Industry Experts to Discuss Merits, Considerations, and Concerns of High R-Value Wall Construction


Upper Marlboro, MD – December 6, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, as part of the EcoBuild Conference at the Washington Convention Center, the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and its Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) will host a day-long symposium on High-Performance Light-Framed Walls. NAHB Research Center staff will moderate and participate in the panels for many of the sessions.

The symposium was developed to educate residential professionals on the benefits, consequences, and considerations of increasing the R-value of exterior walls in response to the recent push for increases in overall energy efficiency of new residential buildings. Because walls can play a significant role in the energy loss of a building, they have been a primary target for enhanced model energy codes, green building programs, and other beyond code programs to improve home performance.

Current insulation requirements for light-framed walls already have the stud cavities filled with insulation. However, newly proposed levels of insulation are requiring thicker framing and/or additional insulation to be installed on the outside of the cavities in order to comply. The experts assembled for this symposium will discuss these proposed changes in wall construction with a focus on potential conflict with code requirements, constructability concerns, cost, and other unintended consequences including moisture and durability issues.

The sessions will include:

  • Types of High R-Value Walls and Durability Concerns
    • 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
    • Speakers: Bill Zoeller, Steven Winter Associates; Robert Dazel, Dryvit; Manfred Kehrer, ORNL
  • Code issues: Fire, Structural, Cladding Attachment
    • 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
    • Speakers: Jay Crandell, ARES Consulting (representing Foam Sheathing Coalition); Vladimir Kochkin, NAHB Research Center; Jesse Beitel, Hughes Associates, Inc.
  • High R-Value Wall Field Studies
    • 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
    • Speakers: Joe Lstiburek, Building Science Corp.; Andre Desjarlais, ORNL

The symposium will culminate with a roundtable discussion and Q&A with the panelists. Each will give an informal, five-minute philosophy of high R-vale walls and discuss their perspectives on the merits and concerns including practicality, implementation, durability, costs, and climate-specific concerns. Continuing education credits will be available for AIA, CGP, RESNET, and other professional industry organizations. For more information, visit the BETEC webpage.

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ABOUT THE NAHB RESEARCH CENTER: The NAHB Research Center, located in Upper Marlboro, Md., promotes innovation in housing technology to improve the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of homes and home building products. Created nearly 50 years ago as a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the NAHB Research Center has established itself as the source for reliable, objective information and research on housing construction and development issues. Through its various testing and certification services, the Research Center seal is internationally-recognized as a mark of product quality and an assurance of product performance.

Anne Holtz Schmick

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