Built Green with a Pink Ribbon: Build for the Cure Show Home Features Performance & Sustainability

Built for the Cure
Built for the Cure

Overview: A Grand Home with Purpose This 5,700 square foot, Southern Traditional home was built by E.S. Johnson Builders and serves as a Build for the Cure show home to help raise funds and awareness for the Susan G. Komen Fund, the largest grassroots initiative for finding a cure for breast cancer.

The home is located minutes from downtown Charlotte in the Springfield Community of Ft. Mill, South Carolina. Surrounded by 2.2 acres of lush green golf course, open space, walking trails and parks, E.S. Johnson Builders turned to green building products that would help preserve this eco-conscious landscape.


The Challenge: Building Green while Building Awareness

Another major challenge was addressing potential airborne moisture problems. Many homes built with a vented attic in the Southeastern United States suffer from poor moisture management. The outside air is hot and carries humidity. When this air is allowed into the attic, it can migrate toward the ceilings of the air-conditioned rooms and create moisture-related problems such as mold. To quote Dr. Joe Lstiburek’s Top Ten List of Dumb Things to do in the South, before the airborne moisture even gets to the ceiling of these conditioned rooms “it will see those cold R-6 insulated ducts, fittings, etc. and drip all over.”

More efficient operation of the attic-located air conditioning equipment was also a top consideration. Vented attic spaces can result in excessive energy consumption and high energy bills due to inefficient operation of the HVAC system.

Finally, a crawlspace can be a difficult area to insulate. Typically very humid, it was important to seal the space above from the entry of this hot, humid air. Since up to 99% of moisture travels through the air, reducing airflow (convection) was a critical consideration. An all-in-one insulation and air barrier can help reduce the entry of moisture and other potential irritants that can originate from a crawlspace.


The Solution: High-performance & Eco-conscious

E.S. Johnson Builders selected ICYNENE LD-R-50™, a key component to sustainable building due to the product’s insulating and air-sealing capabilities. 

Icynene installed in  the following problem areas:

  • To protect the home from a major source of energy loss – air leakage, R-13 was installed in the exterior walls and rim joists.
  • To increase efficiency and minimize airborne moisture-related problems, R-21 was installed on the underside of the roof deck and walls of the attic, converting it into an unvented space.
  • For thermal performance and maximum indoor air quality, R-21 was installed in the floor of the living space above the garage.
  • To achieve superior performance in a crawlspace application, R-21 was installed on the underside of the floor above the crawlspace.


Energy Efficiency and Reduced Emissions

A comparison using REM/Design Residential Energy Analysis Software reveals that the Build for the Cure home costs 62% less to heat and 40% less to cool than if it had been insulated with an air-permeable insulation such as fiberglass. Fiberglass Home Icynene® Home Difference ($) Difference (%) Heating $1,759 $662 $1,098 62.4% Cooling $812 $485 $328 40.3% Using ICYNENE LD-R-50™ in place of air-permeable insulation has dramatically reduced this home’s carbon footprint. In fact, a 62% reduction in heating energy use translates to the equivalent percentage reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Similarly, by reducing cooling energy use by 40%, CO2 emissions are also reduced by the same amount. Therefore, the Icynene®-insulated Build for the Cure home is projected to produce 7,898.5 lbs. less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions during the heating season and 4,231 lbs. less during the cooling season.


ICYNENE LD-R-50™ brings to this project these added environmental benefits:

  • For every kilogram (2.2 lbs) of castor oil produced in place of petroleum-based polyol, there is a reduction of nearly 3.5 kilograms (7.7 lbs) of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere.
  • Castor oil is 100% naturally filtered, with no chemical additives required.
  • The production process of the castor oil has low energy dependence, consisting simply of de-husking and pressing. Harvesting can be done manually.
  • Castor crops are non-irrigated (relying only on natural rainfall), saving scarce water supplies. • Castor crops do not require treatment with pesticides or fungicides.
  • A cradle-to-gate study commissioned by the Department of Energy (DOE) reported that there are essentially zero net greenhouse gas emissions from the production of the castor oil.
  • ICYNENE LD-R-50™ exceeds the minimum renewable requirement for a bio-based material (testing in accordance with ASTM D 6866) and can contribute toward a building’s achievement of credits/points under various national green building standards, including LEED-H, LEED-NC, and the ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard.


Contact your local green building specialist to see how you can integrate products like Icynene into your next project.

Sebastian Eilert – www.SebastianEilert.com 786.556.3118 Sebastian@SebastianEilert.com




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