Attic construction with sheathing-applied insulation

William B. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Two years of study at a building research laboratory have been applied to 'cathedralized' residential attic construction. Cathedralized attics are rafter-framed or truss-framed attics with flat ceilings in which the insulation is placed against the underside of the roof sheathing rather than on top of the ceiling drywall. The potential benefits of sheathing-applied insulation are considerable and are due to the fact that the attic space becomes part of the conditioned volume. Concern is often expressed that moisture damage may occur in the sheathing. The intent of the current study was to address those concerns. This study allowed an assessment of the performance of cathedralized ceilings given the following construction variables: (1) ventilation vs. no ventilation, (2) continuous air chute construction vs. stuffed insulation construction, and (3) open joints in exposed kraft facing vs. taped joints. The results were compared to a concurrent study of the performance of cathedral ceilings with sloped ceiling drywall. The results show that having an air chute that ensures an air gap between the sheathing and the top of the insulation is the critical factor. Ventilation and the taping of joints were minor determinants of the moisture performance of the sheathing. These results are consistent with the results of normal cathedral ceiling construction performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-798
Number of pages10
JournalASHRAE Transactions
Issue numberPt 2
StatePublished - 1995
EventProceedings of the 1995 ASHRAE Annual Meeting - San Diego, CA, USA
Duration: Jun 24 1995Jun 28 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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