This paper reports on a project that has attempted to seize on an opportunity to take a giant leap forward in commercializing a technology that would address a key opportunity to achieve energy savings in the existing residential housing stock. It is typically very difficult to increase the R-value of the walls in existing residential housing as doing so from the inside is disruptive and there have not been good solutions to increase thermal envelope performance from the exterior through adding continuous insulation due to the additional work required to fit existing architectural features to the new wall thickness and to reclad the façade. A high thermal resistivity or R-value per inch product that can be used in these applications offers an excellent solution.
This paper summarizes a three-year research project to a produce vacuum insulated panel (VIP)/vinyl siding that would have sufficient R-value to meet the continuous insulation requirements of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC, 2018) in all climate zones and has a much thinner profile that will facilitate its application to existing residential homes without the need for expensive retrimming of the architectural details. The paper will supply information on the development of the technology, its thermal modelling, testing, voice of user sessions to solicit input from architects, designers, manufacturers, contractors, and installers, and a techno-economic analysis to gauge its competitiveness with existing product options.