High-performance homes require walls that cost-effectively control both thermal and moisture flow. This Top Innovation profile describes Building America research from Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings and Building Science Corporation on high-R-value walls showing the difference between rated and whole wall R values and the need for vented cladding to reduce condensation potential with some insulation types. Research on common high-R wall assemblies has shown that the measured R-value is almost always lower than the rated whole-wall R-value and that the potential for condensation occurs 15% – 95% of the time with several common high-R wall types.
Building America’s teams have conducted modeling analysis as well as field studies of several different wall assemblies to identify effective “whole wall” R-values that take into account thermal bridging of framing members. Researchers have also investigated critical moisture potential and durability issues since high-R walls have much less drying potential. Read about this Top Innovation.
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