Continuous Insulation: Challenges and Opportunities for Building Enclosure Design & Constructability

Model code requirements for continuous wall insulation represent fundamental shifts in design and construction practices. While representing important strides in energy conservation, continuous insulation poses challenges for new materials, systems, and methodologies.  Simultaneously, the industry is embracing new prerequisites for moisture management, air leakage, and combustibility – all of which have critical considerations for insulation strategies and their implications on building durability.  A myriad of design and constructability considerations await this bold new reality.

A panel of five industry leaders will share information, insights and experiences on matters related to continuous wall insulation in cold climate construction.  The aim of this event is to provoke ongoing thought and discussion to ensure that today’s wall systems achieve their intended high performance amid these unprecedented changes in industry practices.

Objectives & Opportunities….

  • Explore new wall systems and solutions in residential & commercial construction.
  • Identify potential conflicts between code compliance and best practices.
  • Discover advances in sustainable practices that are both practical and cost effective.
  • Learn critical considerations and solutions for thermal bridging.
  • Discuss design assumptions for moisture control design analysis and the implications for building resilience.
  • Identify opportunities for manufactured systems and solutions.
  • Share ideas and dialogue with Minnesota’s industry leaders.

Richard Strong, University of Minnesota – Center for Sustainable Design Research

“Health and Life-Cycle Considerations for Continuous Insulation”

Richard Strong is currently a Senior Research Fellow at Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota in the College of Design. He holds a Bachelors degree in Architecture from North Dakota State, a Masters degree in Urban Planning from McGill University and a Masters degree in Design Studies from Harvard University. He has worked in both private and public sectors, in governmental and university setting over the last 30 years. He practiced architecture with several Minneapolis firms and in his own firm during the 70s and 80s. He was one of the initiators of the Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide while a project manager at Hennepin County during the 90s. He has taught sustainable design at Carleton College for three years. He was on the Board of Director of the Minnesota Chapter of the United States Green Building Council

Currently he is involved in monitoring the Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines and developing standard for the Sustainable Building 2030 initiative at the University of Minnesota. He is teaching several courses in the Masters of Science – Sustainable Design in the College of Design. He also teaching in the College of Business and Public Policy at Drake University and is a capstone instructor at the Boston Architectural College in their Masters of Science in Sustainability. He has been involved in many aspects of sustainability over the last 20 years.

Peter Kulczyk, Founder – Green Code Knowledge, LLC

“Energy Code Provisions and the Impact on the Exterior Envelope”

Peter Kulczyk has three decades of experience in the construction and building code industry as an author, educator and expert in residential building codes, energy codes and green building practices. His past experience includes five years on staff with the International Code Council;  a decade as an Instructor with the State of Minnesota Building Code Division (now referred to as the Department of Labor and Industry); as a municipal Building Inspector; and in various positions with five residential and commercial construction companies in Minnesota.  He is the author of:

  • 2006 International Residential Code Q & A Guide
  • 2009 International Residential Code Q & A Guide
  • Building Code Basics – Green: Based On The 2012 International Green Construction Code
  • Conventional Construction Provisions of the 2009 International Residential Code
  • 2009 Green Residential Building Study Companion
  • 2012 International Energy Conservation Code Study Companion (co-authored by Eric Makela, Don Sivigny and Peter Kulczyk)

He is certified by the International Code Council as a Building Inspector, Plans Examiner, and Green Building-Residential;   By the State of Minnesota as a Certified Building Official and Certified Instructor;   By the United States Green Building Council as a LEED AP Homes;   and by the State of California as a CALGreen Inspector.  Peter also served in the United States Navy as a Radar Operator onboard the USS Reasoner and is a lifelong resident of Minnesota.

MacGregor Pierce, Product Manager – Hunter Xci Wall Polyiso Products, Hunter Panels

“Continuous Insulation: Code Compliance and the NFPA 285 in Commercial Wall Assemblies”

MacGregor Pierce has been active in the construction industry since 1972. He worked in residential construction in New Hampshire, Oregon and Maine in both small and large companies as well as running his own remodeling company.  MacGregor spent most of the 1980’s working for a General Contracting business building medium size commercial projects.

MacGregor joined Hunter Panels in 1999 roughly one year after the company was founded. During his tenure with Hunter he has directed logistics, spearheaded product development and has been active with building codes and compliances. MacGregor has also served as Hunter’s roofing Specialty Products Manager and Technical Department Manager.  Since 2009, he has lead Hunter Panels’ development of its Xci wall insulation products.  Today MacGregor serves as the Product and Technical Manager of this division.

Patrick H. Huelman, Universty of Minnesota – Cold Climate Housing Program

“Exterior Thermal and Moisture Management System (ETMMS): In Theory and Practice”

Pat Huelman is an Associate Professor in Residential Energy and Building Systems with the University of Minnesota’s Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering and serves as Coordinator of the Cold Climate Housing Program with the University of Minnesota Extension.  He is a lead faculty member for the Residential Building Science and Technology undergraduate degree program and a principal investigator for hygrothermal testing at the Cloquet Residential Research Facility.

Pat is the Project Lead for NorthernSTAR, one of the Department of Energy’s Building America Teams.  Under this NREL project, he is leading dozens of industry, government agency, and academic partners, all working together towards a common goal of making America’s homes and buildings more efficient, robust, and economical.  This group will conduct and publish building science research to fill critical gaps in hygrothermal performance of below-grade systems and advance building technologies like innovative mechanical systems and exterior insulation systems. His team is also improving ways of conducting home performance assessments, enhancing combustion safety, and driving proven products and processes into the marketplace.

Pat has been extremely active in professional education for the home building industry and is recognized for his “systems approach” to improving overall home performance.  Pat’s long-term focus has been on heat, air, and moisture movement in buildings and his primary expertise is in building systems and technologies that will provide energy efficiency, long-term durability, and healthy indoor air for homes.  With more than 30 years in the field, Pat brings extensive experience and expertise in energy-efficient design and construction, innovative building systems, moisture management strategies, mechanical ventilation, and residential indoor air quality.

David Rassmussen, Pre-Construction Manager – MG McGrath, Inc.

“Contractor challenges in meeting  the new Continuous Insulation requirements for Code Compliance and the NFPA 285 in Commercial Wall Assemblies”

David Rassmussen currently serves as the Pre-Construction Manager for MG McGrath.  David has more than 30 years of years of hands-on experience in strategic planning, business unit development, project and product management, and system strategies. David’s experience in the architectural sheet metal industry included working directly with architects and general contractors and subcontractors developing new systems for project specific needs.   David is responsible for the daily management, supervision, coordination, and successful completion of the pre-construction phase of the projects to meet the cost objectives with respect to contracting, scheduling, estimating, and bidding. Dave is highly experienced in sales and marketing with the added ability to lead diverse teams of professionals to new levels of success in a variety of highly competitive industries, cutting-edge markets, and fast-paced environments.  Dave currently sits on the board for PCM and is also an active member of CSI, AIA, and USBGC.