Cladding Attachment Over Thick Exterior Insulating Sheathing

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


The addition of insulation to the exterior of buildings is an effective means of increasing the thermal resistance of both wood framed walls as well as mass masonry wall assemblies. For thick layers of exterior insulation (levels greater than 1.5 inches), the use of wood furring strips attached through the insulation back to the structure has been used by many contractors and designers as a meansto provide a convenient cladding attachment location (Straube and Smegal 2009, Pettit 2009, Joyce 2009, Ueno 2010). The research presented in this report is intended to help develop a better understanding of the system mechanics involved and the potential for environmental exposure induced movement between the furring strip and the framing. BSC sought to address the following research questions:1. What are the relative roles of the mechanisms and the magnitudes of the force that influence the vertical displacement resistance of the system? 2. Can the capacity at a specified deflection be reliably calculated using mechanics based equations? 3. What are the impacts of environmental exposure on the vertical displacement of furring strips attached directly through insulation back to a woodstructure?
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages64
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Building Science Corporation (BSC), Somerville, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-57825

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102014-3894


  • Building America
  • cladding attachment
  • creep
  • discrete load component testing
  • exterior insulation
  • furring strips
  • insulating sheathing
  • long-term movement
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • thermal resistance


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