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A Strategy Guide for Air-Sealed Townhome Area Separation Walls That Meet Energy and Building Codes


Authors: Barbour, Christine     Lyons, James     Nebbia, Joe     Evans, Matt     Newport Partners, LLC    

Report Acceptance Date: May 2023 (30 pages)

Posted Date: February 06, 2024

For this project, researchers sought to investigate and develop strategies to improve the area separation walls (ASWs) or shared interior walls of townhomes. A tension exists between the requirements in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for air sealing and requirements in the International Residential Code (IRC) for fire-rated assemblies between townhomes, which causes significant challenges in both construction and code enforcement.

Energy code provisions save consumers energy and reduce utility bills, but they also require additional steps to test for and achieve specific air leakage rates through the building’s thermal envelope. Consistently achieving cost-effective ASWs in townhomes that meet the fire protections in the residential code and air tightness requirements in the energy code can be a challenge for builders, architects, trade contractors, and code officials. The authors propose nine strategies, including both regulatory and technological strategies, that builders can use to ensure that ASWs are air sealed and maintain proper fire rating.

Publication Categories: Publications     Energy     Building Methods     Building Materials     Design     Housing Production and Technology    


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