Vacuum Insulated Panels (VIPs) offer very effective insulation (achieving an R-value of 50) within a very slim profile, making them useful on roofs where adding bulk is costly. Researchers found that VIPs were robust if installed with care, and that R-50 insulation can offer favorable payback in one-story buildings in regions with extreme climates and high utility costs. This report is a result of the Green Proving Grounds (GPG-011)
"The most important aspect of an insulation material is its performance – that it consistently provides the designed-for resistance to the passage of heat throughout the lifetime of the building. Though the insulation manufacturer’s published performance expectations will be an essential guide, other factors associated with the ‘real-life’ installation of the material need to be considered as part of the design process."
"Thermal bridges are localized areas of high heat flow through walls, roofs and other insulated building envelope components. Thermal bridging is caused by highly conductive elements that penetrate the thermal insulation and/or misaligned planes of thermal insulation. These paths allow heat flow to bypass the insulating layer, and reduce the effectiveness of the insulation."
The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS)–under contract from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, the US Air Force, the General Services Administration, the Department of Energy, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency—has developed this comprehensive federal guide for exterior envelope design and construction for institutional/office buildings.