A couple of days ago I attended an AIA breakfast seminar by speaker Louise Goldberg, Senior Research Associate and Director Building Physics and Foundations Research Programs at the College of Design, University of Minnesota—that is a mouth-full, I know. Louise has done extensive research in the field of wall-system performance, or in simpler terms, ways to keep the water out and the space-conditioning heat and cold in. Louise made a point of demonstrating a Universal Standard (that she proposes) versus MN Energy Code. In my opinion this is highly relevant research, and Louise offers practical solutions for exterior wind wash barriers, water separation planes, air barriers, vapor retarders and insulation—all with research data to back it up. If you want to get technical you can find one of her research reports at this address. I am meeting with Louise this month to discuss wall systems for Passive House designs. Louise is a Ph.D (Eng) and her company —Lofrango Engineering— offers consulting services.
A thing of interest for Passive House designers is the fact that Louise talked about the benefits of wood fiberboard sheathing for stud-wall construction, as well as structural 1.5″ OSB stacked wood wall panels. I have yet to find more info on these wall systems. I think that the U of M did research on developing a stacked wood wall system, so if anyone has a link to that, please comment.