Advanced Envelope Research for Factory Built Housing, Phase 3 -- Design Development and Prototyping

E. Levy, M. Architecture, B. Kessler, M. Mullens, P. Rath

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


The Advanced Envelope Research effort will provide factory homebuilders with high performance, cost-effective alternative envelope designs. In the near term, these technologies will play a central role in meeting stringent energy code requirements. For manufactured homes, the thermal requirements, last updated by statute in 1994, will move up to the more rigorous IECC 2012 levels in 2013, the requirements of which are consistent with site built and modular housing. This places added urgency on identifying envelope technologies that the industry can implement in the short timeframe. The primary goal of this research is to develop wall designs that meet the thermal requirements based on 2012 IECC standards. Given the affordable nature of manufactured homes, impact on first cost is a major consideration in developing the new envelope technologies. This work is part of a four-phase, multi-year effort. Phase 1 identified seven envelope technologies and provided a preliminary assessment of three selected methods for building high performance wall systems. Phase 2 focused on the development of viable product designs, manufacturing strategies, addressing code and structural issues, and cost analysis of the three selected options. An industry advisory committee helped critique and select the most viable solution to move further in the research -- stud walls with continuous exterior insulation. Phase 3, the subject of the current report, focused on the design development of the selected wall concept and explored variations on the use of exterior foam insulation. The scope also included material selection, manufacturing and cost analysis, and prototyping and testing.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages91
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Work performed by the ARIES Collaborative, New York, New York

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-60704

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102014-4293


  • advanced envelope research
  • advanced wall strategy
  • Building America
  • continuous exterior insulation
  • EE
  • EE
  • energy efficiency
  • envelope technology
  • factory built housing
  • manufactured housing
  • modular housing
  • research, design, and development
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • walls with exterior sheathing


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