Foam-Free Air Sealing for Energy-Efficient Buildings

Presentation of air sealing strategies for high-performance buildings without relying on spray foam or rigid foam insulation.

+Ken Levenson presenting foam-free air sealing techniques for a NYC townhouse with interior insulation and a continuous “smart” vapor-retarding air barrier.

This technique is important for Passive House retrofits and should be considered best practice for any gut rehab of a brownstone where exterior insulation isn’t practical. Air tightness eliminates drafts for better comfort and reduced energy bills. It also prevents moisture buildup from condensation that can lead to mold and structural damage. Add filtered fresh air ventilation with heat recovery to optimize indoor air quality and energy performance.

Exterior insulation is preferable from a building science point of view. New buildings should be airtight, allow drying to exterior and to interior, and have exterior insulation.

The following example for a brownstone retrofit can be modified for new, non-combustible construction as well:

Integrating a window in the airtight layer – brick/brownstone retrofit case