Improved energy efficiency is a major focus in building design and construction with the evolution of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Foam plastic insulating sheathing (FPIS) is one of many products used, due to its beneficial thermal performance values, used alone or in combination with conventional sheathing and between the studs insulation. The code compliant use of FPIS for energy code applications also requires consideration of other factors such as appropriate methods for connection of claddings through FPIS materials* of various thicknesses and various substrates.

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*Always install FPIS per the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Tools & Education

Cladding & Building Enclosure Component Connections Through Foam Plastic Continuous Insulation

Originally presented by Jay Crandell, PE, for the IIBEC International Convention in September 2021, this updated presentation reviews the research and latest prescriptive code requirements for attaching claddings through a layer of exterior continuous insulation. It also presents a generalized design procedure that can allow various types of connections through foam plastic insulating sheathing, including the attachment of cladding, furring, and even structural components like roof and deck ledgers. 

Attachment of Exterior Wall Coverings Through Foam Plastic Insulating Sheathing (FPIS) to Wood or Steel Wall Framing

This research report addresses issues surrounding code compliance and consideration of factors such as appropriate methods for connection of claddings through FPIS materials by reviewing current knowledge supporting solutions that are now recognized in the 2015 and 2018 editions of the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC).

Cladding Connections to Steel Frame Walls with Foam Plastic Insulating Sheathing (FPIS) Continuous Insulation (ci)

This Quick Guide outlines steps to comply with Energy Code ci requirements and Building Code requirements for cladding connections.

DOE Initial and Long-Term Movement of Cladding Installed Over Exterior Rigid Insulation

Changes in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) from 2009 to 2012 have resulted in an increase in minimum insulation levels required for residential buildings. Not only are the levels increased, but the use of exterior rigid insulation has become part of the prescriptive code requirements. With more jurisdictions adopting the 2012 IECC, builders will be required to incorporate exterior insulation in the construction of their exterior wall assemblies.

Vinyl Siding Over FPIS Report

Requirements for installation of vinyl siding over foam sheathing in thicknesses up to 4" when used as thermal insulation in exterior walls. Available as a sealed code compliance report. 

Practical Research

Attachment of Heavy Claddings Over Foam With & Without Drainage Gaps

The aim of this research by Home Innovation Research Labs was to identify alternate and/or expanded design and installation guidance for the application of heavyweight claddings such as stucco and adhered masonry veneers over rigid foam insulation on light-frame walls and potentially provide the basis for follow-on qualification testing to support a future code proposal. The research was conducted with support from the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory. Additional funders include the National Association of Home Builders, Construction Technology and Research Sub Committee (CTRSC) and the American Chemistry Council.

DOE Expert Meeting Report: Cladding Attachment Over Exterior Insulation

In July 2021, Building Science Corporation (BSC) held an expert meeting that focused directly on supporting the Building America Standing Technical Committee identified Critical Milestone #1: To have adopted code language defining the requirements for attaching cladding over typical thicknesses of insulating sheathing (i.e., 1”, 1.5”, 2” and 4”) for both 16” and 24” o.c. framing by end of 2015. The meeting focused on issues surrounding cladding attachment and performance of walls with exterior insulating sheathing, with specific discussions on gravity load resistance and wind load resistance.

NYSERDA Report on Fastening Systems for Continuous Insulation

The objective of this study was to develop attachment techniques and materials for securing building cladding and continuous insulation to above-grade, steel-framed walls of single family and multifamily buildings. The methodology included a review of existing building codes to identify state-wide design cladding loads for setting performance requirements for fasteners, an assessment of constructability issues to ensure that proposed fastener solutions are adoptable by building trades, and the development and submittal of a code change proposal, including a prescriptive table of fasteners for attaching various claddings to framing over continuous insulation for common building types.

Use of FastenMaster HeadLOK™ Fasteners to Attach Cladding and/or Furring to Wood Framing through Foam Sheathing

This Technical Evaluation Report outlines how FastenMaster's HeadLOK® fasteners were evaluated, using their tested allowable design values, as an alternate means of attaching cladding systems over exterior mounted rigid foam insulation.