Build it back right!                             1

Sustainable Tip One: Cathedralized Attic

A consortium of non-profit organizations and their allies have released this as a public service

Save 25% of your heating and cooling bills by insulating your attic right below the roof!*

Recent building science research and experience has shown that the holes in your attic floor allow airflows that waste lots of energy, these include holes in and around: electrical wiring, ducts, ceiling lamps fixtures, bathroom fans, ceiling registers and the attic access door,.   This situation is more wasteful than leaving windows open while running the heater or air conditioner.  It is important to understand that most types of insulation are not airflow barriers.  Because it is very difficult to seal the holes in the attic floor, an effective and affordable solution is to insulate the attic with a cathedral ceiling.  The attic then becomes part of the conditioned space, and leaks to the attic become internal leaks. 

Reduce energy bills while you enhance comfort, health, safety and your home’s durability.

See details on the other side.


 Typical Attic Now




                                Shading depicts the building’s thermal barrier and pressure

                                    boundary which together enclose the conditioned space.


Your Attic can be ― a Cathedralized Attic!!

What To Do:

·       Seal all vents to outside and make all “attic ventilation” inoperable including: attic fans, ridge vents, gable vents, soffit vents; these openings should be repaired on both sides of the roof decking, i.e., the roof perforations and protrusions should be removed and the area re-roofed ― except as noted in the last step.  Carefully seal the area between the rafters at the low end of the roof.  Do not remove, close-up or disable the kitchen exhaust stack, the exhaust vents for water heaters, furnaces or plumbing stacks.

What It Costs:


At   you can get a PDF copy of this flyer as well as additional detailed information.

·       Find out how to include a radiant barrier in the insulation system for added efficiency and durability.

·       Additional humidity control or fresh air may be needed.*

·       Get complete directions on how to provide combustion air with the two 12” ducts.

·       Learn about the processes to help you qualify for a $2000 tax credit or a $2000 rebate.*

·       Get inspections of your home before, during and after construction to insure it is done right.

The principal author of this flyer, Myron Katz, PhD, is a New Orleans native.  He has been the Energy, Moisture and Building Science Consultant to Wisznia Associates (Architects), AIA since 1997 and has worked as an energy consultant in Louisiana since 1985.   Certified as a Home Energy Rater and an Indoor Environmentalist (from the Indoor Air Quality Association), he has provided continuing education training to Energy Raters for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.  He is a Past-President of the National Energy Raters Association and co-founder of the Alliance for Affordable Energy.

*Homeowners, you should employ a Certified Home Energy Rater to confirm this information for your home.