and extend substantially the full width of the insulation panel 22. The configuration of the plate recesses 34 is provided so that the insulation panel 22 may properly fit over the sill plate 14 and top plate 16 of the wall 10. It should be appreciated that the configuration of the plate recesses 34 can be different from that shown, in order to accommodate a wall having a different configuration from the illustrated wall 10.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a cross-sectional view of the wall 10 and attached insulation panel 22 is shown. The cross section in FIG. 3 is a view from above, taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 1. The wall 10 consists of a series of studs 12 separated by a selected distance, in this case sixteen inches separate the centers of adjacent studs 12. The studs 12 may be separated by other desired distances, such as twenty four inches. It should be appreciated that any desired spacing may be used, and the spacing between the studs 12 does not have to be the same over the entire structure or along the entire length of a wall. This series of studs 12 also creates a series of open spaces or insulation cavities 36 within the wall 10. The insulation panel 22 is attached to the studs 12 on the external side 18 of the wall 10. The insulation panel 22 has a panel thickness 38. The panel thickness 38 is the distance between the exterior surface 26 and the studs 12. The panel thickness 38 is the effective thickness of the insulation panel 22 as it relates to other construction structures on the wall 10. It is often desirable in the construction industry to keep the panel thickness 38 below a certain value. Door and window frames are commonly made in standard sizes, and in many cases will only accommodate sheathing with a total thickness of one inch. It is possible to use sheathing with a greater thickness, but this typically necessitates the use of custom door jambs and window jambs, which will increase the cost of a construction project. Of course, it should be appreciated that the panel thickness 38 can be any desired value or values, depending on how the insulation panel 22 is being used.

As shown, the stud recesses 32 are configured to align with the studs 12. That is, the spacing between the stud recesses 32 is such that a stud recess 32 is situated adjacent to each stud 12 when, and the stud recesses 32 are wide enough to accommodate a stud 12. Between the stud recesses 32, the insulation panel 22 has an extended thickness 40. The extended thickness 40 of the insulation panel 22 is additional thickness, beyond the panel thickness 38, that extends into the cavities 36. This allows the insulation panel 22 to have a greater thickness over most of its area, and provide improved insulation, while still maintaining the one inch panel thickness 38 distance between the studs 12 and the exterior surface 26. The insulation panel 22 has an extended thickness 40 of one inch, and so portions of the insulation panel 22 have a total thickness of two inches. It should be appreciated that the extended thickness 40 may be smaller or larger than two inches. Typically, the extended thickness 40 will be limited by a depth 42 of the cavity 36. This keeps the insulation panel 22 within the cavity 36 and allows for finishing of the interior side of the wall 10. However, the extended thickness 40 can be larger than the depth 42 of the cavity 36 if desired, for example, based on building design or insulation requirements.

It should be appreciated that the insulation panel 10 may be fabricated with recesses configured in size and shape to correspond to a specific wall. Optionally, the insulation panel 10 may be fabricated with recesses configured with sizes and shapes to correspond to a wall constructed according to industry standard practices. Optionally, the insulation panel 10 may be fabricated with recesses configured to correspond to any desired configuration of members.

The insulation panel 22 is attached to the studs 12 in part by brackets 44. As shown, there is one bracket 44 at a first edge 46 of the insulation panel 22 and another bracket at a second edge 48 of the insulation panel 22. Although the insulation panel 22 is shown attached to the studs 12 by the bracket 44, it should be appreciated that the panel may be attached to the studs 12 by other desired fasteners such as nails, screws, staples, adhesives or brackets other than the specific bracket illustrated.

Referring to FIG. 4, a perspective view of the bracket 44 is shown. The view in FIG. 4 is taken from behind, or from the interior side as the bracket would normally be attached to the wall 10. The bracket 44 includes an interior portion 50, an exterior portion 52 situated substantially parallel to the interior portion 50 and a web or connecting portion 54 that is attached to both the interior portion 50 and the exterior portion 52 giving the bracket 44 an I-shaped cross section. The bracket can be made by an extrusion process or other desired processes using vinyl, aluminum or other desired materials. The bracket 44 defines a first channel 56 and a second channel 58. The first channel 56 is a mirror image of the second channel 58, but this is not necessary and the bracket can have a different configuration from that shown.

Referring now to FIG. 5, perspective view similar to that of FIG. 4 is shown, with the insulation panel 22 attached to the bracket 44. An optional air barrier layer 60 covers the exterior surface of the insulation panel, and is wrapped around the first edge 46. The air barrier layer 60 is a weather resistant fabric, such as a woven polyolefin fabric such as PINKWRAP® fabric or a polyethylene such as Tyvek® fabric, but other sorts of fabrics can also be used. The air barrier layer 60 can be installed on the insulation panel 22 at the point of manufacture, or it can be applied to the insulation panel 22 during installation on a building structure. The first channel 56 is configured to receive the first edge 46 of the insulation panel 22. The first channel 56 provides a tight fit for the insulation panel 22 and engages the insulation panel 22 in a compression fit. Optionally, the first channel 56 can be configured to provide a looser fit for the insulation panel 22, in order to allow for thermal expansion, for example. The bracket 44 also engages the air barrier layer 60 and fixes the air barrier layer 60 relative to the insulation panel 22. By engaging the insulation panel 22 and the air barrier layer 60, the bracket 44 fixes the air barrier layer 60 in a non-destructive manner. That is, there are no holes in the air barrier layer 60 caused by nailing or stapling. The air barrier layer 60 is shown cut to match the height of the insulation panel 22. It should be appreciated that the air barrier layer 60 could also extend beyond the edge of the insulation panel 22 and be folded over it, if desired.

Referring back to FIG. 3, insulation panel 22 spans three cavities 36 and is in contact with four studs 12. As can be seen in reference to FIG. 6, an adhesive 62 is applied to stud recesses 32 of the insulation panel 22. The adhesive 62 is a one-part polyurethane adhesive, but any adhesive that is compatible with the material of the insulation panel 22 is suitable for use. Further, the adhesive may merely be a caulking material to block airflow. The adhesive 62 provides a continuous connection between the insulation panel 22 and the stud 12. This continuous connection provides the building structure with improved strength, such as enhanced resistance to racking forces. The continuous adhesive beads also help prevent air movement between the cavities 36 and the exterior of the building, as well as helping to prevent airflow among the cavities 36. It should be appreciated that the adhesive 62 may be applied to the stud recesses 32 prior to attaching the insulation panel 22 to the wall 10. That is, the adhesive 62 may be applied to the insulation panel 22, and then the insulation panel 22 may be positioned on the wall 10. Alternatively the adhesive 62 could be applied on the exterior face of the stud 12 prior to attaching the insulation panel 22 to the wall 10. Further, the adhesive 62 may be applied between the insulation panel 22 and the stud 12 after the insulation panel 22 is attached to the wall 10. Optionally, the adhesive may be a double sided tape, and an optional foam or other material may be used to assist in preventing air flow between the insulation panel 10 and the stud 12. It should be appreciated that any adhesive can optionally be used at the interface between the insulation panel 22 and the sill plate 14 and the top plate 16.

The stud recesses 32 are wider than the corresponding studs 12. This allows some side-to-side play in the positioning of the insulation panel 22 relative to the wall 10. The stud recesses 32 have recess side walls 64. The illustrated recess side walls 64 have an angle of approximately sixty degrees relative to the interior surface 30. The slope of the recess side walls 64 can be different from that shown. Providing recess side walls 64 with a slope of less than ninety degrees relative to the interior surface 30 provides a tapered space between the stud 12 and the recess side walls 64. This assists in allowing the adhesive bead 62 to bond to both surfaces. The bracket 44 will be positioned adjacent to one stud 12. The bracket 44 may be attached to the stud 12 by a fastener 66. The fastener 66 is a nail, though other desired fasteners such as staples, screws or adhesives can be used to fix the bracket 44 relative to the stud 12. It should be appreciated that while one fastener 66 is shown, a series of fasteners may be included along the height of the bracket 44. As can be seen in reference to FIG. 1, the bracket 44 may be continuous along the height of the stud 12, but this is not necessary and a series of separate brackets could be used with the insulation panel 22. The bracket can be provided with pre-drilled holes for the fasteners. The bracket could also have slots to enable movement of the bracket to accommodate variations and imperfections in the structure. As can be seen in FIG. 6, the second channel 58 of the bracket 44 is now available for attachment of another insulation panel. The next insulation panel would be installed by wrapping the air barrier layer around the insulation panel and inserting the edge of the insulation panel into the second channel 58,

Referring now to FIG. 7, a cross section of a portion of a completed wall, indicated generally at 68, including the insulation panel 22 is shown. The completed wall 68 includes an interior finished wall of gypsum drywall 70, an optional interior vapor barrier 72, an optional layer of fiberglass batt insulation 74, the insulation panels 22 and air barrier layer 60, and an exterior layer of vinyl siding 76. The completed wall 68 is shown for illustrative purposes only, and the completed wall 68 may include a different arrangement of layers or different layers from those shown. For instance, the wall could have other sorts of exterior cladding. It should be appreciated that the brackets 44 are attached to every third stud 12, leaving two intermediate studs 12 available for attachment of the siding material by nails 78. It should be appreciated that the number of studs that brackets 44 are attached to may vary depending on the size of the insulation panel and the spacing of the studs 12.

The ability of a material to insulate and provide thermal resistance is typically measured as the R-value of the material. A one-inch thick panel of extruded polystyrene foam will typically provide an R-value of approximately 5. The two-inch thick insulation panel 22 will provide an R-value of approximately 10. The total R-value of the completed wall 68 can be increased by providing an insulation panel with a greater extended thickness, or by providing supplemental insulation such as the batt insulation 74.

The nails 78 that attach the siding 76 to the studs 12 do pierce the air barrier layer 60 and the insulation panels 22. However, the nails 76 do not puncture into any of the cavities 36, so they will not provide a significant path for air infiltration into the building. Also, there are no metal fasteners through the insulation panel 22 into the cavities 36 to provide an undesirable thermally conductive path.

It should be appreciated that the insulation panels described above can be installed up to the corners of a building or other structure. At these corners, it may be desirable to attach the panels to the structure using brackets with some shape other than the previously described I-shaped bracket. FIGS. 8-10 include alternative, non limiting embodiments of brackets 80, 82 and 84 that may be used with the insulation panels. In FIG. 8-10, similar components to those described in the previous figures are given like numbers.

A method of providing a building with insulation including insulation panels similar to the insulation panel 22 will now be described in reference to FIGS. 3 and 6. The method involves providing an insulation panel 22 that has an exterior surface 26 and a substantially parallel interior surface 30. The interior surface 30 of the panel 22 includes substantially linear recesses. The method further includes fixing a bracket 44 relative to a framing member 12 of the building. Finally, the insulation panel 22 is fixed relative to the bracket 44.

The method can further include fixing a second end 48 of the insulation panel 22 relative to a second bracket, and then fixing the second bracket relative to a second framing member. Further, a second insulation panel 24 is fixed relative to the second bracket.

The method can also include providing an optional air barrier layer 60 on one side of the insulation panel 22. The air barrier layer 60 is fixed relative to the insulation panel 22 by the bracket 44. Further, the air barrier layer 60 may be fixed relative to insulation panel 22 in a non-destructive manner, as previously described.

It should be appreciated that this method allows a first bracket to be installed on a framing member so that the first bracket has at least one free attachment point or channel. The adhesive may then be applied to a first insulation panel or to the appropriate framing members. A second bracket may be placed on a second end of a first insulation panel, and the first end of the first insulation panel is attached to the free channel of the first bracket. The first insulation panel may then be positioned against the wall, and the adhesive will contact the recess side walls 64. The second bracket may then be fixed relative to a second framing member using a fastener 66. It should be appreciated that the second bracket may be configured so that the first insulation panel may be positioned against the wall before attachment of the second bracket to the first insulation panel. The second bracket may have at least one free attachment point for the attachment of a second insulation panel. The method may then be continued to apply insulation panels to desired portions of a building.

The principle and mode of operation of this invention have been explained and illustrated in its preferred embodiment. However, it must be understood that this invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically explained and illustrated without departing from its spirit or scope.