Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Construction, energy costs may decrease through new Insul-Stud

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 12, 2006 — A new improved energy efficient steel stud for commercial and residential building construction has been tested at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and soon may be introduced into the market place.

Ralph Fandel of Engineering Technology Consultants of Marysville, Wash., says his company's Insul-Stud lightens cost factors.

"We've actually been able to reduce the amount of steel in the stud by 30 percent, which makes it cheaper to manufacture and lighter to ship," says Fandel. "It is structurally stronger than a standard stud. It cuts way down on vibrations and sound noise transmitted through a wall."

Fandel says Insul-Stud tests at Oak Ridge's Buildings Technology Center show a significant improvement in energy savings.

"The tests performed at Oak Ridge have proven the Insul-Stud increases the R-value of a two-foot by six-foot wall by 22 percent," Fandel says. "That's huge. The Insul-Stud also provides significant reduction in sound transmission through the wall. Buildings like hospitals, schools, offices and other structures need sound dampening in the walls."

Fandel notes a number of reasons why the steel stud industry is booming.

"Steel is straighter, stronger, doesn't warp, split, mold, burn or get eaten by pests like wood does," Fandel says. "Insurance companies are starting to give premium decreases for steel construction because they don't suffer from fire, water, dry rot and pest problems like wood does."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.