As energy codes become more stringent, wall designs will continue to become increasingly more complex for both the residential and commercial market. Lath and plaster contractors have undoubtedly seen an increased demand in their projects for continuous insulation and tighter wall construction due to new energy code requirements resulting from ASHRAE 90.1 and Title 24.
These new energy code requirements have contractors and building designers alike often second guessing how to design a wall solution that ensures energy performance while still offering the aesthetics of stucco. Many who read that last sentence may instinctively be drawn to EIFS (which sometimes is the best solution) but for a myriad of reasons there is still and will always be a demand for traditional three coat stucco or lath and plaster base for adhered masonry. The key question is how to integrate continuous insulation with a durable three coat stucco cladding while still ensuring a weather tight building envelope. The extra layer of continuous insulation often necessitates a change in other components including the trim pieces, control joints, lath, lath fasteners, drainage membranes, the air/weather barrier, etc.