Continuous Insulation in Framed Exterior Walls

Sponsored by ZIP System® building enclosures

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain the concept of thermal bridging and how it impacts building energy usage.
  2. Define the commercial and residential wood-framed wall insulation requirements found in the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
  3. Discuss how condensation forms in wall cavities, and investigate strategies to mitigate risk of damage to construction, while promoting healthful indoor environments.
  4. Compare green or sustainable building characteristics of various continuous insulation alternatives, as part of the exterior wall assembly.


1 GBCI CE Hour
AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
AANB 1 Hour of Core Learning
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
NSAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
OAA 1 Learning Hour
NLAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
Approved for structured learning
This course is approved as a core course
Approved for Core Learning
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a Core Course
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia

Building codes and green building standards are continuing to raise the bar on energy efficiency and high performance in buildings. In wood-framed buildings designing for thermal and moisture management in wall cavities, as well as the air tightness of the building enclosure, are all core components to creating advanced building enclosures. This course will discuss the need for exterior insulation to manage heat transfer and reduce condensation in exterior walls by providing step-by-step examples of how to determine the amount of continuous insulation required to meet prescriptive code requirements depending on climate zone.

Photo Courtesy of Huber Engineered Woods LLC

The energy performance of exterior walls is enhanced by including exterior continuous insulation. With new integrated sheathing, this layer is built in to the back of the nailable sheathing that goes directly against the framing.

ZIP System® building enclosure products, are next-generation solutions for high performance building envelopes. Innovated to meet today’s design and construction challenges, ZIP System sheathing and sealing products help protect time lines and mitigate risk of water penetration, air leakage and installation error by reducing installation steps. Learn more about the integrated layers of protection provided by the insulated ZIP System R-sheathing panel, now available in R-3, R-6, R-9 and R-12 values, at