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If you scroll down a little (or click here) you’ll remember that a few weeks ago, we posted about Chicago’s coldest day in recorded history. And then, for fun, we sought out the world’s coldest recorded temperature (-129 F!). Not that Antarctica has any permanent residents or anything (it doesn’t) but wondering how people kept alive in the cold before Central Heating laid the foundation for the first of a series of posts we’re doing on ancient architectural techniques, and how some of them can inform a more sustainable future.

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The original, existing roof rafters are rather shallow, so to save material and ensure we have the maximum insulation value in the roof, we are using a soy based, open-cell, spray-foam insulation.  Typical pink, batt insulation has trouble filling all framing cavities in a roof or wall which leads to air leaks and a sub-par insulation value.  This can lead to large energy losses, in fact, up to 40% of energy loss can be attributed to unwanted air leakage, according to the Department of Energy.  Read the rest of this entry »

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