September 4, 2013

This project examines the implementation of an exterior insulation and over-clad strategy for brick masonry buildings in Chicago. The strategy was implemented at a free-standing two story two-family dwelling and a larger free-standing multifamily building. The test homes selected for this research represent predominant housing types for the Chicago area. High heating energy use typical in these buildings threaten housing affordability. Uninsulated mass masonry wall assemblies also have a strongly detrimental impact on comfort. Significant changes to the performance of masonry wall assemblies is generally beyond the reach of typical weatherization (Wx) program resources. The Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA) has secured a Sustainable Energy Resources for Consumers (SERC) innovation grant sponsored by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). This grant provides CEDA the opportunity to pursue a pilot implementation of innovative approaches to retrofit in masonry wall enclosures. The exterior insulation and over-clad strategy implemented through this project was designed to allow implementation by contractors active in CEDA weatherization programs and using materials and methods familiar to these contractors. The retrofit measures are evaluated in terms of feasibility, cost and performance. Through observations of the strategies implemented, the research described in this report identifies measures critical to performance as well as conditions for wider adoption. The research also identifies common factors that must be considered in determining whether the exterior insulation and over-clad strategy is appropriate for the building.


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