Extended Plate Wall System Expands Adoption of High-R Envelope Solution

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


For decades, the residential building industry has worked to expand opportunities to increase the thermal resistance of walls. Multiple high-R wall construction methods have been developed, yet market adoption remains low because of perceived complexity and cost. One appealing solution is an extended plate wall system (EPW). Framing for top and bottom plates is one nominal dimension larger than for studs, which provides space for a 2-inch layer of foam plastic insulative sheathing (FPIS). Wood structural sheathing (OSB or plywood) is then installed on the exterior, fastened directly to the plates and nailed through the foam to the studs. In contrast to the conventional method of installing FPIS as a fully exterior layer, the EPW greatly simplifies air sealing, installation and detailing of windows and doors, an application of a weather resistive barrier, and attachment of cladding.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5500-76376


  • Building America
  • buildings
  • extended plate wall
  • High-R envelope


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