Your Home’s “Building Envelope” is arguably the most important aspect of making a home energy efficient and comfortable. It is also a key element in making your home a healthy home. A building envelope is also called a thermal envelope or sometimes just an envelope.
Your home’s envelope elements like your home’s foundation, exterior walls, framing, insulation, air sealing, vapor barriers, wind barriers, drainage planes, exterior windows and doors, attic floor and/or roof. A home’s envelope surrounds your home. More precisely, it is the part of your home that separates your home’s inside conditioned spaces from the home’s non-conditioned spaces (like an attached garage, porch, deck and sometimes the attic) and the outdoors. The conditioned spaces are the parts of your home you use energy to heat and/or cool. It is also the spaces you don’t want to be drafty or have allergens and pollution coming into your home from the outside.
The design, engineering, and construction of your home’s envelope, including its strength, insulative qualities, it being airtight and acting as a vapor/moisture barrier are CRITICAL to a green home’s energy performance, indoor air quality, comfort, and health.
Green homes have envelopes with superior insulation and are essentially airtight.