Energy and Greenhouse Gas Savings Using Rigid Foam Sheathing or Spray Foam Applied to Exterior Walls of Single Family Residential Housing in the U.S. And Canada

This analysis is a case study that examines energy savings and subsequent greenhouse gas emission reductions resulting from the addition of rigid plastic foam or spray foam sheathing to the exterior walls of single family housing in the United States and Canada. The widespread use of rigid plastic foam sheathing and, more recently, spray foam sheathing on exterior walls has become common in new housing construction. Energy conservation awareness was first recognized in the energy crisis of the 1970’s. However, in the past 5 years, energy conservation has again become a very high priority for most North Americans.

Foam insulation possesses excellent structural and insulating characteristics and is considered to be cost effective by most homebuilders today. Its use significantly increases the insulation R-value of walls and therefore saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.