Initial and Long-Term Movement of Cladding Installed Over Exterior Rigid Insulation

Wyatt Metzger, P. Baker

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


Changes in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) from 2009 to 2012 have resulted in the use of exterior rigid insulation becoming part of the prescriptive code requirements. With more jurisdictions adopting the 2012 IECC builders are going to finding themselves required to incorporate exterior insulation in the construction of their exterior wall assemblies. For thick layers ofexterior insulation (levels greater than 1.5 inches), the use wood furring strips attached through the insulation back to the structure has been used by many contractors and designers as a means to provide a convenient cladding attachment location. However, there has been a significant resistance to its widespread implementation due to a lack of research and understanding of the mechanismsinvolved and potential creep effects of the assembly under the sustained dead load of a cladding. This research was an extension on previous research conducted by BSC in 2011, and 2012. Each year the understanding of the system discrete load component interactions, as well as impacts of environmental loading has increased. The focus of the research was to examine more closely the impacts ofscrew fastener bending on the total system capacity, effects of thermal expansion and contraction of materials on the compressive forces in the assembly, as well as to analyze a full years worth of cladding movement data from assemblies constructed in an exposed outdoor environment.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages58
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Building Science Corporation, Somerville, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-62422

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102014-4472


  • BSC
  • Building America
  • cladding
  • creep
  • exterior insulation
  • fastener bending
  • high performance wall
  • long-term exposure
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • rigid insulation
  • thermal expansion and contraction


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