We love natural wood and use it where appropriate, but we mix in engineered material when it serves a specific function. “They don’t build them like they used to” is true, but if they had the materials we have available today, the story would be different. Engineered lumber makes stronger beams; engineered trusses make clear-spanning floors and roofs simple and save material; high-quality OSB, properly located near the warm side of the wall, makes a strong, vapor-permeable airtight layer. Our “Blanket Layer” is supported with wood I-joists, with solid wood flanges and an OSB web, which are incredibly strong, lightweight and minimize thermal bridging. All of these items are produced within a few hundred miles of our shop.
Our primary insulation, 100% borate cellulose, is literally chopped newsprint. It turns what would otherwise be a waste product into high-performance insulation, resistant to pests and fire, with a chemical and physical structure that protects adjacent surfaces by safely and effectively absorbing and releasing normal fluctuations in moisture content.
Some of the most critical elements of our assembly are also some of the lightest in weight: the membranes and tapes we use for the Airtight Layer and the Weather Resistant Barrier. There is nothing currently manufactured in North America that performs these important functions as well as what we use: the top-performing air sealing products imported from Germany, made by Pro Clima and supplied by 475 High Performance Building Products in New York.