Mortar Joint Illustration

There are insulated block systems on the market that make claims of continuous insulation within their block and upon close examination, they do. However, that examination also reveals that there is no insulation spanning the mortar joints in a total wall assembly. Since mortar joints account for at least 6% of the total wall, this would not be considered continuous insulation.

Omni Block does not claim to have continuous insulation. Continuous insulation is not required in the IECC, specifically the Performance Path section of the code. Omni Block does have two independent layers of insulation inserts for the System 8 and 3 independent layers of insulation included in the System 12. Additionally, the insulation in both Systems span the mortar joints (vertically and horizontally). 

To download the pdf version click here complete with calculations.

One of Omni Block’s claims is that the unique design of the insulation inserts protrude below the block and completely thermally protect the vertical and horizontal mortar joints.

Two test walls were erected using 3/8″ spacers in the place of mortar. The test wall pictured on the right is constructed with standard uninsulated 8x8x16 CMU. The test wall pictured on the left is constructed with 8x8x16 Omni Block insulated with both interior and exterior cell inserts reflecting a typical installation.

A Halogen light source was placed directly behind the test walls and was lit during the darkness of night. The amateur video links to the left show both walls.

The CMU wall clearly shows that the light source was detectable on the front side of the block wall at every vertical and horizontal joint. The Omni Block wall face is virtually total dark.

The amateur “test” concludes that the insulation inserts accomplish the design goal of thermally protecting both the vertical and horizontal mortar joints. Omni Block does not claim to have continuous insulation but the two layers of non-mortar interfering insulation inserts accomplish thermal efficiencies that no other insulated block system can match.

Note: The one small bright spot on the video is actually a reflecting glare from the camera light off the front of one of the 3/8″ spacers.