Accelerating the Adoption of the Solid Panel Structural System

Patrick Huelman, Jay Crandell, John Peavey, Ed Hudson, Dan Handeen

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The primary goal of this project was to position the Solid Panel Structural (SPS) building system and the "perfect wall" thermal and moisture management approach for market adoption. A previous DOE project provided significant market validation for the SPS system within the affordable housing market. The objectives for this project were to accelerate the market adoption process with high-level structural testing that would improve code acceptance and prepare a pathway to move this innovative building system and technology into the residential market. In 2021, the University of Minnesota NorthernSTAR Building America team completed its DOE-funded project on the Affordable Solid Panel "Perfect Wall" System [ ]. That project demonstrated and evaluated a novel building assembly called the Solid Panel Structure (SPS), which uses large format (8'x24'), oriented strand board (OSB) panels to create the wall structure. In addition to being an innovative structural system, the SPS is a unique interpretation of the "perfect wall" concept, in which all of the environmental control layers are located on the exterior side of the structural components. The primary objective of the previous study was to validate the SPS technology in terms of its constructability, cost, and performance. The overall performance of the SPS system in that research was very encouraging and the constructability and cost data show clear potential for gains in new home construction. However, while the SPS system demonstrated relative ease of construction with limited skilled labor and comparable cost to code compliant 2x6 walls along with superior energy and moisture performance, there were remaining questions on the structural aspects and code acceptance of this novel plate-based system. Before the SPS system could see widespread adoption on a broader scale, additional data would be needed specifically related to structural behavior of the SPS.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages150
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Work performed by University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-88187

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102024-6128


  • Building America
  • energy
  • envelope
  • low income housing
  • new construction
  • OSB
  • panelized
  • residential buildings
  • solid panel structure
  • wall


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