Double Stud Wall / Window Sill with Furring

Double-stud walls create plenty of room for thick insulation

Double-stud walls use common materials and familiar assemblies to create a low-tech, energy-efficient wall with lots of room for thick insulation. This framing method virtually eliminates thermal bridgingHeat flow that occurs across more conductive components in an otherwise well-insulated material, resulting in disproportionately significant heat loss. For example, steel studs in an insulated wall dramatically reduce the overall energy performance of the wall, because of thermal bridging through the steel. through the studs and greatly reduces sound transmission through walls.

The basic strategy is simple: The exterior walls are built from two parallel stud walls with a gap between the rows for extra insulation. Many builders use two parallel 2x4 walls with a 5-inch gap between them to create a 12-inch-thick wall. Of course, the wall can be thicker or thinner as circumstances dictate.

The most commonly used insulation for this method of construction is dense-packed cellulose, although other types of insulation (including blown-in fiberglass, mineral wool batts, or open-cell spray polyurethane foam) can certainly be used.

For more information, see GBA Encyclopedia: Double-Stud Walls.

Great windows are only great if installed well

A good window installation converts a hole in the wall into an integrated part of all three important barriers that make up a wall assembly: the air, thermal, and water barriers.

Because all windows leak at some point, rough openings need to be designed to handle water entry. The rough sill should be flashed with either a pre-formed manufactured sill pan or a site-built pan.

This detail shows a site-built sill pan installed in a wall sheathed with rigid foam. The outside face of the foam is the wall’s drainage planePath that water would take over the building envelope. Concealed drainage-plane materials, such as building paper or housewrap, are designed to shed water that penetrates the building’s cladding. Drainage planes are installed to overlap in shingle fashion (weatherlap) so that water flows downward and away from the building envelope..

For more on windows:
GBA Encyclopedia topic page
Video Series: Flashing a Window in a Foam-Sheathed Wall

Even the best window details can be hard to follow because so much depends on the sequence of installation. Use the GreenBuildingAdvisor window installation series along with these window details:

Flashing Details

DRAWING DETAIL

Download: PDF | DWG

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