U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office
Highly Energy Efficient Wall Systems Research Project
The Department of Energy is currently conducting research into highly energy efficient wall systems. Walls with high R-values are better insulators, and their development can help buildings come closer to having zero net energy consumption.
This project seeks to develop a commercially viable wall system up to R-40 through integration of vacuum technology with the exterior insulated façade system (EIFS). Dow Corning will develop a wall system configuration of expanded polystyrene vacuum isolation panels that can be specified for R-values of 20, 30, and 40. This project also aims to develop a unitized protection system of vacuum isolation panels and to validate current code compliance of the new system to ensure compatibility with existing energy efficient wall systems.
Research is being undertaken between the Department of Energy, Dow Corning, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in collaboration with Dryvit, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, Mathews Bros., and Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics.
The goal of this project is to develop wall system configurations specified for R values of 20, 30, and 40 that will meet code compliance testing for EIFS performance and fire safety performance.
Benefits and Impacts
This project seeks to improve past wall system performance, providing configurations of EPS/VIP that can be specified for R values of 20, 30, and 40. The developed wall system will also provide a unitized protection system of vacuum isolation panels that can be handled by tradesmen without damaging and losing vacuum, and can be fully integrated with existing exterior insulated façade systems, including validation of current code compliance.