New Mexico Insulation and Air Sealing Tips for New Construction

New Mexico Insulation and Air Sealing Tips for New Construction:

In New Mexico, achieving energy efficiency in new construction projects is critical. Insulation and air sealing play pivotal roles in maintaining comfort and reducing energy consumption, particularly in larger-scale developments like multifamily housing, commercial buildings, and more.

These strategies are tailored to meet stringent energy codes and enhance overall building performance in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and surrounding areas.

So, knowing how to effectively apply insulation and air sealing techniques in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and beyond becomes crucial. With rising energy costs and an increasing focus on sustainable living, project managers and developers want effective strategies to protect their buildings against the elements, making insulation and air sealing more important than ever.

Our goal is to provide valuable insights into the most effective insulation strategies tailored for new construction projects in New Mexico, highlighting the significance of air sealing and guiding you on how to optimize this practice to maximize energy savings.

From attic insulation to addressing air leaks, and moving towards creating an airtight building envelope, we’ll navigate the specifics of improving a building’s energy efficiency.

We’ll also explore other energy-saving measures that complement insulation and air sealing, providing a holistic approach to optimizing energy efficiency in new construction projects across New Mexico.

Whether you are building in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or beyond, these tips will guide you through improving the comfort and efficiency of your projects.

New Mexico Insulation and Air Sealing – Understanding Efficiency in New Construction

Climate Considerations

In New Mexico, the adoption of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) has been a significant step towards enhancing energy efficiency. This code mandates increased insulation levels for walls and ceilings across various climate zones, reflecting the state’s diverse environmental conditions. [LINK]

Notably, each climate zone in New Mexico, from Chaves in Zone 3 to Colfax in Zone 5, has specific energy code requirements that directly impact home energy performance. [LINK]. The state has also integrated a city-specific climate zone table to ensure that local environmental factors are considered.

Common Challenges for New Mexico Insulation and Air Sealing

New Mexico builders face challenges in meeting the stringent air leakage requirements set by newer energy codes. Effective air sealing solutions, such as Aeroseal Envelope, provide a cost-effective means to achieve or exceed these requirements, significantly enhancing energy savings and overall comfort. Aeroseal Envelope technology ensures a tightly sealed building envelope dramatically improving energy efficiency.

And proper insulation installation, especially achieving Grade I installation, is critical for proper insulation performance. Failing to meet this standard can result in construction delays and increased costs due to necessary corrections. Learn more in this summary of residential energy requirements.

Not to mention that the state’s unique climatic challenges, such as prolonged droughts and high heat, further complicate efforts to maintain efficient and comfortable homes, which only increases the importance on proper air sealing, like Aeroseal Envelope.

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA


New Mexico Insulation and Air Sealing Tips for New Construction

Insulation Recommendations for New Construction in Santa Fe and Albuquerque

Types of Insulation

In Santa Fe and Albuquerque, selecting the right type of insulation is crucial due to the extreme temperatures. Options include fiberglass, cellulose, and spray foam, each offering unique benefits. Fiberglass is often used for its non-combustibility and sound reduction capabilities. Cellulose is favored in tighter attic spaces and is treated to reduce flammability.

Benefits of Proper Insulation

Proper insulation in New Mexico building projects can regulate temperatures, reduce energy bills, and improve comfort. It acts as a barrier against heat transfer, maintaining consistent indoor temperatures and reducing the load on HVAC systems.

Additionally, insulation plays a vital role in moisture control, noise reduction, and contributes to a healthier and quieter living environment. Investing in proper insulation not only enhances comfort but also leads to year-round cost savings.

Choosing the Right Insulation for New Mexico

When selecting the optimal insulation for new construction, it’s essential to factor in elements like the R-value, quantifying resistance to heat flow. It depends on the specific area and climate requirements. In Albuquerque, for instance, the HBA New Mexico recommends R-values for attics ranging from R38 to R60.

For superior air sealing and enhanced energy efficiency, consider using Aeroseal Envelope technology, which is more cost-effective and avoids the issues associated with spray foam, such as high cost and toxic off-gassing.

Consulting with insulation professionals like Green Insight can guide you through selecting the appropriate insulation type, ensuring compliance with local energy codes, and maximizing energy efficiency.

New Mexico Air Sealing to Maximize Energy Savings

Identifying Air Leaks

Identifying air leaks is crucial for optimizing energy efficiency. You can detect leaks using simple methods like the hand test, where you feel for drafts around doors and windows, or more advanced techniques such as using a thermal camera or blower door tests. It’s essential to check common leak sources like electrical outlets, baseboards, and attic hatches.

Techniques and Materials for Air Sealing

Once leaks are identified, selecting the right sealing techniques and materials is vital. Options include caulks, foam sealants, and house wraps, which act as air barriers to minimize leakage. For instance, sealing gaps with foam sealant and using weatherstripping for doors and windows are effective strategies.

Also, innovative solutions like Aeroseal Envelope can seal even the smallest leaks, enhancing the building envelope’s airtightness. Green Insight collaborates with Aeroseal Envelope, an innovative air-sealing technology, to offer a simpler, quicker, and more effective solution to seal building envelopes and create a healthier, energy-efficient living or working environment for residents and occupants.

Aeroseal Envelope, also known as AeroBarrier, is designed to seal hidden gaps and leaks accurately, making it an efficient method for improving a building’s airtightness. This advanced air-sealing system helps maintain optimal indoor conditions and energy efficiency levels in various property types, including residential, multi-family, schools, and commercial buildings throughout New Mexico.

When to Call in the Pros

Deciding between professional and DIY air sealing depends on the complexity of the task and your construction project’s specific needs. While DIY methods like caulking and weatherstripping are manageable for smaller projects, professional air sealing services may be necessary for comprehensive solutions, especially in new construction.

Professionals use advanced tools and techniques such as Aeroseal Air-Sealing that ensure thorough sealing and compliance with energy codes, potentially offering more reliable and long-lasting results.

Other Energy-Saving Measures for New Mexico

Whether managing new multifamily housing units or home developments in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or beyond, implementing strategies like efficient heating and cooling systems, smart home technology, and window and door upgrades can further enhance energy savings.

Efficient Heating and Cooling Systems

Consider using advanced heating and cooling systems for a more energy-efficient new construction Thermostat controls and heating and cooling system repairs or replacements can significantly reduce energy consumption. Properly designed and sealed ductwork can help prevent energy loss and maintain optimal system performance.

Smart Home Technology

Implementing smart home technology, such as smart thermostats, can automate energy use, adapting to someone’s schedule and even the weather. This technology provides convenience and ensures energy savings. Plus, smart thermostats can track your energy usage, allowing homeowners to make informed adjustments to save more.

Window and Door Upgrades

Addressing air leakage through windows and doors is another effective energy-saving measure. Repairing or replacing broken glass, installing door thresholds, door sweeps, and weather-stripping can seal gaps that lead to energy loss. For windows, consider applying window films or installing low-E storm windows, which help reduce solar heat gain and maintain indoor temperature.

These strategies will help you ensure your new construction project is more energy-efficient, comfortable, and environmentally friendly.

New Mexico Insulation and Air Sealing Done Right

We’ve detailed how to optimize home and building efficiency through insulation and air sealing in New Mexico’s distinctively challenging climate. Emphasizing the importance of selecting suitable insulation materials and ensuring proper installation.

And we’ve provided actionable insights that cater specifically to the needs of new construction in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and surrounding areas. By understanding and implementing these strategies, you can significantly improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your projects.

FAQs: New Mexico Insulation and Air Sealing Tips for New Construction

1. How crucial is it to combine air sealing with insulation?
Combining air sealing with insulation is essential for optimal building efficiency. While each is beneficial on its own, together they enhance each other’s effectiveness. Insulation can perform poorly if exposed to moving air, and air sealing alone doesn’t protect against all forms of heat transfer. Additionally, air sealing will reduce HVAC loads, reduce noise from the exterior or neighboring units, and reduce drafts therefore increasing overall comfort.

2. What are effective methods to decrease air leakage in new construction projects?
To effectively reduce air leakage in new buildings, properly follow fire code sealing requirements, utilize durable caulk, gaskets, tape, and foam sealants to seal holes and seams in drywall, sheathing, and subflooring. Additionally, using densely packed insulation in wall cavities and other gaps can help minimize both airflow and heat flow. Utilizing Aeroseal Envelope is the most cost-effective solution that will guarantee whatever leakage rate is desired.

3. What steps should be taken to effectively seal and insulate a house?
To effectively seal and insulate your new building or home, start by hiring an energy assessor or HERS Rater to check for air tightness. Air leaks around doors, windows, and where utilities like plumbing and electrical wiring penetrate walls, floors, and ceilings must be sealed. Caulk and weatherstripping should be used for doors and windows, and caulk or sealants applied to other leak-prone areas.

4. At what stage is Aeroseal Envelope applied?
Aeroseal Envelope can be applied at any stage between rough-in and before occupancy. However, the optimal time for application is either during rough-in or post-drywall. The timing can also depend on the construction process and the specific climate zone.

5. How much does Aeroseal Envelope cost?
The cost depends on the construction phase and the desired air tightness levels. Once we have your job details, we can provide a written quote. Contact us at (833) 476-8326 or email us at info@thegreeninsight.com to discuss your project.

Want the fastest and most effective way to make your new building project airtight?

Our collaboration with Aeroseal Envelope is the solution, promising simplicity, speed, and guaranteed results. Don’t wait any longer – contact us today to harness the benefits of Aeroseal Envelope and move toward a more efficient, comfortable, and eco-friendly building project.

Green Building Success in Albuquerque & Santa Fe, New Mexico (3 Examples of Sustainable Construction at Work)

New Mexico is home to some noteworthy green building projects that combine sustainability with style and affordability.

In cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe, we’ve worked with developers and contractors who have embraced the challenge of creating buildings that are not only environmentally friendly but also meet the needs of the local community.

In this blog post, we will explore three successful green building projects in New Mexico, showcasing their unique features and the challenges they overcame to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

Platinum Apartments in Albuquerque: The Best of Luxury and Sustainability

Platinum Apartments, Albuquerque New Mexico

Located at 4100 Silver Ave SE, Albuquerque, the Platinum Luxury Apartments are a prime example of luxury and sustainability coming together. This four-story apartment building features 75 units, including a Yoga/Pilates studio and a community pool table room. The rooftop also boasts a BBQ/Bar area for residents to enjoy.

The project’s design aimed to attract young professionals who value both luxury and sustainability. Through a highly insulated envelope, mini-split HVAC, and a small PV array, the Platinum Apartments achieved an impressive HERS rating of 59. Green Insight’s scope of work included LEED for Homes credit verification, testing during construction, energy efficiency recommendations, and more.

Despite the challenge of a target budget of $110 per square foot, the development team found cost-effective solutions. They used a wood-framed structure with insulation/sheathing similar to what would now be known as a ZIP wall, mini-splits, on-demand water heaters, and a small PV system to power the common areas. The results were remarkable: LEED Platinum Certification, along with tax credits and rebates from various entities.

Villa Alegre Apartments: A Green Oasis in the Heart of Santa Fe

Villa Alegre Apartments Santa Fe New Mexico

Villa Alegre Apartments, constructed by Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority, reflects the city’s commitment to creating beautiful homes and luxury living experiences while lessening the carbon footprint during construction and beyond. With a goal to create a sustainable project with a minimal environmental footprint, all stakeholders had a common goal: to create a sustainable building project with the smallest possible environmental footprint.

The project consists of 111 LEED® for Homes Platinum units, providing affordable housing for families and seniors in Santa Fe. To achieve this goal, Villa Alegre Apartments had to overcome several challenges. However, the project focuses on energy and water efficiency by incorporating a geothermal exchange system, a 240-kilowatt photovoltaic system, ENERGY STAR windows, high-efficiency lighting fixtures, and blown insulation.

Villa Alegre Apartments’ upgrades resulted in all units achieving a 32 or better Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index score and ENERGY STAR qualification. These achievements go beyond sustainability. The public supported it, and the project rehabilitated the downtown Santa Fe area while exceeding the 2030 Challenge.

Villa Alegre Apartments in Santa Fe, a pioneering project, showcases the value of LEED certification in creating truly green and sustainable projects. From affordable housing to a luxury living experience, this project is a testament to the city’s commitment to sustainability.

Hotel Clovis: A Unique Adaptive Reuse Project in Clovis, New Mexico

Hotel Clovis, Clovis, New Mexico

Located at 201 N Main St in Clovis, New Mexico, Hotel Clovis is an exceptional example of an adaptive reuse project that combines historic preservation with sustainable design. This 9-story historic registered hotel has been transformed into an affordable housing project, featuring rental lofts and commercial space. The project faced challenges due to environmental degradation and historic registration, but innovative solutions were implemented to overcome these obstacles.

The Hotel Clovis project stands out for its unique style and commitment to historic preservation. The building, originally constructed in 1929, was at risk of demolition before Tierra Realty Trust acquired the development rights. Closed-cell insulation was added to the envelope without altering its historic character. Trickle vents for unit ventilation were incorporated into the windows, and a whole-building ventilation system was installed. Nanogel was also added to the plaster in the historic ballroom to achieve required insulation levels.

Hotel Clovis prioritized sustainability and energy efficiency, earning it LEED Platinum certification. A photovoltaic system was installed on the roof, generating electricity to power the hotel’s common spaces and the new buildings. Additionally, the project incorporated passive solar orientation in 80% of the units to leverage natural heating and lighting.

The successful transformation of Hotel Clovis into a LEED Platinum affordable housing project showcases the value of adaptive reuse and historic preservation. It serves as a shining example for future projects, combining sustainability and style in a unique and memorable way.

Green Building Success in New Mexico

These three green building projects in New Mexico showcase the incredible success and innovation that can be achieved in sustainable construction. From luxury apartments in Albuquerque to affordable housing in Santa Fe and adaptive reuse in Clovis, each project overcame unique challenges to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

Not only have these buildings contributed to the development of a greener New Mexico, but they have also set inspiring examples for future sustainable construction projects across the state.

Want to find the perfect solution for your sustainable living project?

If so, contact us today. We would love to discuss your project and your goals while showing you how Green Insight can help you achieve green building success. Get in touch

Hotel Clovis Earns LEED for Homes Platinum Certification

The city of Clovis, New Mexico sits just 9 miles west of the border of Texas and is called home to almost 40,000 people. A large agricultural community, Clovis is surrounded by large peanut and cotton farms as well as busy cattle ranches.

At the city’s heart sits the Art Deco gem, the Hotel Clovis. Built in 1931, this 10-story former hotel earned the distinction of being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.  Its hospitality days long over, Hotel Clovis is now used as both a residential and commercial piece of real estate.

Project Details

Hotel Clovis now boasts 31 rental lofts and 8,000 square feet of commercial space. Two new buildings have been added to its ranks to increase Hotel Clovis to half a city block while providing an additional 28 dwelling units.

During the renovation of this historic building, Green Insight was brought in to consult with developers and contractors to create a state-of-the-art environmentally responsible project while maintaining the building’s historic charm.

We worked with developer Tierra Realty Trust and contractor Century Communities II to help the team:

  • Earn LEED for Homes credit
  • Test during construction
  • Pass quality assurance review
  • Make energy-efficient recommendations
  • Make building material assessments
  • Review construction documents and specifics
  • Review all project submittals

Project Challenges

Before Tierra Realty Trust acquired development rights for the building, the city of Clovis had slated to demolish the historic building due to findings that rehabilitation of the building would be cost prohibitive to the city.

With its proven track record of successfully turning historic buildings into sustainable housing communities, Tierra Realty Trust acquired the rights after numerous other developers looked at rehabilitation over the course of many years, but it ultimately backed away from the challenges the building posed.

One of the biggest challenges the developer faced was air infiltration through the building’s envelope, which could not be modified in any way due to its historically registered status. An additional challenge was meeting the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standard 62.2 which governs indoor air quality, and ventilation specifically.

Project Solutions

To combat the building envelope issue, Green Insight recommended adding interior closed-cell insulation to the block and brick veneer exterior walls. Nano gel was added to the plaster on the first floor and the grand historic ballroom to increase the insulation level as high as possible while maintaining historic finishes. To meet ventilation standards, they added trickle vents cut into the window and the whole building’s ventilation system was plumbed to very high-efficiency variable speed exhaust fans which also maintained the historic exterior.

To ensure sustainability in the building, a 35kW photovoltaic system was installed on the roof of all of the newly constructed buildings to power the common spaces and new buildings at Hotel Clovis. In all, 80% of the units in these new buildings have a passive solar orientation.

Project Results

By collaborating with Green Insight, developers and contractors were able to meet and exceed their goals of sustainable energy while maintaining the building’s historical integrity. This collaboration resulted in:

  • LEED for Homes Platinum Certification
  • A New Mexico Sustainable Building Tax Credit of $525,825
  • A Historic Preservation Tax Credit of $118,248

Ultimately, the vision and work of all teams resulted in the successful adaptive reuse of a depression-era hotel that was slated to be demolished. It now stands as a model of sustainability with historic charm right in the heart of Clovis.

Ready to see how Green Insight can find the best solution for your green building project?

Get in touch with us today so we can discuss your project and goals while showing you how we can help you achieve green building success. Get in touch