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Building America Team: New Jersey Institute of Technology

Partner: BASF

Hand scraps a seal on along a wall.

Every year, more than 1 million homes in the United States are re-sided (1,136,000 in 2009 according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard). Although there are no national statistics on precisely how these projects are implemented, the Center for Building Knowledge’s experience indicates that very few of these jobs are optimized for air sealing and even fewer include any significant forms of insulation. As a consequence, opportunities for reducing air infiltration (which can account for 25%–40% of heating and cooling loads in a typical American house) and increasing insulation levels are being routinely overlooked in hundreds of thousands of homes each year.

Continuous R-5 exterior insulation and liquid flashing may significantly improve energy efficiency performance and durability of new siding, transforming any standard re-siding job into an energy upgrade.

Compounding the problem is the fact that re-siding jobs typically occur only once every 25 years or so, with the result that current practice is “locking in” energy inefficiencies that will not be remedied for decades to come. The Re-Side Right Initiative will install, test, and validate cost-effective, market-ready strategies and details with the power to transform any standard re-siding job into an energy upgrade.

The Re-Side Right Initiative will test and validate a new, two-component system to significantly improve energy efficiency during re-siding jobs in the United States, using continuous R-5 exterior insulation and liquid flashing to simplify the implementation and create a more durable and better performing envelope. The project will install the system in 10 residential re-siding projects in the New York City metro region, including climate zones 4 and/or 5. The project team will assess performance improvement using pre- and post-siding infiltration testing and infrared wall scans, and will develop cost data on the implementation of the system and projected energy savings data.