Title:
Insulation system for building structures
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A finishing system has lineal adaptors which are used with primary lineals where the primary lineals are fixed to a building structure to create primary insulation cavities. Insulation panels are positioned within the primary insulation cavities and the lineal adaptors are added to the primary lineals to create secondary insulation cavities. Finish insulation panels are positioned within the secondary insulation cavities and trim pieces are added to the lineal adaptors.



Inventors:
Weir, Charles R. (Westerville, OH, US)
Muncie, Jeff (Walhonding, OH, US)
Clippinger, Bret A. (Heath, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/974262
Publication Date:
04/16/2009
Filing Date:
10/12/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/408, 52/506.05, 52/741.4
International Classes:
E04B2/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARLOW, ADAM G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OWENS CORNING (GRANVILLE, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An insulation system comprising: a plurality of primary lineals configured to be fixed to a building structure to create primary insulation cavities; primary insulation panels suitable for being positioned within the primary insulation cavities; a plurality of lineal adaptors configured to be added to the primary lineals, the lineal adaptors configured to create secondary insulation cavities; and, finish insulation panels suitable for being positioned within the secondary insulation cavities.

2. The insulation system of claim 1, wherein the lineal adaptor is configured to be releasably connected to the primary lineal.

3. The insulation system of claim 1, further including a vapor retarder between the primary insulation panel and the finish insulation panel.

4. The insulation system of claim 3, wherein the lineal adaptor is configured to releasably secure the vapor retarder close to the primary lineal.

5. The insulation system of claim 4, wherein the lineal adaptor includes at least one retaining flange configured to retain the primary insulation panel within the primary insulation cavity.

6. The insulation system of claim 1, further including a plurality of trim pieces configured to be releasably secured to the lineal adaptors.

7. The insulation system of claim 1, wherein the lineal adaptors include a first set and a second set of lineal adaptors, wherein the first set of lineal adaptors is configured to be connected to the second set of lineal adaptors, and wherein the first and second sets of lineal adaptors create third insulation cavities, the third insulation cavities being configured to receive further insulation panels.

8. The insulation system of claim 1, wherein the primary insulation panel has a first thickness and the finish insulation panel has a second, different thickness.

9. An insulation system comprising: a plurality of primary lineals configured to be fixed to a building structure to create primary insulation cavities; primary insulation panels positioned within the primary insulation cavities; a plurality of lineal adaptors configured to be added to the primary lineals, the lineal adaptors configured to create secondary insulation cavities; finish insulation panels positioned within the secondary insulation cavities; a vapor retarder positioned between the primary insulation panels and the finish insulation panels; wherein at least a portion of the vapor retarder is positioned between the lineals and the lineal adaptors; and, a plurality of trim pieces configured to be added to the lineal adaptors.

10. The insulation system of claim 9, wherein the lineal adaptors are configured to releasably secure the vapor retarder against the primary insulation panels.

11. A lineal adaptor for connecting a lineal to a trim piece in an insulation system, the lineal adaptor comprising: an adaptor base plate having one or more retaining flanges, one or more engaging members which extend from a top side of the adaptor base plate, the engaging members configured for securing the trim piece to the lineal adaptor; and, an adaptor connector member which extends from a bottom side of the adaptor base plate, the adaptor connector member configured for securing the lineal adaptor to the lineal.

12. The lineal adaptor of claim 11, wherein the adaptor connector is configured to releasably retain the lineal adaptor in engagement with the lineal.

13. The lineal adaptor of claim 11, wherein the adaptor engaging members comprise opposing walls which define a channel which is configured to engage the trim piece.

14. The lineal adaptor of claim 11, wherein the adaptor engaging members include one or more inwardly extending detents configured for securing the trim piece to the lineal adaptor.

15. The lineal adaptor of claim 11, wherein the adaptor base plate includes at least one break-away notch that extends along an intersection one or more of the adaptor base retaining flanges and the engaging member.

16. The lineal adaptor of claim 11, wherein one or more of the engaging members and connector members extend among substantially the length of the lineal adaptor

17. A method of finishing a building structure which includes the steps of: attaching a plurality of primary lineals to the building structure to create primary insulation cavities; positioning insulation panels within the primary insulation cavities; adding lineal adapters to the primary lineals to create secondary insulation cavities, positioning finish insulation panels within the secondary insulation cavities; and, connecting trim pieces to the lineal adaptors.

18. The method of claim 17, further including placing a vapor retarder between the primary insulation panels and the finish insulation panels.

19. The method of claim 17, including releasably connecting the lineal adaptors to the primary lineals.

20. A method of finishing a building structure which includes the steps of: attaching a plurality of primary lineals to the building structure to create primary insulation cavities; positioning insulation panels within the primary insulation cavities; placing a vapor retarder close to the primary insulation panels; adding lineal adapters to the primary lineals to create secondary insulation cavities and to secure portions of the vapor retarder to the primary lineals, positioning finish insulation panels within secondary insulation cavities; and, attaching a plurality of trim pieces to the lineal adaptors.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD AND INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The present invention relates generally to a mounting system for building structures and, more particularly, to an insulation system in which a vapor retarder is positioned between insulative layers. The present invention has industrial applicability in the insulating and finishing of rooms, especially otherwise unfinished rooms such as basements.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It has been common for homeowners to buy a home with unfinished rooms, such as basements, and then later to finish such rooms when the homeowner has more money, or as the homeowner's family grows. It is also becoming more common for homeowners to specify that they want such historically unfinished rooms as basements in new houses finished at the time the houses are built. Builders are often reluctant to finish the basements of new residential constructions, however, because there is always a greater level of uncertainty during the several years of a new construction's life as to whether foundation cracks or other problems will arise, and the existence of a finished basement generally makes repair of such defects more costly for the builder.

As used herein, the terms “finish”, “finishing” and “finished” refer to the process of installing, and a room that has, a wall or ceiling surface that would normally be considered acceptable for use in such regularly inhabited rooms as bedrooms and family rooms. Examples of such acceptable wall surfaces include drywall, plaster, fabric, and wood or other paneling. A drywall or drop ceiling and a floor treatment such as tiling, carpeting or hardwood flooring would normally also be installed at the same time as the above-indicated wall surface, but these installations are not specifically required within the meaning of the terms “finish”, “finishing” and “finished” as used herein.

One example of a common method of finishing a room in an attractive and insulative manner, such as a residential basement room having a cinder block wall, involves the attachment of wood studs roughly every 16 to 24 inches to the cinder block wall and the attachment of a wall surface such as drywall or paneling to the wood studs by attachment means such as nails or screws. Generally, insulation such as glass fiber insulation batts are placed between the wall and the wall surface before attachment of the wall surface to the wood studs, or a granular or loose-fill fibrous insulation is poured or blown in to the spaces between the wall and the wall surface after the wall surface is attached to the wood studs.

This method has certain drawbacks, however. Such a method is generally performed by a contractor at the time the room is built, or later by a contractor or a homeowner when the homeowner desires to finish the room. Often, the most expensive part of a contractor's cost structure is labor. Thus, the above method, which is relatively time consuming to perform, is costly for the contractor and the homeowner. Further, when a homeowner finishes a room such as a basement, i.e., in a do-it-yourself project, the homeowner often has limited experience, and generally desires to spend as little as possible in materials and time to complete the project. The above method thus has the disadvantage that it requires a certain level of sophistication and ability with respect to building techniques. This disadvantage can tend to dissuade the homeowners from undertaking the finishing of a room such as a basement.

Another common finishing method is to attach panels on the walls which produces a finished wall structure that is relatively non-modular. In many situations, it is very difficult to remove and then replace a wall panel in an aesthetically acceptable manner. Such modularity can be desirable to check for moisture behind the panel (especially in a new home), or to replace the panel with another panel such as a decorative panel or a mirror. Another disadvantage is that it often results in a relatively hard, dense panel such as drywall exposed to the room. Such panel often is relatively reflective of acoustic energy at a wide midrange of frequencies, and the structure can thus have less desirable acoustics. Such panel also can be less desirable than softer, more resilient panels in areas such as playrooms where young children play and may often run into the walls.

Recently developed insulation systems by the assignee herein, Owens Corning, are described in the Weir et al. U.S. Pub. No. 2004/0219853 A1 for a “Room Finishing System”, and the Hettler et al. US Pub. No. 2005/0150183 A1 for an “Insulation System with Variable Position Vapor Barrier” which are expressly incorporated herein by reference.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is useful with a finishing system for building structures such as walls and ceilings which require thermal insulation.

In one aspect, the present invention includes a finishing system having lineals which are fixed to a building structure and which create primary insulation cavities. Primary insulation panels are positioned within the primary insulation cavities. Lineal adaptors are added to the lineals to create secondary insulation cavities. Finish insulation panels are positioned within the secondary insulation cavities. In certain embodiments, the lineal adaptor is removable so that the lineal adaptor is releasably connected to the lineal.

Also, in certain embodiments, a vapor retarder is inserted between the primary insulation panels and the finish insulation panels. The lineal adaptors thereby removably secure the vapor retarder against the primary insulation panels. In many finishing systems, trim pieces are added to the lineal adaptors to hold the finish insulation panels in the secondary insulation cavities.

In another aspect, the present invention relates to lineal adaptors for connecting a lineal to a trim piece in an insulation system. The lineal adaptor has an adaptor base plate with retaining flanges. Engaging members extend from a top side of the adaptor base plate for securing the trim piece to the lineal adaptor. An adaptor connector member extends from a bottom side of the adaptor base plate for securing the lineal adaptor to the lineal.

In another aspect, the present invention relates to a method for finishing a building structure where primary lineals are attached to the building structure to create insulation cavities. Primary insulation panels are positioned within the primary insulation cavities and lineal adapters are added to the primary lineals to create secondary insulation cavities. Finish insulation panels are positioned within secondary insulation cavities. In certain embodiments, the vapor retarder is held between the primary insulation panel and the finish insulation panel by the lineal adaptor.

The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will appear more fully hereinafter from a consideration of the detailed description that follows, in conjunction with the accompanying sheets of drawings. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for illustrative purposes and are not to be construed as defining the limits of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of a finishing system, partially broken away.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a lineal adaptor, a lineal, and a trim piece for a finishing system.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention belongs. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, the preferred methods and materials are described herein. It is to be noted that like numbers found throughout the figures refer to like elements.

In one aspect, the present invention is especially useful use in basements of residential buildings. The insulation system is readily installed onto pre-existing building structures such as walls and ceilings.

With reference to FIG. 1, a finishing 10 according to the present invention is shown installed on a building structure 12. For ease of explanation herein the building structure 12 will be generally referred to as a wall 12; however, it is to be understood that it is within the contemplated scope of the present invention that the building structures can include ceilings and other building structures. The wall 12 may be any type that one might desire to finish, either in a residential or a commercial building. The room may include more than one wall and may also include a floor (not shown) and a ceiling (not shown). The wall 12 may have windows and doors therein, (not shown).

The finishing system 10 includes a plurality of primary lineals 20 and a plurality of lineal adaptors 30. When installed on the wall 12, the primary lineals 20 create insulation cavities 16, as shown in FIG. 3. Likewise, when installed, the lineal adaptors 30 create secondary insulation cavities 18, also shown in FIG. 3.

The primary lineals 20 and the lineal adaptors 30 are preferably composed of a plastic material, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, or polystyrene, with a preferred plastic being polyvinyl chloride, or could be composed of a metal material. A plastic is generally preferred over a metal to reduce the rate of heat conduction through the primary lineals 20 and the lineal adaptors 30.

In certain embodiments, the finishing system 10 also includes a plurality of trim pieces 40. Likewise, the trim pieces 40 are preferably composed of a plastic material, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, or polystyrene, with a preferred plastic being polyvinyl chloride, or could be composed of a metal panel. A plastic is generally preferred over a metal to reduce the rate of heat conduction through the trim pieces 40.

The primary lineal 20 attaches to the wall 12 in a suitable manner. In certain embodiments, the primary lineal 20 is attached to the wall 12 with suitable fasteners 14; however, in other embodiments, the primary lineal 20 can be affixed to the wall 12 with a suitable adhesive material.

The finishing system 10 further includes insulation materials 50 which will be generally referred to herein as primary insulation panels 50.

The primary insulation panel 50 may be made of any type of insulation 52 known to those of skill in the art, such as, but not limited to, fiberglass insulation, a fiberglass board, rock wool board, or a mineral board. In certain embodiments, the primary insulation panel 50 is a foam board or high density fiberglass insulation material that has sufficient strength and durability. The foam may be formed of extruded polystyrene, molded polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, phenolic foam, polyurethane, or other similar foam insulation products identified by one of skill in the art. In certain embodiments, as shown in FIG. 3, the primary insulation panel 50 may include a vapor impermeable surface 54 on one or more surfaces of the insulation material 52.

It is to be understood that the primary insulation panels can have a suitable R-value, as determined by the geographic location of the building, as further explained below.

In certain embodiments, if a fibrous insulation board is used, a board that can be used is a 700 Series glass fiber insulation board available from Owens Corning. In particular, a 703 Series board having a density of at least about 3 lb/ft3 can be used. Such glass fiber insulation boards are composed of glass fibers having a binder thereon which has been cured to bind the fibers into a matrix. For densities above about 2.25 lb/ft3, boards of such bindered glass fibers are relatively rigid, meaning that they generally support their own weight when stood on their end and do not sag by any significant amount when left in such a position for a long period of time.

The primary insulation panels 50 may be applied in a step-wise fashion until the wall 12 is covered by the primary insulation panels 50, as will be further explained below.

In certain embodiments, a vapor retarder 60 is positioned near or adjacent to the primary insulation panel 50 after a plurality of the insulation panel 50 are positioned in the primary insulation cavity 16. The vapor retarder 60 may be a sheet of plastic film (e.g., polyethylene, nylon, or a rubber membrane (EPDM)) or a foil (e.g., aluminum foil)) having a low vapor permeance. When installed, as shown FIG. 3, a first portion 62 of the vapor retarder 60 is secured within the receiving channel 26 of the lineal adaptor 30, as explained below. A second portion 64 is positioned close to, or in certain embodiments, against, the primary insulation panel 50.

The finishing system 10 further includes a plurality of finish insulation panels 70 having an insulation core 72, and preferably a decorative facing 74 attached to an outer surface of the insulation core 72. When installed, the finish insulation panel 70 is located in the secondary insulation cavity 18.

Also, in certain embodiments, the finish insulation panel 70 is tackable, i.e., the finish insulation panel 70 is strong enough to hold the weight of a picture or other decorative hanging by means of one or more nails or tacks pushed into the finish insulation panel 70. It should be understood, however, that because such boards are often made from a resilient melamine foam or a fibrous panel, they have a generally soft, resilient surface and are relatively acoustically absorptive over a midrange of audible frequencies, i.e., a range including human speech, television programs, etc.

One suitable insulation core 72 may be formed of a fiberglass insulation board with density between 4.0 lbs/ft3 to 6.0 lbs/ft3, R-value between R1 and R7, thickness between ¾″ and 1½″, fiber diameter between 20 and 45 hundred thousandths inches (HT), a phenolic or polyacrylic binder of between about 10% and 20% by weight of the insulation board, minimum flexural rigidity of 400 lb/ins and a minimum compressive strength of 500 lbs/ft3.

The facing 74 provides aesthetics, abrasion resistance, cleanability, toughness, resiliency, rigidity, and elimination of occupant exposure to the fiberglass media. The facing 74 can be any type of decorative covering, such as natural or artificial fiber fabric. A durable fabric facing 74 is preferred so that, when combined with the insulation core 72, it will pass relevant UL flame and smoke spread tests. Preferred fabrics include a fabric sold under the name WEBCORE® by Gencorp, a fabric sold under the name JEWEL® by Land Fabrics and a fabric sold under the name ELGIN® from Guilford. Other alternative coverings include a solid vinyl wallcovering, such a covering in combination with a fabric, standard commercial insulation facings, or sprayed-on, dipped, roll-coated, and the like facings. The facing 74 preferably extends over the front and the top, bottom and side edges of the finish insulation panel 70, and is fastened to the back of the finish insulation panel 70, such as by stapling, stitching or adhesive (not shown). The facing 74 may alternatively extend over the front of the finish insulation panel 70 and be fastened to the top, bottom and side edges thereof, or may simply be adhered over the entire front face of the insulation core 72.

The facing 74 may be adhered to the insulation core 72 either during fabrication by introducing the facing 74 to the forming section of a glass wool process or prior to curing the glass wool to form a board. Alternatively, the facing 74 may be laminated to the insulation core 72 by the use of adhesive after formation of the insulation core 72.

Suitable materials for the facing 74 include, but are not limited to polyester, vinyl, or polyolefin (polyethylene or polypropylene) spunbonded facing with weight between 0.75 oz/yd2 and 2.7 oz/yd2, having a machine direction (MD) minimum tensile strength of 10 lbs/in, a machine direction/cross direction (MD/CD) ratio of 2:1 or less, and a maximum air permeability of 1070 (according to the Frazier Air Permeability Test). Higher facing weights are acceptable but may be cost prohibitive in general use. Preferably, the facing 74 has a MD tensile strength of 3.0 lbs/inch (according to TAPPI-494), and a MD/CD tensile strength ratio of 4:1 or less.

Another suitable facing material is a foil-scrim-kraft (FSK) composite facing preferably including an aluminum foil of at least 0.0003″ thickness, a flame retardant adhesive, reinforcing glass fiber yarns, and at least 20 lb/ream weight kraft paper, a maximum perm rating of 0.04, minimum MD tensile strength of 40 lbs/inch, a MD/CD ratio of 3:1, a flame spread rating maximum of 25 and smoke generation of 450 (per ASTM-E84 Smoke Generation Test). Still another facing material can be any suitable vinyl media which may replace the foil in the composite facing.

As best shown in FIG. 2, the primary lineal 20 has a lineal base plate 22 which has opposing lineal retaining flanges 22a and 22b. The lineal 20 also has opposing lineal engaging members 24 and 25 which extend from the lineal base plate 22. In certain embodiments, the use of thin lineal engaging members 24, 25 additionally helps to reduce the overall cross sectional area of the direct paths of thermal conduction between the wall 12 and the interior of the room, and thus to improve the overall R value of the finished system.

The opposing lineal engaging members 24 and 25 define a receiving channel 26 for engaging the lineal adaptor 30, as will be further explained below. In certain embodiments, the lineal engaging members 24 and 25 allow a releasable engaging connection to be formed between the lineal 20 and the lineal adaptor 30.

In certain embodiments, one or more of the lineal engaging members 24, 25 can include one or more inwardly extending detents 28a, 28b for securing the lineal adaptor 30 in the lineal 20. The lineal base plate 22 can include at least one break-away notch 29 that extends along the intersection of the lineal base retaining flange 22a and the lineal engaging member 24. The break-away notch 29 allows the installer to easily remove the lineal base retaining flange 22a so that the lineal 20 can be installed in a corner or other area such as against a window or door (not shown).

FIG. 2 also shows the lineal adaptor 30 which has an adaptor base plate 32 with opposing adaptor retaining flanges 32a and 32b. The lineal adaptor 30 also has a connector member 33 which extends from a bottom side of the adaptor base plate 32. The connector member 33 can have any desired shape so that the connector member 33 can fit within the lineal receiving channel 26. In the embodiment shown, the connector member 33 has generally convex walls 33a and 33b.

The lineal adaptor 30 also has opposing adaptor engaging members 34 and 35 which extend from a top side of the of the adaptor base plate 32. The opposing adaptor engaging members 34 and 35 define a receiving channel 36 for engaging the trim piece 40, as will be explained below. In certain embodiments, the lineal adaptor engaging members 34 and 35 allow a releasable engaging connection to be formed between the lineal adaptor 30 and the trim piece 40.

In certain embodiments, one or more of the adaptor engaging members 34, 35 can include one or more inwardly extending detents 38a, 38b for securing the trim piece 40 to the lineal adaptor 30. The adaptor base plate 32 can include at least one break-away notch 39 that extends along the intersection of the adaptor base retaining flange 32a and the engaging member 34. The break-away notch 39 allows the installer to easily remove the adaptor retaining flange 32a so that the lineal adaptor 30 can be installed in a corner or other area such as against a window or door (not shown).

When the lineal adaptor 30 is added to the lineal 20, the adaptor connector 33 is positioned in the lineal receiving channel 26 of the lineal 20. In certain embodiments, the adaptor connector 33 snaps into, and/or between, the lineal engaging members 24, 25 such that the adaptor connector 33 releasably retains the lineal adaptor 30 in engagement with the lineal 20. For example, the lineal adaptor 30 can be snapped into the lineal 20 such that, if necessary, the lineal adaptor 30 can be removed without damage to the lineal 20, the vapor retarder 60 or the lineal adaptor 30 itself. It is to be understood, that in another embodiment, the releasable connection between the lineal 20 and the lineal adaptor 30 can be achieved by a fast-release or other type of connector.

The trim piece 40 has a trim base plate 42 with opposing trim retaining flanges 42a and 42b. The trim piece 40 can have an outer surface 44 preferably treated in a manner well-known in the art such that the outer surface 44 presents a decorative finish, such as simulated wood grain finish.

The trim piece 40 also has a trim connector 43 which extends from a bottom of the trim base plate 42. The trim connector 43 can have any desired shape so that the trim connector member 43 can fit within the adaptor receiving channel 36 of the lineal adaptor 30. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the trim connector 43 has generally convex walls 43a and 43b.

In certain embodiments, the lineal adaptor engaging members 34 and 35 allow a releasable connection to be formed between the lineal adaptor 30 and the trim piece 40.

In general, the trim retaining flanges 42a and 42b maintain the finish insulation panel 70 in the secondary insulation cavity 18 and provide a decorative interface between the adjacent finish insulation panels 70. In certain embodiments, as shown in FIG. 1, one type of trim piece 40 can be a vertical divider member 40′ which is inserted between adjacent finish insulation panels 70 and 70′.

During the installation process, the finishing system 10 may be installed in a step-wise fashion until the wall 12 is covered. Lineals 20 are fixed to the wall 12, thereby forming the primary insulation cavities 16. The primary insulation panels 50 are positioned in the primary insulation cavities 16. In certain installations, a temporary clip, such as a scrap part of a lineal adaptor and/or trim piece, can be used to hold the primary insulation panel 50 within the primary insulation cavity 16 during the sequential installation of the rest of the primary insulation panels 50.

As shown in FIG. 3, each lineal adaptor flange 32a and 32b extends outwardly such that, when the finishing system 10 is assembled, the primary insulation panel 50 is located within the primary insulation cavity 16. Thus, the base plate 32, and its flanges 32a, 32b, on the lineal adaptor 30, holds (or retains) the primary insulation panel 50 within the primary insulation cavity 16.

The vapor retarder 60 is placed over the primary insulation panel 50 and the lineal 20. In certain embodiments, the vapor retarder 60 is at least slightly stretched during the installation process. In a similar manner, to that explained above with respect to the primary insulation panels 50, the vapor retarder 60 can be held in place by the temporary clip/scrap section while the rest of the vapor retarder 60 is installed.

The lineal adaptors 30 are then added to the lineals 20 such that the adaptor connector 33 on the lineal adaptors 30 pushes or inserts the first portion 62 of the vapor retarder 60 into the receiving channel 26 of the lineal 20, as best seen in FIG. 3.

The finish insulation panels 70 are placed into the insulation cavities 18. In a similar manner, a part of a lineal adaptor and/or trim piece can be used to hold the secondary insulation panel 70 within the secondary insulation cavity 18 during the sequential installation of the rest of the finish insulation panels 70. The trim pieces 40 are then attached to the lineal adaptors 30 to complete the finishing system 10.

The lineal adaptors 30 allow the vapor retarder 60 to be easily removed without damage, if necessary, by unsnapping the lineal adaptor 30 from the primary lineal 20. This provides a great improvement over the prior methods for attaching the vapor retarders. Often, in the past, the vapor retarders were stapled to the wood studs during the initial installation process. If there was any need for inspection or repair work, the vapor retarder was unstapled, often causing damage. If there was a need to replace the vapor retarder itself, there was also damage caused to the adjoining building structures. The lineal adaptors 30 described herein and their use in the insulation system described herein thus provide important advantages over the prior systems.

In certain embodiments, the primary insulation panel 50 has a first thickness and the finish insulation panel 70 has a second, different thickness. It is to be understood that the R-values of the primary insulation panel 50 may be determined for a particular geographic region. For example, as fully described in the co-pending Hettler et al. US Pub. No. 2005/0150183 A1, which has been fully incorporated herein by reference, to reduce condensation, the primary insulation panel 50 has a desired R-value so that its temperature remains above the interior dew point in the winter and above the outside dew point temperature in the summer. Preferably, the R-value of the primary insulation panel 50 is determined so that the vapor retarder temperature is above the interior dew point in the summer and above the outside dew point temperature in the winter for the entire year. In some geographic locations, the amount R-value of the primary insulation panel 50 may result in a small amount of condensation within the insulation system at some point during the year. By determining the most efficient R-value for the primary insulation panel 50 within the insulation system such that the amount of time that the temperature of the vapor retarder is below the dew point temperature is reduced, the amount of condensation will also be reduced.

It should be noted that, because the adaptor retaining base plate 32 extends across a portion of the primary insulation panel 50, there is a relatively large margin of error available to an installer with respect to the proper sizing of the primary insulation panels 50 and the placement of the primary lineals 20. In other words, as shown in FIG. 3, there can be a gap 58 between one end 56 of the primary insulation panel 50 and the lineal engaging member 24. Thus, the finishing system 10 will still have an attractive appearance because the gap 58 will be hidden. This feature of the finishing system 10 allows the installer to spend less time very carefully measuring where to attach each primary lineal 20 or where to cut the primary insulation panel 50 to fit it into odd-sized cavities, with little appreciable reduction of overall thermal performance.

Each trim piece flange 42a and 42b extends outwardly such that, when the finishing system 10 is assembled, the finish insulation panel 70 is located within the secondary insulation cavity 18. Thus, the trim base plate 42, and its flanges 42a, 42b, on the trim piece 40 holds, or retains, the finish insulation panel 70 within the secondary insulation cavity 18.

It should also be noted that, because the trim base plate 42 extends across a portion of the finish insulation panel 70, there is a relatively large margin of error available to an installer with respect to the proper sizing of the finish insulation panels 70. In other words, as shown in FIG. 3, there can be a gap 78 between one end 76 of the secondary insulation panel 70 and the lineal adaptor engaging member 34. Thus, the finishing system 10 will still have an attractive appearance because the gap 78 will be hidden. This feature of the finishing system 10 allows the installer to spend less time very carefully measuring where to cut the secondary insulation panel 70 to fit it into odd-sized cavities, with little appreciable reduction of overall thermal performance.

In certain embodiments, the lineal adaptors 30 can include a first set and a second set of lineal adaptors. In such embodiments, the first set of lineal adaptors is configured to be connected to the second set of lineal adaptors. The first and second sets of lineal adaptors create third insulation cavities (not shown) which can hold another layer of insulation panels.

Further, while the lineal and lineal adaptors are generally shown herein as having base plates where the flanges (and in the case of the lineal adaptors, the connector) substantially continuously extend along the entire base plate, it is to be understood, that in certain embodiments, the lineals and/or lineal adaptors can have flanges and/or connectors which are not coterminous in length with the whole lineal or lineal adaptor. Such embodiments can be used in certain installations while still achieving the desired advantages of the present invention.

The advantages of the present invention are readily evident. The present invention provides thermal insulation benefits in a room finishing system. In addition, the finishing system of the present invention is very easy to install and allows for a relatively large margin of error on the part of the installer. These features make it possible for the installer to reduce the labor time and costs considerably.

The present invention additionally can be advantageous for the builders and owners of new homes. Since the finishing system is nondestructively modular, i.e., because it includes modular panels that can be removed and replaced very quickly and easily in a nondestructive manner, the builder of a new home can finish a room using the present invention without fear of greatly aggravated costs in the event of a foundation crack or leak.

Although the preferred panels of the present invention are rigid, as defined, they are formed of materials that are soft, resilient and relatively acoustically absorptive of a midrange of audible frequencies. These features can provide a potentially safer playroom area for children, as well as a more acoustically desirable environment. The resiliency of the insulation panels allows the system to be placed directly over existing wires and other small obstacles, because the panels can conform to a certain extent to the wall surface they abut.

In addition, the resiliency and acoustical absorptiveness of the insulation panels makes the finishing system of the present invention particularly suitable for finishing of such commercial rooms and ceilings as gymnasiums, classrooms and day cares.

While the invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the essential scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or panel to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the claims.