The high performance building industry is in a state of perpetual evolution as technologies change. While architects and general contractors are all affected, insulation contractors are often the ones most caught off-guard by advances in enclosure design and materials. The growing use of smart vapour retarders like INTELLO PLUS is one of the biggest seismic shifts the insulation industry has faced in decades. Many contractors are content to use their old tried-and-true tools and techniques to adapt to the new technologies, often with good success. But some stay a step ahead of the competition - and thrive - by facing up to the challenges and developing technologies of their own.
Design, Iterate, and Adapt
American Installations - or the aptly abbreviated "A.I." - prides itself on its forward thinking. They have embraced the Intello revolution and are showing how insulation contractors can be leaders in the ever-changing construction landscape. Brothers Wesley and Wyatt Couture went into business together 5 years ago doing residential insulation in Western Massachusetts. They have worked exclusively with cellulose insulation ever since.
One of the shortcomings of cellulose is that it's not airtight enough on its own for high performance projects. When A.I. discovered Intello Plus a couple years ago, they knew they had found the missing piece of their toolkit to make their assemblies airtight and protected from moisture. They also quickly recognized that cellulose could be dense-packed directly behind the Intello Plus - to take advantage of the integrated reinforcement mesh that helps make it the most robust air barrier and smart vapour retarder on the market.
They set out to optimize how to directly install cellulose behind Intello Plus on walls and roofs. This is the practical side of building science - to find the most cost-effective approach for a new technology. They tested a few different approaches before picking a winner.
And the winner is...
A.I. came up with a two-pronged approach with both high-tech and low-tech elements. On the high-tech side, they invested in a Ventilated Rotary Nozzle cellulose blower. On the low-tech side, they added cardboard strips over the furring that function as clamping devices when stapling the Intello to the framing. This system can be used with a number of different wall assemblies.It's wonderful to see installers take our materials and make them their own. American Installations has found a way to leverage the performance of Intello Plus to offer added value to their customers. We're always open to working with you to find the materials and components that work for your methods.