Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Advanced Deep Energy Retrofits(24004)



NYSERDA’s Advanced Buildings Program (ABP) has proven the economic need for, and significant energy-saving benefits of, residential retrofitting strategies based on its Deep Energy Retrofit pilot project. Still, the costs of DER activities are cost-prohibitive. New or improved strategies for exterior building solutions are needed that will have market appeal for both the homeowners and existing building contractors (remodelers, siding professionals, roofers). The strategy needs to integrate with other home improvement projects such as siding / window replacement, with both energy and appraisal value attributes, so the solution will enable the new deep energy retrofit solution to gain market acceptance.

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Project Description

Both rigid exterior insulation and spray foam insulation are recognized strategies for new construction; however the benefits have not been fully explored in the retrofit market. Contractor proposes to build on research conducted in a Lab House regarding both strategies as an integrated insulation material and drainage plane, and the methods needed for cladding attachment. Contractor and participating partners will identify both insulation installation challenges including stock material sizes and fastening difficulties which currently increase both material and labor costs. Work to develop strategies to reduce material waste and cost, and identify concepts for new applications of existing materials will follow. Strategies that will be examined include pre-attached furring on rigid panels with integral water management and drainage space, the use of engineered lumber for furring to reduce material costs and improve durability over traditional wood furring strips, and a hybrid spray foam approach to eliminate the need for siding / trim removal. In addition to the application of exterior insulation, a systems approach will be to identify the appropriate integrated solutions to maximize energy performance, moisture control, and durability and to enhance the comfort and safety of the houses’ occupants. Additional techniques will include wall cavity insulation, basement and foundation insulation and air-sealing, attic insulation,air-sealing details, space and water heating and ventilation.


The proposed strategy will provide a 50% annual therm reduction on both space heating and hot water production, with a > 50% peak heating load reduction. The strategy uses sheet stock product, readily available and familiar to contractors for application.

Project Results


2214 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Principle Investigator

Glenn Cottrell

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Demonstration

Technologies Types:

Building Systems
Building Construction Methods

NYSERDA Contact Information

Gregory Pedrick


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 2/9/2012 1
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: 24004

Last Updated: 12/19/2013