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, such as energy savings, increased comfort, and more!

Tools & Education
Description

Educational presentation covering resources on using continuous insulation for compliance with the building codes and energy codes.

Description

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. 

Description

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. 

Description

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

Description

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.

New
Description

Originally presented by Jay Crandell, P.E. at the 2022 IIBEC International Convention & Tradeshow, this presentation reviews structural wind resistance and water-resistance research supporting various detailing options in the context of new provisions in the latest editions of the IBC and IRC. 

Best Practices

Field studies by Building America’s research teams show the most effective ways to take advantage of the thermal, air, and vapor resistance properties of rigid foam insulation on walls, roofs, and foundations.

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

Foam sheathing is a very effective means of insulating the interior or exterior of foundation walls, preventing heat loss and lowering the risk of condensation issues.

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.

This 2017 Fine Homebuilding article considers two questions: At what point are envelope improvements a waste of money? And what metrics should we use to determine when enough insulation is enough?

The Energy Star website gives guidance on identifying energy saving opportunities, identifying Energy Star approved products, and ways to complete energy saving projects yourself to provide up to a 10% savings on your annual energy bills.

Additional Information
New

Energy conservation is the core value proposition of building insulation. The insulation industry delivers a product that cost-effectively optimizes the thermal performance of buildings with insulation materials that are safe to use and promote a clean, low-carbon emissions environment. This statement recognizes the great improvements that the insulation industry has made in reducing its carbon intensity and outlines a common direction and united messaging for the future of these efforts.

In 2021, over 313,153 homes were HERS Rated using RESNET Standards. This is the most in one year and increases the total number of rated homes to over 3.3 million. This article dives into the data from 240,000 of those rated homes.

Joseph Lstiburek from Building Science Corporation provides valuable insight on understanding the limitations of various insulations.

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. 

The presence of an airspace enclosed within a building envelope assembly is known to contribute to the overall thermal performance of the assembly. But, the actual R-value of an airspace can vary significantly depending on various conditions of use, such as the air-tightness of the assembly of materials enclosing an airspace.

The U.S. Department of Energy provides an assessment of energy (and carbon emissions) savings of the 2021 IECC and 2019 ASHRAE 90.1 energy codes and standards relative to prior editions.

Seeing impressions of studs in a wall system during an infrared scan is one thing, but how much of a difference does thermal bridging actually make? Well, if your assembly utilizes steel studs, the answer is: A LOT.

This position document makes the case that while reduction in building energy use and improvement in equipment efficiency have both improved substantially in the past 40 years, additional energy use efficiency improvements are not only achievable but often the most costeffective strategies in both new and existing buildings to achieve a more sustainable world.