Choosing the Best High Performance Wall System - Fine Homebuilding

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Editor's Notepad

Editor's Notepad


Choosing the Best High Performance Wall System

comments (0) December 6th, 2011 in Blogs
ScottG Scott Gibson, contributing writer

Double stud walls vs. exterior foam Double 2x4 exterior walls are one option for a high-performance house in a cold climate. This Habitat for Humanity project near Denver, Colorado, built with help from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, used that wall construction method to achieve net zero-energy performance.Click To Enlarge

Double stud walls vs. exterior foam Double 2x4 exterior walls are one option for a high-performance house in a cold climate. This Habitat for Humanity project near Denver, Colorado, built with help from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, used that wall construction method to achieve net zero-energy performance.


Jesse Lizer has done his homework. The three potential wall systems, which he outlines in a post at GreenBuildingAdvisor, all have slightly different R-values and slightly different material costs. His research leads him to believe that a double 2x4 wall insulated with dense-pack cellulose is the most bang for the buck should he want an R-value of 40 or more.


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Two of his options include 2x6 walls, also insulated with cellulose, and exterior rigid foam. Using foam over exterior sheathing makes construction somewhat more complicated, expecially when it comes to adding doors and windows.

But foam also has some advantages. One of them is keeping the sheathing and framing warmer, thereby helping to reducing the risk of moisture accumulation and rot.

Weighing the options is the subject of this week's Q&A Spotlight.

Read the whole article at Green Building Advisor



posted in: Blogs, energy efficiency, insulation, walls

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