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Basics & Theory

Fine Homebuilding: How Radiant Barriers Work
Fine Homebuilding says promoted as a method for reducing cooling costs by mitigating solar heat gain through walls and attics, these shiny (typically aluminum) surfaces have as many detractors as proponents. The dispute is not about the science of radiant-heat transmission; itís whether applying that science to your roof will make a difference on your utility bill.

RIMA: Understanding & Using Reflective Insulation & Radiant Barriers
Reflective Insulation Manufacturer Association handbook covers understanding and using reflective insulation, radiant barriers and interior radiant control coatings. (PDF)
Industry Sectors

RIMA: Reflective Insulation Manufacturers Association
Reflective Insulation Manufacturers Association International represents reflective insulation, radiant barrier and interior radiation control coating manufacturers and other companies that are active within the industry.
Information Sources

Healthy Heating: Reports On Radiant Barriers & Reflective Insulation
Healthy Heating provides links to reports on radiant barriers and reflective insulation that recommend caution when selecting products for specific applications.

ORNL: Information & Resources On Radiant Barriers
Oak Ridge National Laboratory offers information and resources on radiant barriers and interior radiation control coatings that are designed to work in your attic to keep some of the heat from the sun away from the living space.

RIMA: Ask The Expert About Reflective Insulation
Reflective Insulation Manufacturers Association offers an Ask The Expert service on their website.

RIMA: Technical Information On Reflective Insulation
Reflective Insulation Manufacturer Association provides technical information and resources on reflective insulation products and procedures.
Issues & Performance

CCHRC: Reflective Insulation In Cold Climates
Cold Climate Housing Research Center report Reflective Insulation in Cold Climates concludes that for well-insulated buildings in cold climates, the use of reflective insulation adds very little to the overall R-value of the building envelope. (PDF)

GBA: Radiant Barriers Are A Solution In Search Of A Problem
Green Building Advisor sorts through the claims and the truth about radiant barriers.

GBA: Stay Away From Foil-Faced Bubble Wrap
Green Building Advisor says most brands of foil-faced bubble wrap are only 3/8 inch thick or less, and have an R-value of only 1.0 or 1.1. Since the product often costs more per square foot than 1-inch thick rigid foam rated at R-5, why would anyone use bubble wrap as insulation?

Healthy Heating: NRC Pending Advisory on Bubble Foil
As a result of inquiries from the general public, building contractors and building professionals concerning claims made by manufacturers of foil-faced bubble insulation products, Natural Resources Canada has prepared an advisory dealing with the effective thermal resistance of these and other reflective types of products for the purpose of energy modeling under its energy efficiency housing initiatives.

IRC: Thermal Resistance Of Foil Foundation Wall Insulation
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction researched the effect of foil emissivity on the effective thermal resistance of a foundation wall system with foil bonded to expanded polystyrene foam in a furred assembly having airspace next to the foil. Results showed that when the furring was installed horizontally a low foil emissivity of 0.05 can increase the wall R-value to as much as 10%. (PDF)
Procedures

Eco Home: Selecting Radiant Barriers For Energy Performance
Eco Home provides information on how to determine if radiant barriers can help you reach your energy performance goals.

FSEC: Designing & Installing Radiant Barriers
Florida Solar Energy Center describes considerations and procedures for designing and installing radiant barriers. (PDF)

GBA: Radiant Barrier Fundamentals
Green Building Advisor describes how radiant barriers work, and what can make them not work.

Home Energy: Reflective Insulation & Radiant Barrier Systems
Home Energy magazine describes features and considerations for using reflective insulation and radiant barrier systems. Site subscription required.
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