Scientific Research Reports
Protection of Wood-Frame Homes from Subterranean Termites: Evaluation of Building Code Provisions and Recommended Improvements
In recent years, concerns with the use of foam sheathing and termite protection have seen heightened interest. To properly quantify the impact of foam sheathing products in above-grade or below-grade applications relative to the common risk of termite infestation for all homes, this Research Report evaluates data on termite hazard, infestation risk, inspection effectiveness, presence of hidden pathways in various types of construction, and building code provisions intended to mitigate risk of termite infestation.
Model Moisture Control Guidelines for Light-Frame Walls: A Building Code Supplement for Builders, Designers, and Building Officials
This Research Report provides actionable guidelines to effectively consider, evaluate, and manage the balance of wetting and drying potential in common above-grade, light-frame wall assemblies in a broad range of climate conditions. This objective involves the appropriate use and integration of a wide variety of light-frame wall construction methods and materials including various cladding types, water-resistive barrier types, insulation types, and vapor retarder types or classes.
Air Space R-Value
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. 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.
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 focus of this report is on uniformly distributed point thermal bridges. The main goal is to provide data to help better understand the implications and support an equitable, performance-based treatment of such thermal bridges for common building assembly conditions and variations.
Engineering Analysis of NFPA 285 Tested Assemblies
Code requirements for specific testing are often questioned in the industry. For example, is actual testing required, or is engineering analysis permitted? 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.
|Fire Testing, NFPA 285|
Water-Resistive Barriers: Assuring Consistent Assembly Water-Penetration Resistance
Water-resistive barriers (weather-resistant sheathing paper) (WRB) have been required by the model building codes for many years and have been required by the International Code Council model codes since their inception in 2000. 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.
|Water Resistive Barrier|
Attachment of Exterior Wall Coverings Through Foam Plastic Insulating Sheathing (FPIS) to Wood or Steel Wall Framing
Improved energy efficiency is a major focus in building design and construction with the evolution of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). 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.
Assessment of Moisture Control & Insulation Requirements in Vermont’s Final Draft 2015 Residential Building Energy Standard (RBES) and Handbook
Concerns regarding moisture control performance can affect walls of any thickness, with or without the added protection of exterior continuous insulation. 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).
|Cladding Attachments, Vapor Retarder|
Assessment of Water Vapor Control Methods for Modern Insulated Light-Frame Wall Assemblies
A comprehensive assessment of the state-of-the-art of water vapor control for modern, code-compliant, light-frame wall assemblies. The primary goal of this effort is to evaluate and reconcile existing building science knowledge and practices. An important secondary goal is to support the development of practical and comprehensive water vapor control requirements or recommendations that may be used as a basis to reach various audiences and serve multiple purposes, including building industry education and building code development.
|Moisture Vapor Transmission, Vapor Retarder|