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CertainTeed® Hybrid Insulation System, Anderson Insulation Achieve Ultra-Efficient Building Envelope for Team Massachusetts in 2011 Solar Decathlon


(Valley Forge, Pa.) – Prominent New England insulation contractor Anderson Insulation is playing an important role in boosting the energy efficiency of the Team Massachusetts 4-D Home in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathlon competition. The contractor used the CertainTeed® hybrid insulation system to provide exceptional thermal resistance for the custom home, designed by Team Massachusetts — a group of students from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

The 4-D Home is one of 20 homes featured in the 2011 Solar Decathlon, a biennial event that challenges college teams from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The homes will be on display from September 23 to October 2 at the National Mall's West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. Open to the public and free of charge, the event allows visitors to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes and learn how energy-saving building materials can help them save money today.

Achieving Passive House standards — the current benchmark for thermal resistance in home design — the 945 square-foot, two-bedroom Team Massachusetts 4-D Home is designed to minimize heat loss and maximize occupant comfort during long, cold winters. To help achieve this goal, CertainTeed recommended one of its hybrid insulation systems, consisting of CertaSpray™ closed-cell spray foam insulation and OPTIMA® blow-in fiberglass Insulation to the team and their builder Epoch Homes, of Pembroke, N.H.

“We are proud to lend a hand to Team Massachusetts, as we share their belief that efficient technology and passive strategies can indeed be attainable to the average person building a new home today,” says Eric Nilsson, vice president, Corporate Marketing. “Our hybrid insulation systems utilize the best attributes of two or more insulation products together to provide a cost-effective airtight seal around the home, as well as high thermal performance and superior moisture control, making them an ideal insulation solution for those striving for high energy efficiency.”

Epoch Homes prefabricated seven large panels — each 12-inches deep — that would later form the home’s exterior walls, ceiling and floor and hired Anderson Insulation, based in Abington, Mass., to insulate them. Anderson Insulation filled the cavities with 4 inches of CertaSpray insulation on the backside of the sheathing and 8 inches of OPTIMA insulation. This approach delivers R-values comparable to a Passive House — R-56 walls, an R-57 floor and an R-64 roof — at a significantly lower cost than the spray foam-only approach.

“Though closed-cell spray foam insulation offers the highest R-value on the market, with built-in, continuous air sealing and moisture protection, the cost of using it to insulate the entire cavity is out of reach for some homeowners,” says Bob Anderson, owner of Anderson Insulation. “Through the combination of spray foam and blown-in fiberglass insulation in the cavity, I find that the CertainTeed hybrid insulation systems provide similar thermal resistance to a full-foam cavity and an excellent way for contractors to offer a good value to homeowners. In addition, the installation process was easy to complete.”

The hybrid insulation system is one of more than 30 innovative building products and systems donated to Team Massachusetts this year by CertainTeed and its parent company Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company. For more information on CertainTeed hybrid insulation systems, go to

About CertainTeed

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3 billion in 2010.