September 1, 2010
SFA Funded Research Provides Solutions For New York Energy Code

The April 2010 issue of Framework Online presented the findings of a research project jointly funded by the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop attachment methods for siding through as much as 4 inches of foam insulation.  The New York State code, through provisions of their 2010 Energy Conservation Construction Code, is now the first code anywhere to adopt the recommendations from this research.

Recently released by the New York Division of Code Enforcement, the 2010 edition of the energy code provides ways for residential and commercial buildings to comply with very significant changes from previous editions of energy codes that are occurring in New York and around the United States and Canada.

In the past, one inch of foam insulation was considered to be the limit in terms of using manufacturer recommendations or conventional methods for siding attachment.  Using the SFA-NYSERDA research recommendations, the code now provides attachment solutions for vinyl, metal, fiber-cement, wood, and stucco siding materials over much thicker layers of insulation.

“This effort will greatly benefit the cold-formed steel industry by providing prescriptive solutions that simplify the design process.  Working cooperatively with SFA and NYSERDA enabled a smooth transition from research to code adoption,” said Liza Bowles, general manager of Newport Ventures, the prime contractor on the research project. 

The 2010 NY energy code offers two methods for siding attachment when foam insulation is required on the exterior of walls.  These include:

  1. Fasteners directly applied through siding and the underlying foam into the framing. 
  2. Use of hat channels or other furring attached through the foam and into the framing. 

According to Mark Nowak, president of the SFA, “This work is part of a series of research efforts supported by the SFA to better position steel framing in energy codes.  Other work to test assemblies proposed in newer codes and to determine appropriate framing factors for steel assemblies is also underway.” 

In future editions of Framework Online, we will update you on the progress of these projects as they proceed.  Additional information on the siding research can be found on the SFA website at

Editor, Framework Online

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Brought to you by the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) on the first Wednesday of each month, February through December. Framework Online arms you with important news and commentary on the cold-formed steel (CFS) framing and construction industries.