Installing Windows with Foam Sheathing on a Wood-Frame Wall

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


Residential housing design continues to move toward the development of high-performance sustainable building systems. To be sustainable, a building must not only be efficient and durable but also economically viable. For these reasons, new methods of enclosure design have been examined that provide high thermal performance and long-term durability and also reduce material use (including waste),simplify or integrate systems and details, and potentially reduce overall initial costs of construction. One new idea relating to enclosure design is to use exterior foam insulating sheathing as the primary sheathing and drainage plane for the wall assembly. However, as with any building enclosure system, proper details for the management of water, vapor, and energy transfer is critical. Windowsystems need to be installed in such a way as to be consistent with principles of building science. Window installations also require an understanding of how to maintain the continuity of the drainage plane of the wall.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Building Science Corporation, Westford, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-550-37583


  • BSC
  • Building America
  • Building Science Consortium
  • enclosure design
  • energy-efficient homes
  • exterior foam insulating sheathing
  • residential housing
  • sustainable houses
  • window systems


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