For years, Building America research teams have advocated using the thermal, air, and vapor properties of rigid foam sheathing insulation to improve walls. Several teams earned a 2013 Top Innovation award for their research into this technology. The NorthernSTAR team’s “overcoat” is a continuous air, moisture, and thermal barrier that is applied on the outside of the roof structure for improved overall performance. roofs, and foundations of homes.

Research by the Partnership for Home Innovation resulted in a design methodology for high-performance walls with exterior rigid foam sheathing under wind pressure loading, which will lead to improved disaster-resistant wall solutions. This research formed the basis for a new ANSI Standard for wind pressure resistance, which is now referenced in model building codes across the United States. Building Science Corporation’s field and test facility studies of rigid structure sheathing include: verification of an optimally performing, cost-effective framed wall assembly; use of insulation board as the primary sheathing and in certain areas, as the drainage plane and vapor control layer; and techniques for roof applications. Read about this Top Innovation.

Find case studies across the country that implement rigid foam sheathing technology.

View other Top Innovations in the Effective Guidance and Tools category.