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Greening The Exterior Walls

January/February 2006
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2006 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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January 01, 2006
        Greening the exterior wall systems of residential structures is a complicated process, and it hasn’t been made any easier by the emergence of alternative wall systems. Of course, these new systems, such as steel framing, structural insulated panels (SIPs), combination foam/steel panels, insulated concrete forms (ICFs), autoclaved aerated concrete walls (AACs), and strawbale walls ultimately have the potential to make a building more efficient, green, and attractive.Add to this the fact that typical wood-framed walls have been adapted in a number of ways to improve their effectiveness, and you have a lot of new information to absorb. Learning about all of these changes, and the best exterior system to use for each job, is a potentially daunting task. However, a little explanation can go a long way toward understanding what will be the best wall for the job. Of course, cost, no matter how effective the system, may be the determining factor. Meeting Criteria         From a building performance perspective, any wall system must meet three basic criteria in addition to structural integrity. First, the wall system must include some effective flashings, and some form ...

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