New Study Documents 'Green' Performance of Insulated Vinyl Siding

NYSERDA sponsored study shows insulated vinyl siding outperforms fiber cement


In a new study, Insulated Vinyl Siding proved to outperform fiber cement in multiple categories. The Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) commissioned a study to evaluate the environmental performance of Insulated Vinyl SIding. The VSI study was conducted by Newport Ventures, a research and consulting firm with expertise in the housing industry.

Two high-performance homes were built to comply with the rigorous goals of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) High Performance Residential Development Challenge, one in Saratoga Springs, NY and one in Burnt Hills, NY. The challenge was conceived to educate home builders on construction of cost-effective, high performance homes designed to achieve 50-60% energy savings above that of typical homes built to New York's stringent energy code.

In achieving this goal, both builders involved in the challenge showed preferences for systems that offered both energy savings and affordability. Insulated Vinyl Siding was specified by both builders as a system to help them achieve energy conservation and LEED for Homes.

BURNT HILLS, NY: Researchers performed a side-by-side field test on the Burnt Hills home to compare Fullback® Insulated Siding against uninsulated fiber cement. This Vinyl Siding Institute study was conducted during the winter on a two story colonial built by Stewart Construction. The thermal imaging clearly indicated that there was less heat loss from the home to the outdoors with the Insulated Vinyl Siding compared to the fiber cement. The exterior surface temperature of the Insulated Vinyl Siding section of the wall was considerably colder, indicating that there was more thermal bridging (heat loss) with the fiber cement product.

In the case of the Saratoga Springs home, the LEED case study found that environmental performance and visual appeal can go hand-in-hand through the use of Fullback® Insulated Siding. This home became the first home in New York's capital region to achieve LEED for Homes' Gold Rating. Sixty eight percent of visitors to the home found the siding to be "very attractive" while 95% agreed that the visual appeal of Insulated Vinyl Siding was "better than average".

Overall, the study provides documentation that insulated vinyl siding can outperform exterior cladding alternatives on environmental issues while at the same time remaining aesthetically pleasing.

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