Insulating Existing Masonry Building Facades

January 9, 2023
Insulating Existing Masonry Building Facades

Throughout New York, there is a large stock of uninsulated masonry buildings of various typologies, including residential, commercial, arts and culture, and educational. With global efforts to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, and considering that buildings contribute to forty percent of global carbon emissions, leaving these structures uninsulated has become increasingly untenable. These existing envelope systems could be insulated from the interior or exterior. depending on their landmark status, zoning regulations, and occupancy type. In both cases, retrofit feasibility, the durability of materials, installation cost, and overall envelope performance, such as condensation and freeze-thaw damage, could become issues.

In this video presentation of a recent AIANY Building Science Committee meeting, Mark Ginsberg and I share the unique challenges of improving the thermal performance of exterior masonry walls, emphasizing New York code requirements. We also discuss various assembly options and materials as part of the exterior envelope improvement.


AIANY Building Science Committee

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