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December 6, 2011

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

Upper Marlboro, Md. - 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. Home Innovation Research Labs 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, Home Innovation Research Labs; 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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