Exterior wall with moisture damage

Applied Projects

The Applied Project category refers to projects that are application-oriented and have a direct need by the residential construction industry. This may also include longer term initiatives.

Deck Design Spreadsheet

The portions of the 2015 IRC related to decks that have been incorporated into the PA UCC provide design guidance and a prescriptive path for deck design. The final goal of this project is to create a working spreadsheet that will allow the user to plug in overall deck dimensions for standard decks and have results that show the required design criteria.

Exterior Plaster in Pennsylvania

Exterior plaster continues to be a hot topic in Pennsylvania as efforts to improve best practice are ongoing. This project would include activities such as providing technical support, construction detail development, and assistance in the development of general outreach to builders, design professionals, code officials, and home inspectors.

Update to the PA Alternative Residential Energy Provisions

Over the years, the PHRC has developed several standards to respond to industry demand. Each of these standards includes a consensus process to determine content and requires training and timely technical assistance for local governments, builders/developers, design professionals, and contractors. All of these standards are available electronically for free on our website.

The most recent version of the PA Alternative Residential Energy Provisions is the 2009 edition. Since new code provisions from the 2015 IRC/IECC were adopted in PA and became enforceable in January 2016, it is time to revisit the Alternative Provisions. It is important that this document remain relevant throughout the PA residential construction industry. Updating this document would involve the identification of stakeholders and the formation of an advisory committee, similar to previous update processes. Through the guidance of this committee, new code provisions that have been adopted in PA would be analyzed and considered for inclusion in an updated version of the PA Alternative. Additionally, other provisions that would provide alternative means of compliance (yet equivalent code stringency) could be considered.

Evolution of the Building Enclosure in PA

The forces that determine the design and specification of building enclosures in residential construction include energy code requirements, consumer expectations, and broad environmental goals. Each of these forces has led to a distinct evolution of how the building enclosure is designed and constructed. This project would take a closer look at the timeline for these changes, the current state of practice in the Pennsylvania construction industry, and where the industry may go in the future. This project would take a “lessons learned” approach with an emphasis on building airtightness.

Recently Completed Applied Projects

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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

E-mail: phrc@psu.edu