PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

PATH Case Study

Vermont Built Erects Home Envelope in Only Eight Days


Continued from Page 2

Vermont Built has considered incorporating pre-cast foundations, but the distance to a pre-cast company has prevented him from testing them. However, to increase energy savings, Vermont Built uses poured foundations and insulates on the inside of the foundation with 1-inch R-5 blue board glued to the wall with the seams taped. An air space of an inch is left between the blue board and a 2 x 4 wall that is framed on the inside of the foundation and insulated with R-14 fiberglass insulation. This removes the necessity of insulating on the outside of the foundation with blue board and the need to cover the blue board, while leaving the inside of the foundation ready for wiring, plumbing, or sheetrock.


This project included the following PATH-profiled technologies:

Truax developed this method of insulating the foundation with Vermont's ENERGY STAR program as one of the ideal ways to insulate a basement to reduce heat loss and eliminate the collection of moisture caused by warm moist air being exposed to a cold cement wall.

"The Barden material package is also more efficient than many local building codes require. As a result, these homes meet or exceed ENERGY STAR requirements, which is a great selling point," Truax says.


Some of the homebuyers who approach Vermont Built understand the company's philosophy and construction process, but many do not. In particular, Truax says uninformed homebuyers tend to confuse the panelization process with modular construction.

"When people think factory produced, they think cheaper; we always have to explain that panelized homes are higher quality than stick built and can be constructed to meet the state's highest energy standards."

For these homebuyers, Vermont Built has added an explanation of the benefits of panelization to its Web site.

"We have to explain that we are essentially building a traditional stick-built house, but using a better method of putting the walls together. From a practical point of view, homeowners won't notice any difference in the structure. One is built in a shop, and one is built on site. The client benefits from precision engineering and having walls built in climate-controlled conditions. Using panelized construction not only means that the house gets built faster, but you eliminate a lot of problems in a traditional stick-built home when walls and materials are exposed to elements while the house is being framed. Once homebuyers understand that, they have a real appreciation of the value of panelized construction."

[IMAGE: Vermont Built sometimes has to assure homeowners that the final product will be just as beautiful...just better made.]

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Content updated on 9/27/2006

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