Exterior Rigid Foam Insulation at the Edge of a Slab Foundation, Fresno, California (Fact Sheet)

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


Exterior rigid foam insulation at the edge of the slab foundation was a unique feature for this low-load, unoccupied test house in a hot-dry climate and may be more appropriate for climates with higher heating loads. U.S. Department of Energy Building America research team IBACOS worked with National Housing Quality Award winner Wathen-Castanos Hybrid Homes, Inc., to assess the performance ofthis feature in a single-family detached ranch house with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms constructed on a slab-on-grade foundation in Fresno, California. One challenge during installation of the system was the attachment of the butyl flashing to the open framing. To solve this constructability issue, the team added a nailer to the base of the wall to properly attach and lap the flashing.In this strategy, R-7.5, 1.5-in.-thick extruded polystyrene was installed on the exterior of the slab for a modeled savings of 4,500 Btu/h on the heating load.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5500-60138

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102013-4052


  • Building America
  • commissioning
  • distribution
  • ductless
  • heat pump
  • hot-dry climate
  • HVAC
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • simplified
  • space conditioning
  • transfer grille


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