Continuous InsulationA2P1058: Tips for Installing Continuous Insulation

July 25, 2023

Continuous insulation is an important part of creating a comfortable and energy-efficient space. Here are some tips for installing continuous insulation:

  1. Review and follow project-specific requirements and installation methods.
  2. Make sure the continuous insulation system materials (insulation, sub-framing, fasteners, and weather-resistant barrier accessories) are properly installed.
  3. Ensure the overall system is properly sealed and protected from thermal bridging and moisture.

By following these tips, you can be sure that your continuous insulation will be effective and provide years of comfort and energy savings for your building!

What is Continuous Insulation?

Continuous insulation (CI) is a type of insulation that is continuous, meaning it is unbroken and uninterrupted by gaps or voids. It is an important part of an energy-efficient building envelope and can help to improve the overall thermal performance of a building. Continuous insulation can be installed in a variety of ways, depending on the specific project needs and requirements. Continuous insulation systems generally consist of 3 components, insulation material, z-girt sub-framing, and weather-resistant barrier accessories, such as tape, caulk, or sealant.

Continuous insulation is an important component of any successful building envelope; it works by controlling the continuous flow of thermal energy through walls, roofs, and other structural components. It helps to moderate indoor temperature by blocking energy from entering or leaving a space, keeping things comfortable in both hot and cold climates. On top of that, continuous insulation also aids in limiting outside sounds from penetrating interior spaces. This makes it ideal for use in both residential and commercial settings.

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Factors to consider include the thickness of the CI system and the direct impact on its R-value (thermal resistance). Other factors to consider include the type of material used for the insulation and z-girt sub-framing and the climate in which the building will be located. When best practice materials are utilized and installed correctly, continuous insulation can help to reduce energy costs and improve comfort levels inside a building.

The most common insulation materials used for continuous insulation include rigid foam board, mineral wool, or spray foam insulation. No matter the insulation material used, continuous insulation is essential for creating an effective building envelope that will last well into the future.

Benefits of Continuous Insulation

Installing continuous insulation can provide numerous benefits to any commercial or residential building. By installing a continuous layer of thermally broken insulation and z-girt sub-framing, the entire space will be protected from the conduction of energy across the gaps in walls and other exterior surfaces. This prevents thermal bridging and helps keep internal temperatures stabilized throughout the year, reducing heating and cooling costs.

In addition, continuous insulation can create an air barrier that reduces moisture infiltration. This protects against water damage and helps to prevent humidity and mold. Finally, installing continuous insulation is often easier than traditional batt insulation methods, as it requires fewer cuts or special fastening techniques for installation. As a result, continuous insulation can improve overall energy efficiency quickly and efficiently with minimal disruption to existing construction work.

Overall, insulating a structure with continuous insulation ensures long-term energy savings and improved performance — making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to sustainably improve their buildings.

Overview of the Installation Process

Installing continuous insulation is an important step in any construction project. When done correctly, continuous insulation helps to define an air barrier and restricts the flow of thermal energy. Depending on the particular design of a structure and building envelope, continuous insulation can be used alone or in combination with other types of sheathing and framing materials. Before beginning, first-time installers should familiarize themselves with the manufacturer’s specific installation requirements for their particular type of continuous insulation, along with project specifications. Generally, it’s advisable to start by planning out which areas will be insulated while taking into account any sources of moisture or airflow that may affect the process.

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It’s important that proper fasteners are chosen depending on the system being used, and all cut edges are sealed with adhesive caulk or tape. Once all continuous insulation sub-framing and insulation materials are in place, perimeter strips can be added around windows and doors if necessary. Following these steps will ensure that your continuous insulation is properly installed and help create a more energy-efficient building.

Tips for a Successful Installation

Installing continuous insulation correctly is key to reaching efficiency goals in any project. To ensure success, it is important to use a best practice and high-performing continuous insulation system, preferably one that has been thoroughly proven and tested for thermal and structural performance.

Selecting a z-girt sub-framing material that is best practice regarding performance and efficiency can significantly affect the installation of your continuous insulation system. Z-girt sub-framing materials vary in installation processes, whether it is a metal, fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP), or composite metal hybrid (CMH). For example, metal z-girts will be heavier to install and thermally perform differently compared to FRP or CMH. Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) will perform differently compared to metal or CMH when it comes to structural strength. Ensuring a successful installation comes down to the materials chosen for the continuous insulation.

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Furthermore, the continuous insulation needs to be installed with appropriate and continuous attachment to the substrate throughout the building envelope, with careful attention paid to any penetrations or gaps. Finally, continuous insulation should always be installed in conjunction with air barriers — otherwise, much of its effectiveness can be lost. Following these steps will help create an effective continuous insulation installation that can improve building energy performance and provide lasting protection.

Common Mistakes to Avoid During Installation

Installing a new product can be intimidating at first, and it’s easy to make mistakes if you don’t have the right information or tools. Here are some common mistakes to avoid during installation. First, it’s important to read through the manufacturer’s specific instructions as well as project requirements and specifications — carefully! Many installation problems arise from a misunderstanding of instructions or skipping steps found in them.

Second, be sure that you use the proper hardware and tools specified by the manufacturer — the wrong size or type of screws or bolts can cause damage to the product or other problems down the line. Finally, take your time during installation — rushing increases your chances of making mistakes while compromising the overall quality of the installation. By following these guidelines, you’ll hopefully prevent some stress-inducing errors during installation.


The key takeaways from this article are the importance of proper installation to achieve best practice continuous insulation. Moreover, it is essential to account for potential thermal bridging around penetrations in the continuous insulation and factor these into your calculations to prevent energy transfer. Different insulation materials must be considered, such as rigid, mineral wool, or spray foam insulation, as well as varying z-girt sub-framing materials, such as metal, fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP), or composite metal hybrid (CMH).

Additionally, depending on the climate, climate-specific continuous insulation solutions may be required to keep buildings comfortable throughout the year. Taking care to properly install continuous insulation covering all building surfaces with attention to climate insensitivity and possible thermal bridging opportunities will ensure a high-performance insulated envelope and improved energy efficiency in any building.

Taking all of these considerations into mind is imperative for achieving optimum continuous insulation performance. Following these guidelines will help you guarantee effective continuous insulation solutions that will last for many years. Ultimately, having effective continuous insulation installed by an experienced professional guarantees success that goes a long way toward improving comfort and reducing energy costs over time. All of this together makes continuous insulation one of the most important components for achieving a more energy-efficient building envelope.


Installing continuous insulation is a great way to improve the energy efficiency of your building. By following these tips, can help achieve a successful continuous insulation installation. If you’re interested in learning more about best practice SMARTci continuous insulation systems with GreenGirt Composite Metal Hybrid (CMH) sub-framing, contact us today. We would be happy to help!


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