SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1980

Influence of Insulation Deficiencies on Heat Loss in Walls and Ceilings


The Navy is aggressively analyzing and implementing means for conserving energy in all of its operations. There is particular interest in improved thermal insulation for new and existing Navy buildings, especially in family housing. More attention is being given to previously unconsidered factors; one of these is the effect of common insulation installation practices on heat loss.

Several problems are created with the use of each type of insulation: some have to do with the type of insulation used, and others with common installation practices. These include uninsulated areas (void areas or gaps) in the insulation as installed. This may be aggravated, for example, by foam shrinkage, or by manual compression or careless cutting of batts around electrical boxes or pipes.

A common assumption within the construction industry has been that a 10 percent void area in insulation would result in a 10 percent increase in heat loss (that is, added heat loss would be proportional to void area). Recent test results indicate that the heat loss due to such insulation deficiencies is much more serious than has been assumed.

This paper addresses the effects of these insulation deficiencies on the thermal performance of wall and ceiling sections, and methods for detection and correction of deficiencies during building construction and in existing structures.

Author Information

Vinieratos, ER
Facilities Engineering Support Office, Civil Engineering Laboratory, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, Calif.
Verschoor, JD
Johns-Manville Research and Development Center, Ken-Caryl Ranch, Denver, Colo.
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Developed by Committee: C16
Pages: 142–159
DOI: 10.1520/STP29271S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4786-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0794-6