Measure Guideline: Guidance on Taped Insulating Sheathing Drainage Planes

Stacey Rothgeb, Stacey Rothgeb (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


This guide provides information and recommendations to the following groups: insulation contractors; general contractors; builders; home remodelers; mechanical contractors; and homeowners, as a guide to the work that needs to be done. The order of work completed during home construction and retrofit improvements is important. Health and safety issues must be addressed first and are more important than durability issues. And durability issues are more important than saving energy. Not all techniques can apply to all houses. Special conditions will require special action. Some builders or homeowners will wish to do more than the important but basic retrofit strategies outlined by this guide. The following are best practice and product recommendations from the interviewed contractors and homebuilders who collectively have a vast amount of experience. Three significant items were discussed with the group which are required to make taped insulating sheathing a simple, long term, and durable drainage plane: 1. Horizontal joints should be limited or eliminated wherever possible; 2. Where a horizontal joint exists use superior materials; 3. Frequent installation inspection and regular trade training are required to maintain proper installation. Section 5 of this measure guideline contains the detailed construction procedure for the three recommended methods to effectively seal the joints in exterior insulating sheathing to create a simple, long term, and durable drainage plane.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages56
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Building Science Corporation, Somerville, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-62638

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102014-4495


  • BSC
  • Building America
  • drainage plane
  • durability
  • flashing
  • insulating sheathing
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • tape
  • water management
  • window flashing


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