Building a Better Wall: Principles and Innovative Solutions

October 10, 2017
3:30 PM-4:45 PM
Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center
Atlanta, GA
EEBA High Performance Home Summit
October 10-12, 2017

All building envelope assemblies must appropriately control the transfer of heat, water, air and vapor. The direction and degree of these drives vary with climate, season, occupancy and other conditions. A successful wall design must reliably accomplish these performance goals while also being durable, constructible, affordable, and accessible. This session will describe two cutting edge wall systems in the context of basic principles.

Perfect Wall Systems: This presentation will describe the principles and applications for robust, high performance building enclosures that go beyond codes for superior comfort, efficiency, durability, and indoor air quality. It will cover the design and delivery of two “perfect wall” systems that provide a robust enclosure solution for affordable zero energy ready homes. This presentation will introduce “MonoPath,” a new structural system that simplifies and speeds up construction saving enough money on the structure for investment in high-performing exterior control layers.

Extended Plate and Beam (EP&B) Wall: The EP&B wall system is composed of familiar light-frame wall materials used in an innovative configuration that places the rigid foam insulation between the framing and the OSB, rather than outside of the sheathing.  EP&B walls offer high value and reduced risk for builders transitioning to high performance walls. This presentation will cover EP&B construction methods for both field-framing and off-site panelization, schematic details, structural shear test results, moisture performance in both lab and field conditions, and performance and cost comparisons to other wall types.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn the basic principles of thermal and moisture performance of walls and other building assemblies.
  2. Learn the importance and role of the four building enclosure control layers (heat, water, air, vapor).
  3. Gain an understanding of a "perfect wall" system, how it incorporates control layers, and its cost and benefits.
  4. Gain an understanding of the Extended Plate and Beam Wall system, including installation details, costs, and structural and moisture performance results.