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Title: Building America Case Study: Construction Guidelines for High R-Value Walls without Exterior Rigid Insulation, Cold Climate Region

Abstract

High-R wall assemblies (R-40 and above) are gaining popularity in the market due to programs like the DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home program, Passive House (PH), Net Zero Energy Home (NZEH) challenges in several states, and highly incentivized retrofit programs. In response to this demand, several builders have successfully used 'double wall' systems to more practically achieve higher R-values in thicker, framed walls. To builders of conventional stick-framed homes, often one of the most appealing features of double wall systems is that there are very few new exterior details. Exterior sheathing, structural bracing, house wrap or building paper, window and door flashing, and siding attachment are usually identical to good details in conventional framed wall systems. The information presented in this guide is intended to reduce the risk of failure in these types of assemblies, increase durability, and result in a reduction of material brought to landfills due to failures and resulting decay. While this document focuses on double wall framing techniques, the majority of the information on how to properly construct and finish high R-value assemblies is applicable to all wall assemblies that do not have foam insulation installed on the exterior of the structural sheathing. The techniques presentedmore » have been shown through field studies to reduce the likelihood of mold growth and moisture related damage and are intended for builders, framing contractors, architects, and consultants involved in designing and building super insulated homes.« less

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
1340574
Report Number(s):
NREL/FS-5500-65148; DOE/GO-102017-4784
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; Consortium of Advanced Residential Buildings; SWA; Steven Winter Associates, Inc.; residential; residential buildings; Building America; High-R walls; moisture risk mitigation; double wall assemblies; moisture related problems; condensation; air tight construction

Citation Formats

. Building America Case Study: Construction Guidelines for High R-Value Walls without Exterior Rigid Insulation, Cold Climate Region. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
. Building America Case Study: Construction Guidelines for High R-Value Walls without Exterior Rigid Insulation, Cold Climate Region. United States.
. Sun . "Building America Case Study: Construction Guidelines for High R-Value Walls without Exterior Rigid Insulation, Cold Climate Region". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1340574.
@article{osti_1340574,
title = {Building America Case Study: Construction Guidelines for High R-Value Walls without Exterior Rigid Insulation, Cold Climate Region},
author = {},
abstractNote = {High-R wall assemblies (R-40 and above) are gaining popularity in the market due to programs like the DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home program, Passive House (PH), Net Zero Energy Home (NZEH) challenges in several states, and highly incentivized retrofit programs. In response to this demand, several builders have successfully used 'double wall' systems to more practically achieve higher R-values in thicker, framed walls. To builders of conventional stick-framed homes, often one of the most appealing features of double wall systems is that there are very few new exterior details. Exterior sheathing, structural bracing, house wrap or building paper, window and door flashing, and siding attachment are usually identical to good details in conventional framed wall systems. The information presented in this guide is intended to reduce the risk of failure in these types of assemblies, increase durability, and result in a reduction of material brought to landfills due to failures and resulting decay. While this document focuses on double wall framing techniques, the majority of the information on how to properly construct and finish high R-value assemblies is applicable to all wall assemblies that do not have foam insulation installed on the exterior of the structural sheathing. The techniques presented have been shown through field studies to reduce the likelihood of mold growth and moisture related damage and are intended for builders, framing contractors, architects, and consultants involved in designing and building super insulated homes.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}
  • High-R wall assemblies (R-40 and above) are gaining popularity in the market due to programs like the DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home program, Passive House (PH), Net Zero Energy Home (NZEH) challenges in several states, and highly incentivized retrofit programs. In response to this demand, several builders have successfully used 'double wall' systems to more practically achieve higher R-values in thicker, framed walls. To builders of conventional stick-framed homes, often one of the most appealing features of double wall systems is that there are very few new exterior details. Exterior sheathing, structural bracing, house wrap or building paper, window andmore » door flashing, and siding attachment are usually identical to good details in conventional framed wall systems. The information presented in this guide is intended to reduce the risk of failure in these types of assemblies, increase durability, and result in a reduction of material brought to landfills due to failures and resulting decay. While this document focuses on double wall framing techniques, the majority of the information on how to properly construct and finish high R-value assemblies is applicable to all wall assemblies that do not have foam insulation installed on the exterior of the structural sheathing. The techniques presented have been shown through field studies to reduce the likelihood of mold growth and moisture related damage and are intended for builders, framing contractors, architects, and consultants involved in designing and building super insulated homes.« less
  • High-R wall assemblies (R-40 and above) are gaining popularity in the market due to programs like the DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home program, Passive House (PH), Net Zero Energy Home (NZEH) challenges in several states, and highly incentivized retrofit programs. In response to this demand, several builders have successfully used 'double wall' systems to more practically achieve higher R-values in thicker, framed walls. To builders of conventional stick-framed homes, often one of the most appealing features of double wall systems is that there are very few new exterior details. Exterior sheathing, structural bracing, house wrap or building paper, window andmore » door flashing, and siding attachment are usually identical to good details in conventional framed wall systems. The information presented in this guide is intended to reduce the risk of failure in these types of assemblies, increase durability, and result in a reduction of material brought to landfills due to failures and resulting decay. While this document focuses on double wall framing techniques, the majority of the information on how to properly construct and finish high R-value assemblies is applicable to all wall assemblies that do not have foam insulation installed on the exterior of the structural sheathing. The techniques presented have been shown through field studies to reduce the likelihood of mold growth and moisture related damage and are intended for builders, framing contractors, architects, and consultants involved in designing and building super insulated homes.« less
  • High R-value wall assemblies (R-40 and above) are gaining popularity in the market due to programs such as the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home program, Passive House, Net Zero Energy Home challenges in several states, and highly incentivized retrofit programs. In response to this demand, several builders have successfully used double-wall systems to achieve higher R-values in thicker, framed walls. To builders of conventional stick-framed homes, often one of the most appealing features of double-wall systems is that there are very few new exterior details. Exterior sheathings, structural bracings, house wraps or building paper, window and doormore » flashings, and siding attachments are usually identical to good details in conventional framed-wall systems. However, although the details in double-wall systems are very similar to those in conventional stick framing, there is sometimes less room for error. Several studies have confirmed colder temperatures of exterior sheathing in high R-value wall assemblies that do not have exterior rigid foam insulation. These colder temperatures can lead to increased chances for condensation from air exfiltration, and they have the potential to result in moisture-related problems (Straube and Smegal 2009, Arena 2014, Ueno 2015). The information presented in this guide is intended to reduce the risk of failure in these types of assemblies, increase durability, and reduce material brought to landfills due to failures and resulting decay. Although this document focuses on double-wall framing techniques, the majority of the information about how to properly construct and finish high R-value assemblies is applicable to all wall assemblies that do not have foam insulation installed on the exterior of the structural sheathing. The techniques presented have been shown through field studies to reduce the likelihood of mold growth and moisture-related damage and are intended for builders, framing contractors, architects, and consultants involved in designing and building super-insulated homes. The information is applicable to both new construction and gut-rehabilitation projects in Climate Zones 5 and higher.« less
  • Changes in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) from 2009 to 2012 have resulted in the use of exterior rigid insulation becoming part of the prescriptive code requirements. With more jurisdictions adopting the 2012 IECC builders are going to finding themselves required to incorporate exterior insulation in the construction of their exterior wall assemblies. For thick layers of exterior insulation (levels greater than 1.5 inches), the use wood furring strips attached through the insulation back to the structure has been used by many contractors and designers as a means to provide a convenient cladding attachment location. However, there has beenmore » a significant resistance to its widespread implementation due to a lack of research and understanding of the mechanisms involved and potential creep effects of the assembly under the sustained dead load of a cladding. This research was an extension on previous research conducted by BSC in 2011, and 2012. Each year the understanding of the system discrete load component interactions, as well as impacts of environmental loading has increased. The focus of the research was to examine more closely the impacts of screw fastener bending on the total system capacity, effects of thermal expansion and contraction of materials on the compressive forces in the assembly, as well as to analyze a full years worth of cladding movement data from assemblies constructed in an exposed outdoor environment.« less