When the building code or technology changes, there can be confusion in the marketplace with regard to the proper use of foam sheathing within the building envelope. To provide value to the foam sheathing industry in this area, an online library has been developed that addresses questions about building envelope system performance and also provides support for all the foam sheathing and related manufactured products.

For each key industry topic, an extensive research report has been, or can be, created that provides a systematic analysis of an issue.  From that report, design considerations, installation concepts and code compliance guidance can be generated to successfully resolve application issues and help overcome obstacles impacting the adoption or use of a foam sheathing product or building envelope system in the market.

This is just the beginning of the work that will evolve from the research report process already in place. From this foundation, a series of best practices, calculators and related market development support systems will be created to facilitate the broader acceptance and appropriate use of foam sheathing in roof and wall systems.

The focus is on delivering broad technical, educational and advocacy-based support with respect to codes and standards impacting foam sheathing by:

Since 2007, the group has been working hard to develop the science to support reliable design and installation of foam sheathing. Under the technical and code development leadership of Mr. Jay Crandell, and the technical and business management support system inside the Applied Building Technology Group, a library of research reports has been created that currently cover the following topics:

Air Space R-Value

This research report reviews current technical knowledge and regulatory requirements to provide guidance for appropriate R-value characterization and limitations of use for airspaces within building assemblies for code compliance.

Assessment of Water Vapor Control Methods for Modern Insulated Light-Frame Wall Assemblies

The primary goal of this effort is to evaluate and reconcile existing building science knowledge and practices. A framework of actionable design and construction guidance for coordinated use of vapor retarders and insulation in light-frame walls is provided.

Assessment of Moisture Control & Insulation Requirements in Vermont’s Final Draft 2015 Residential Building Energy Standard (RBES) and Handbook

One purpose of this Research Report is to present data to evaluate and substantiate an appropriate application of continuous insulation in an R20+5 assembly (e.g., R20 cavity insulation plus R-5 continuous insulation on the exterior).

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

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. This document explains the testing and analysis for connections through foam sheathing and is the basis for prescriptive fastening requirements included in the building code.

Engineering Analysis of NFPA 285 Tested Assemblies

Engineering analysis would fall under the category of alternative materials due to the fact that many tests are conducted as an assembly, and, therefore, any substitutions of products are labeled as alternative materials.

IRC Wall Bracing: A Guide for Builders, Designers and Plan Reviewers

This guide provides designers, code officials and builders a basic understanding of how to apply the IRC bracing provisions for code-compliant dwellings and how the IRC bracing provisions can be used to create maximum value in a diverse housing market.

Repetitive Metal Penetrations in Building Thermal Envelope Assemblies

The impact of thermal bridging to the thermal performance of exterior envelopes has been known and studied for some time, and can vary substantially in magnitude or consequence.

Water-Resistive Barriers: Assuring Consistent Assembly Water-Penetration Resistance

The purpose of this report is to summarize the requirements found in the various standards and evaluation agency criteria, evaluate relevant and available test data, and provide a recommendation for the fair treatment of all products based on one performance-based benchmark for water-penetration resistance of WRB assemblies.

In addition, the online  library also contains a number of external reports related to foam sheathing:

  • American Petroleum Institute Fireproofing Practice in Petroleum and Petrochemical Processing Plants
  • DOE Cladding Attachment Over Thick Exterior Insulating Sheathing
  • DOE Initial and Long-Term Movement of Cladding Installed Over Exterior Rigid Insulation
  • General Dowel Equations for Calculating Lateral Connection Values
  • Global Asset Protection Services Fireproofing for Hydrocarbon Fire Exposures
  • Guidance on Taped Insulating Sheathing Drainage Planes
  • Installing Windows with Foam Sheathing on a Wood-Frame Wall
  • NYSERDA Fastening Systems for Continuous Insulation
  • Residential Exterior Wall Superinsulation Retrofit Details and Analysis
  • The Importance of Integrating Flashing and the Water Resistive Barrier in the Exterior Wall Systems of Residential Buildings
  • Window Installation Details for Effective Sealing Practice
  • Window Sill Details for Effective Drainage of Water

Looking to expand this library of foam sheathing support resources, all input is welcome from the marketplace. Should anyone have more interest in issues being worked on, please contact Jay Crandell.