Santa Fe Style Roof Insulation

Building a new house is the best time to make sure your roof is well insulated. Much of the heat generated in your house is lost through the roof — therefore in order to get the best energy efficiency and R-values from your structure, efficient roof insulation should be a key part of your planning. High R-values are also important in qualifying for sustainable building certifications such as HERSor the National Green Building Program. Gaining these ‘certs’ can qualify you for tax credits and other financial benefits. It is also good for the long term value of the house and the environment.

In Santa Fe and the Southwest where many of the roofs are flat, we at Madera Builders – along with our partners – have developed a unique process to accomplish this in an efficient and economical manner, illustrated below:

This first photo illustrates the trusses and structure of the pocket roof space into which the loose fill fiberglass insulation will be blown in.

This photo illustrates fiberglass getting blown into the space. In Santa Fe, our ‘pueblo style’ aesthetic for homes and buildings with flat roofs necessitates an insulating solution such as this pocket roof. This technique is often employed elsewhere to insulate attics. We prefer our method as it allows us to cater to the aesthetic tastes of our region and clientele while saving on materials that might have been used to frame out an entire attic.

The insulation must remain dry to preserve the integrity and R-values.

We blow the insulation in 22” thick to get us to our desired R-value — the county inspector and the framers are close behind to give their stamps and then ‘dry in’ the roof. It takes much coordination, but we find the heat retention performance is well worth the effort.

The roof is then coated with a tar-based Brai roofing system. Once the decking is laid the roof is welded together with a torch to waterproof it.

The final step is to finish out the skylights and lay a granulated protective UV barrier over the Brai roof. This finished roof will keep the inhabitants dry and warm for many years to come in our high desert climate, where we see hot dry summers and cold snowy winters.

We hope this post was informative. Please stay tuned for more educational blogs and videos as we try to help educate everyone interested in our building processes. Please contact us if you have questions about planning your next project or have questions on installing this kind of roof.

Gerry Barber and Madera Builders.

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