PHRC Webinars

Building with Exterior Rigid Foam

12/11/2011 1:00-2:00 PM


Mike Turns


Link to Webinar:


The use of foam sheathing achieved a degree of popularity beginning with the oil embargo of the late 1970's. Today, increasing stringency in energy codes along with heightened consumer expectations regarding energy efficiency and comfort are causing more builders and remodelers to consider using exterior rigid foam. While the use of foam sheathing can result in a more efficient building enclosure, it is not without its practical hurdles. Window and door jamb extensions, flashing details, surface burning characteristics, consumer perceptions, siding attachment, wall bracing, and material selection are all potential hurdles to the effective use of exterior rigid foam.

Learning Objectives

  • Physical characteristics of the three main types of foam sheathing
  • Whole-wall R-values 2x6 with cavity insulation vs. 2x4 with cavity insulation plus foam sheathing
  • Avoiding condensation in walls
  • Locating the water-resistive barrier
  • Window sill extension and window buck details
  • Wall bracing
  • Attachment of foam to studs
  • Attachment of siding over foam


Free to attend; $20 for continuing education credits

Credit Hours


Tags: Energy Efficiency, Energy Codes, and Green Building



The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center serves the home building industry and the residents of Pennsylvania by improving the quality and affordability of housing.

We conduct applied research, foster the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, and transfer appropriate technologies to the housing community.

Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

219 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2341

Fax: 814-863-7304