Best PracticesThree Advantages of Continuous Insulation

June 8, 2021

In today’s world, more owners and developers are focused on energy efficiency than ever before. Continuous insulation is a great alternative to traditional building materials to achieve energy efficiency.

Insulation within your building is the first place you should take a closer look when looking at your building’s thermal efficiency. Utilizing continuous insulation on your structure can make all the difference. When it comes to meeting your structure’s goals as well as building codes, such as the Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings Standard, set by ASHRAE 90.1 (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers).

Continuous insulation (CI) is a type of insulation that completely covers all structural members. According to ASHRAE 90.1, apart from service openings and through-fasteners, continuous insulation eliminates thermal bridging and reduces building costs and energy loss. However, not all continuous insulation systems accomplish these tasks.


Three Advantages of Continuous Insulation:

1. Eliminate Thermal Bridging

When metal is used to connect exterior components of a building directly to the interior framing, a thermal bridge is formed. A thermal bridge, or path of least resistance, allows thermal energy to enter or escape. This creates a vulnerability in a building for hot or cold spots.


Some CI systems can assist in creating an air barrier by sealing the building envelope. By preventing energy from escaping or entering through the structural walls of a building, CI systems can increase the building’s overall thermal performance.

Studies by the Oakridge National Laboratory found that thermal bridging through wood frames reduced insulation performance by up to 20%. The same study reveals that steel frames reduced insulation performance by up to 60%. CI provides a roadblock between all types of wall studs and exterior cladding, with the potential to eliminate thermal bridging, which reduces the amount of total energy lost.

2. Cost Effective Solution

Architects and contractors are always looking for cost effective materials and systems for building projects. Some continuous insulation systems can enable you to do just that. CI’s ease of installation allows for reduced labor and material costs along with a quicker installation time. The simplicity of CI systems also allows for a more efficient installation and decreased labor costs.

You can also expect to see lower energy costs each month with continuous insulation’s reduction of energy lost. Buildings with CI can have better R-values, or thermal resistance.

Depending on material used, walls that use CI can perform up to 50% better than those that do not have it. This can allow you to save a bundle on heating and cooling costs. Controlling thermal gaps can reduce your monthly energy expenses.


3. Decreased Risk of Moisture Damage

Along with their thermal properties, some CI systems act as a weather resistant barrier (WRB). A weather resistant barrier (WRB) performs as a shell to protect building materials from exterior weather penetration. In any type of structural project, moisture damage is a real concern. If through-fasteners are used with CI, water vapor can condense on the inner surface of the wall sheathing.

With the use of CI, the objective is to move the dew point to the outermost layer of a building. This can greatly reduce the chance of any moisture damage occurring within the exterior walls of your structure.

The following issues are possible if proper continuous insulation is not used:

  • Increased risk of mold and mildew buildup due to thermal bridging and moisture penetration.
  • Decreased energy efficiency
  • Possible building material decay
  • Shorter structural life span

SMARTci gives you multiple continuous insulation systems that can be perfect for your building.

Are you ready to bring the advantages of continuous insulation to your building? SMARTci by Advanced Architectural Products (A2P) has many insulation products and high-performance systems that can help. The A2P team will find solutions for your wall, window, door openings, and roofs.


The GreenGirt composite metal hybrid (CMH) z-girt sub-frame material, used in our SMARTci system, does not require through-fasteners. This creates a thermal break, provides a cost effective solution with increased energy efficiency, and decreasing the risk of any possible moisture damage.

SMARTci GreenGirt CMH z-girt sub-frame systems also offer benefits like:


  • Installation speeds that are 4x faster than standard steel sub-framing
  • Compatibility with most types of insulation and cladding
  • Up to 98% thermal efficiency
  • ASTM E84 Class A approval (Fire and Smoke Rating)
  • UL94 V0 certification (Standard for Safety of Flammability of Plastic Materials for Parts in Devices and Appliances)
  • Complying with NFPA 285 (National Fire Protection Association)


Contact an A2P Representative for more information about our SMARTci™ and GreenGirt® sub-framing z girt continuous insulation systems or request a custom quote.


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Engineered as a best practice solution, SMARTci™  Systems provide buildings with the best continuous insulation solutions. Patented GreenGirt® provides a thermal break and universal mounting platform for cladding applications. It is an open design that works with almost any substrate, insulation and cladding.


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Engineered as a continuous insulation solution, SMARTciTM provides best practice for buildings with a continuous insulation system. Patented GreenGirtTM provides a thermal break and mounting platform for cladding applications. It is an open design that works with almost any substrate, insulation, and cladding.

©Copyright by SMARTci. All rights reserved.

©Copyright by SMARTci. All rights reserved.

©Copyright by SMARTci. All rights reserved.

©Copyright by SMARTci. All rights reserved.