Building America Case Study: Trade-Friendly Retrofit Insulated Panels for Existing Buildings, Albany, New York

V. Kochkin

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


This project evaluated the effectiveness and affordability of integrating retrofit insulated panels into a re-siding project. The Partnership for Home Innovation (PHI) teamed with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Albany Housing Authority (AHA), and the New York State Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) administered by Albany Community Action Partnership to demonstrate an energy retrofit and siding upgrade on a two-story, seven unit, multifamily building in Albany New York (CZ 5). The project focused on accomplishing three goals - doubling the existing wall thermal resistance (from approximately R-13 to a weighted average of R-27), reduction of building air leakage, and completion of the retrofit within a budget where the additional cost for upgrading wall's thermal resistance is equal to the cost of the standard re-siding effort (i.e., the total cost of the energy efficient re-siding scope of work is not more than double the cost of the standard re-siding effort). Lessons learned from the project strongly indicate that the retrofit panel technology can be installed using common installation practices and with minimal training. Other lessons learned include limitation on the use of standard air sealing materials during cold weather installations and the need to develop better installation guidance for trades working with the level of tolerances that may be present in the existing structure. This technology demonstration showed that exterior retrofit panels provide a viable and reasonable option for the siding trades to increase market opportunities and achieve synergistic benefits for aesthetic upgrades to a building's exterior.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Partnership for Home Innovation (PHI), Upper Marlboro, Maryland

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5500-65184

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102016-4788


  • Building America
  • climate zone 5
  • energy efficiency
  • PHI
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • residing
  • retrofit
  • retrofit nailbase panel
  • wall panel
  • walls


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