Building Progress

Owens Corning Pink CodeBord Project

Mr. Murray Frank of Constructive Home Solutions made this Dream Home on a Budget project possible by presenting the opportunity to partner with Owens Corning for this project. Hartley Homes is a custom homebuilder located in Kelowna, the owner has more than 30 years experience in renovations and new home construction.

Building with 3" of R15 Owens Corning Codebord does have it's uniqueness and does require an adjustment in planning and execution however in my opinion it is far superior to any alternative and well worth the adjustment in construction methods. This is the best method to achieve and or exceed the anticipated changes in the 2012 Building Code.

The home design is a throw back to the 1970’s and is often referred to as the old B.C. Box style of housing. The simplicity of design made this the perfect project to tackle new construction methods and to achieve the optimum combination of outstanding insulation values and payback to the home owners. The living space of the home is on the second floor and features 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths with an open concept living room, kitchen and dining area. The main floor entry separates a single car garage on the left side and a double car garage on the right side. The mechanical room is located on the main floor, at the rear of the house and also separates the two garage bays.

We understand the new 2012 building code will require R24 insulation in the walls and rain-screen behind the exterior cladding. In addition, the owners of this home are on a very tight budget and wanted to maximize their return on heating vs. construction and insulation costs.The owners concern was cold transmission through the 2 x 6 studs and framing lumber in the exterior walls. Nearly all of the options for increasing insulation focus on the space between the studs however about 23 percent of the wall area is solid lumber and wood only has an R-value of 0.5 / inch so 23% of the wall surface only has an insulating value of R3!

The following is a rough calculation for the comparison of the Net R value and cost / sqft of wall. The comparison ignores all window and door areas, and uses a framing cost of $2.00 / sq ft of wall area and an application cost of $1.00 / sq ft for the installation of one layer of Pink CodeBord. The net R-value uses R 0.5 per inch of wood and assumes 23% of the wall area is solid framing lumber. This comparison also ignores the savings associated with eliminating the 6 ml vapour barrier and poly boxes for the electrical.

Building Progress

Cost Comparison

Wall Description

Insulation R -Value

Net R Value

$ / Sq ft of wall

9 ft wall 2 x 4 – 16” OC

OSB Sheathing

R-12 batt insulation

9.7

$3.07

9 ft wall 2 x 6 – 16” OC

OSB Sheathing

R-20 batt insulation

16.1

$ 3.57

9 ft wall 2 x 6 – 16” OC

OSB Sheathing

R- 28 Spray Foam

22.2

$7.63

9 ft wall 2 x 4 – 16” OC

1 layer of 3” Codeboard OSB Sheathing replaced with T-Bracing

R 15 Rigid Insulation

Plus

R 12 Batt insulation

24.2

$6.78

9 ft wall 2 x 4 – 16” OC

1 layer of 1” Codeboard and 1 layer of 2” Codeboard, the OSB Sheathing replaced with T-Bracing

R 15 Rigid Insulation

Plus

R 12 Batt insulation

24.2

$7.78

Our Clients Decision

After careful consideration, we decided it would be an excellent opportunity to try out the Pink CodeBord manufactured by Owens Corning. For this project, 3” Codebord was not available in the time frame required so we used 4x8 - 1” shiplap for the first layer and 4x8 – 2” ship lap for the second layer.

The degree-days for each region as well as the building size, style, orientation and window efficiency all play into the amount of insulation on the outside of the stud wall and the amount of insulation within the stud cavity.Mr. Murray Frank of Constructive Home Solutions is Canada’s leading building envelope consultant, many thanks for his valuable input on this project.

Building Progress

Hints and Comments from Hartley Homes


  1. To ensure consistency, one company should be responsible for installing the Pink CodeBord, the rain-screen and the exterior cladding.

  1. We used 1 layer of 1” and 1 layer of 2” Pink CodeBord to wrap the entire foundation from the footing to the top of the wall. Since we also have 3” of Pink CodeBord above the foundation, the face of the framed wall needs to be set back 4 5/8” from the exterior face of the concrete to allow for the 3” of Pink CodeBord, 3/4" of rain screen and 7/8" for the lap siding. This is a bit abnormal so make sure the roof trusses are designed with the bearing point at the correct location.

  1. This home was a relatively simple design, even so, the location and size of the windows made it difficult to effectively use the “T” bracing on all of the walls.Considering the similarity of cost for the “T” bracing vs. OSB sheathing, and the rigidity the OSB offers we would opt to use the OSB sheathing in the future.

  1. During the framing process, it is very important for the framers to ensure all studs on any upper floors are directly above studs on the lower floor as this makes installing the rain screen much easier.

  1. Once the walls and roof are sheathed the drip cap needs to be installed to create water shed between the Pink CodeBord on the foundation and the Pink CodeBord at the base of the upper walls. The size of custom flashing will be determined by the type and thickness of the cladding on the exterior walls. Use a heavy bead of exterior caulking between the wall sheathing and the drip cap. Use a pencil and mark the location of all studs on the outer edge of the drip cap. This will help when the rain screen is installed.

  1. The purpose of the sill gasket is to create a vapour barrier seal between the joints of the Pink CodeBord.The entire perimeter of the home needs to have sill gasket on 3 levels, the bottom plate of the first level (on top of the drip cap), at the double top plate of the first level and the bottom plate of the second level. These wraps around the perimeter separate the upper and lower floors making a more efficient vapour barrier. Sill gasket is also required at each vertical joint of the Pink CodeBord.

  1. Our installation of the Pink CodeBord was more complicated than it should have been due to the fact we used two layers, hence twice the labour cost. We cut around the windows and doors but in the future I would sheet over top of the windows and doors and use a long blade on a reciprocating saw to remove the cutouts.

  1. The cost of the codeboard itself makes you think twice about the off-cuts and waste. However taking a bit of extra time to splice together the larger pieces is highly recommended this will limit the waste to about 5% to 8%

  1. Only a few nails are required to hold the Pink CodeBord in place prior to the installation of the rain screen material. Red Tuck Tape is used to seal all joints and corners as well as around windows and doors.

  1. By the end of the project we installed the Pink CodeBord every which way possible, 1” first layer, and used 2” as the second layer. On other walls we installed the 2” first then the 1”. We also installed some vertically and some horizontally, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how you install it just so long as you off-set the each joint and tape each joint. However I must say the easiest way to install is to use it vertical the only advantage is the vertical lines help to indicate the stud locations.

  1. The bug screen is installed at the bottom of the first level wall. We used Tuck Tape to attach a 6” wide strip of vinyl screen window material (bug screen), the vertical strips of rain screen are placed over the bug screen and help hold the bug screen in place.

  1. Window installations require some consideration, the standard nailing flange on windows are too flimsy against the rigid insulation so they need to be installed on the surface of the rain screen material surrounding each window. We used ½” thick plywood squash boards in all the windows, we framed each of the rough openings 1” oversize to accommodate a ½” thick liner for the windows. The liner was cut to 6 7/16” or 1/16” scant of the wall thickness, the window was then lined with a moisture resistant house wrap. The outside wall perimeter of the window was faced with rain screen material and fastened into the framing lumber with 5” screws at 8” OC. The rain screen material pulled the CodeBord tight against the squash boards to provide a very solid bearing for the windows. The next step was to install a water barrier on the sill and 8” up the inside frame of each of the openings, we used both the red Resist and the Bakor Blueskin, both work fine. The final step was to place and install the windows.
  2. Once all the windows & doors are installed, the rain screen needs to be installed. This will likely require custom flashing around windows and doors

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