Extended plate and beam wall system.

Home Innovation Research Labs studied the extended plate and beam wall system during a two-year period from mid-2015 to mid-2017 to determine the wall’s structural performance, moisture durability, constructability, and cost-effectiveness for use as a high-R enclosure system for energy code minimum and above-code performance in climate zones 4–8.

Project activities included structural lab testing, construction observation of two demonstration houses built in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 12-month moisture monitoring of the Oriented Strand Board sheathing and wood framing within the walls of those field tests, and moisture and heat transfer simulations.

The successful field-test demonstration of the extended plate and beam wall system provided positive results and data that will be used to support a code proposal, optimize fastening schedules and framing configurations, fine-tune computer simulations, and publish a construction guide. This wall system will reduce construction complexities, improve cost-effectiveness, and spur adoption in the market, helping more builders transition to high-performance wall assemblies that provide better than code thermal performance.

Read more about this success story on the project web page.