CCFSS Library (1939 - present)


When insulating an exterior wall, more and more codes are requiring continuous insulation on the exterior of the studs to reduce the effect of thermal bridging. As energy codes continue to become more stringent, the thickness of the continuous installation has increased. Although wood and steel are both impacted, the requirements generally are higher for steel framing.

A significant implementation challenge caused by increasingly higher levels of continuous insulation is the lack of specifications for the type of fastener and siding installation details that should be used when installing thicker levels of insulation. Thus, the engineer, architect, builder, and contractor are left to confront this challenge without clear guidance. Without clear building code requirements, the builder and code official also face the potential for conflicting code requirements between the building section of the code, which often cites manufacturer instructions, and the energy section of the code that goes beyond the scope of the same instructions.

The overall objective of this project was to develop attachment techniques for securing building cladding and continuous insulation to above-grade, steel framed walls of single family and multifamily buildings up to seven stories. The project was funded jointly by the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and thus considers requirements in national model codes produced by the International Code Council and the New York State Building Code.

The project consisted of three main tasks. Task 1 included a review of code requirements related to siding attachment. The findings were used to identify potential options for siding attachment. Task 2 is an assessment of the practical construction issues associated with the options identified in Task 1.

Task 3 includes the results of engineering analysis and structural tests conducted on the most promising options. The intention of this task was to develop a methodology and apply it to the development of prescriptive fastener requirements for steel framing. At the start of the project, an opportunity to work with the Foam Sheathing Coalition (FSC) was identified to accelerate the introduction of project findings into building codes through a Public Comment to the International Code Council (ICC) for consideration at their May 2010 Final Action hearings. Thus, Task 3 was expanded to work with the FSC to modify a comprehensive code change proposal they had previous submitted to the ICC.

The remaining sections of this report consist of the three task reports. A summary of the findings of each task is provided in the section on each task report. The most significant result of the project is prescriptive requirements for building codes. These are included at the end of the section on Task 3.--Introduction


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Wei-Wen Yu Center for Cold-Formed Steel Structures


The Steel Framing Alliance

Publication Date

14 Apr 2010

Document Version

Final Version


© 2010 The Steel Framing Alliance, All rights reserved.


Final report on project funded cooperatively by the Steel Framing Alliance and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Prepared for The Steel Framing Alliance, Washington, DC

The report format has been revised for the report downloaded by the button above: landscape-oriented tables and graphs have been rotated to allow easier online reading. The supplemental file below is the original report format, for printing.

Document Type

Technical Report

File Type




SFA_Siding_FINAL_Report_2010.pdf (9188 kB)
Original report format, for printing