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Radiant Barrier Walls for a Hot & Humid climate

If you google “radiant barrier” you’ll get a zillion hits about how you should use radiant barrier decking in your roof/attic assembly.  But, you don’t hear much talk about using radiant barriers on unshaded exterior walls.  One reason you don’t hear much about walls and radiant barriers is that it’s harder to build in the air gap needed to make a radiant barrier actually work.  If you embed a radiant barrier in a wall assembly (say behind siding up against the sheathing) it won’t function.  But, if you’re cladding your house in rock or brick you have that air gap behind the masonry and it’s a great place to use a radiant barrier.  This is especially true for our hot/humid climate when a house has unshaded south & west facing walls.  In this video you’ll see how we are using this technique in a very efficient Barley & Pfeiffer Architects home my company is building near downtown Austin, TX.  -Matt Risinger