Around the world, people build dwellings in all kinds of environments.  In North America alone, there exists a great diversity of climates, running the gamut from hot to cold and dry to humid.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some way to design an enclosure that can perform well in any of these conditions? 

Well, there’s good news!  There is a wall that can get the job done.  Sometimes called the “perfect wall,” this design puts all the control layers (for temperature, moisture, air, and water vapor) on the outside of the wall, thereby protecting the structure.  The only variable for this design is the thickness of the exterior continuous insulation. 

To learn more about this technique and about building envelopes in general, check out the resources on this site, in particular this article that delves into the perfect wall concept.  Also of interest is this short video describing the environmental diversity of North America, part of a series on the perfect wall:

For additional information, review the following articles, as well as the previous videos in this series:

Perfect Wall Articles

  1. Creating the ‘Perfect Wall’: Simplifying Water Vapor Retarder Requirements to Control Moisture
  2. Perfect Walls are Perfect, and Hybrid Walls Perfectly Good
  3. Wood Framed Wall Insulation Calculator Explained
  4. New Wall Design Calculator for Commercial Energy Code Compliance
  5. Energy Code Math Lesson: Why an R-25 Wall is Not Equal to a R-20+5ci
  6. Continuous Insulation Solves Energy Code Math Problem

Video Series

  1. Fear Building Envelopes No More with This Website & Videos
  2. Video: Thermodynamics Simplified Heat Flows from Warm to Cold
  3. Video: Moisture Flow Drives Water Induced Problems
  4. Video: How the 'Perfect Wall' Solves Environmental Diversity
  5. Video: How Important Is Your WRB?
  6. Video: A Reliably Perfect Wall Anywhere
  7. Video: The Best Wall We Know How to Make 
  8. Video: How to Insulate with Steel Studs
  9. Video: Thermal Bridging and Steel Studs
  10. Video: Better Residential Energy Performance with Continuous Insulation
  11. Video: How to (Not) Ruin a Perfectly Good Wall
  12. Video: Tar Paper and Continuous Insulation? No Problem!
  13. Video: Do CI and WRBs Go Together?
  14. Video: Assess Your 'Perfect Wall' Using Control Layers