Adding continuous insulation to a building increases the effective R-value of the building much more than adding a similar amount of non-continuous insulation (such as in stud cavities). This creates results you can feel, and see. 

 

Tools & Education

Contains resources on using continuous insulation for compliance with the building codes and energy codes.

Research report covering the use of foam sheathing when used as exterior wall sheathing or in exterior walls in Type I, II, III, and IV construction as defined by the IBC. Available as a sealed code compliance report. 

Research report covering the use of foam sheathing when used as exterior wall sheathing or in exterior walls in Type V construction as defined by the IBC. Available as a sealed code compliance report. 

Code-compliant details for the use of foam sheathing as thermal insulation in light frame construction. Available as a sealed code compliance report. 

This presentation, given by Jay Crandell (ARES Consulting) and Amy Schmidt (Dow Building and Construction) at the 2018 RESNET Building Performance Conference covers topics in energy code compliance, such as calculating the R-value of a hybrid wall and determining air space performance contributions.

Best Practices

Four typical methods for window framing are covered here. The installation approaches shown all include windows with integral mounting flanges, and all use taped foam sheathing as the water resistive barrier.

Guidance for the use of thick foam (>1-1/2") in wood frame buildings 

Practical Research

A comprehensive assessment of the state-of-the-art of water vapor control for modern, code-compliant, light-frame wall assemblies.

Overview of current knowledge supporting the attachment of cladding through foam sheathing used in exterior wall assemblies to comply with the 2015 editions of the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC).

Evaluates data on termite hazard and inspection effectiveness, as well as the presence of hidden pathways in assemblies with and without exterior insulation. Recommends updates to current building code provisions.

Airspace R-values should not be used to displace insulation materials required for energy code compliance unless the air spaces are properly constructed to have no air leakage, or the R-value is appropriately discounted for air-leakage.

Additional Information

A growing number of builders are singing the praises of using rigid-foam insulation between the wall sheathing and the exterior siding, creating a continuous insulating layer. 

This guide from BC Hydro focuses on improving the thermal performance of opaque building envelope assemblies and interface details, providing practical information to meet the challenges of reducing energy use in buildings.