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SUBJECT: Drainable Systems
DATE: 11/1/1999 11:17:00 AM


Dear Ms. Veen:

The following are a few suggestions that may assist
you in your analysis:

1. Drainable exterior insulation finish systems (DEFS)
appear to be a far superior approach than conventional,
barrier-type exterior insulation finish systems (EIFS).
Most of the major mfgrs offer DEFS.

2. When problems occur with building materials, resale
issues tend to become a concern. If resale is a
concern to you or your family, you may wish to
investigate how the marketplace is reacting by
contacting realtors involved in sales of homes using
EIFS and DEFS prior to planning wall systems for your

3. While DEFS is an effective drainage plane system,
your climate may demand a more effective approach to
mitigating environmental moisture. Start by finding
out what your average (and maximum) annual
precipitation (aap) has been. From that, your design
professional should be able to help you prepare an
appropriate system to meet the environmental forces
(e.g., rain screen). Knowing your aap, we can
certainly advise you as well.

4. From a functionally aesthetic viewpoint, organic
design offers several insights that may help improve
your project. Example: a masonry plinth adequately
sized for snow accumulation levels serves to naturally
protect the home, much like boots, from the moisture
and noticeable dirt accumulations that commonly occur
on building walls. Frank Lloyd Wright's The Natural
House and Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language
are a couple of books that may prove useful.

If you have further questions, you may wish to contact
the HomeBase Hotline directly through the NAHB Research
Center .


Cameron Duncan
NAHB Research Center, Inc.



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