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Community and Q&A

Insulating with nailbase panels

user-4405197 | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I’ve been thinking about building with SIPs and am waiting for a quote from a local dealer. But, I’ve also had an idea about using nailbase panels that could be cheaper. What about framing with 2×4 studs and then sheathing with nailbase panels but with the foam side facing in, and the OSB side facing the outside? I could then spray foam the interior a couple inches, and be able to attach cladding directly to the OSB. Any thoughts on this? Has anyone tried this before or think it would be effective? (Building in Michigan – climate zone 5) Thanks.

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  1. Expert Member

    GBA has a current blog featuring a house built using that approach:

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    In addition to the article Malcolm linked to, GBA has published several other articles and Q&A threads on the topic, including:

    A Deep Energy Retrofit Using Nailbase Insulation Panels

    More Job Site Visits in Maine

    Using nailbase panels as wall sheathing

  3. user-4405197 | | #3

    Thanks for responding. The last link you listed Martin was kind of what I was talking about - avoiding the use of the first layer of sheathing against the studs and placing the foam side directly against them, effectively just having one OSB layer on the exterior. It sounds like from Dana's comments in that thread that I'd need some sort of shear bracing for the studs to build it this way. I'll try and get some information from the SIP dealer I've contacted. But any any other thoughts on this would also be appreciated.

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    I think you'll need to consult an engineer (for bracing advice) if you use nailbase panels in the manner you propose.

    Another approach is to use Zip R panels -- a type of nailbase panel with very thin foam. Zip R panels have been rated for their bracing performance.

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