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There are three main performance factors to consider when looking at the energy efficiency of a wall system: 1) continuous insulation, 2) thermal mass, and 3) air tightness.
The stated R-value of the insulation used in a wall system is only one predictor of energy performance. For example, in a conventionally framed wall system, areas with framing rather than insulation act as a “thermal bridge” allowing thermal energy to migrate more rapidly through the wall. Thermal bridging is more pronounced in metal-framed systems because steel conducts heat more than wood does.
In many cases, both commercial (IBC) and residential (IRC) building codes now require continuous insulation systems on the exterior of wall framing members to eliminate thermal bridging. In fact, under the 2012 International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC), commercial projects utilizing light-gauge metal-framed systems are required to have exterior continuous insulation systems. Insulated Concrete Block (ICB) walls like the Bautex Wall System offer high levels of continuous insulation to eliminate thermal bridging and drive exemplary energy efficiency.