Investigation of Concrete Wall Systems for Reducing Heating and Cooling Requirements in Single Family Residences
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The thermal performance benefits of two MPP systems and an ICF system are analyzed within the context of a representative or prototypical home in the U.S. and are compared to two wood frame systems; one representing a typical configuration and the other an energy efficient configuration. A whole wall approach is used to incorporate the two and three dimensional conduction and transient characteristics of the entire wall assembly, including the clear wall and wall detail regions, into a whole building simulation of the prototypical house. The prototypical house heating and cooling energy consumption associated with each wall system is determined for six representative climates throughout the U.S. to evaluate the effect of various ambient conditions on the relative energy savings. For each wall system, the effect of thermal bridging on overall R value, the effect of thermal capacitance, and the role of infiltration on energy use are investigated.
The results of the research include a comparison of the prototypical house energy savings associated with each of the wall systems; an assessment of the relative importance of the increased insulation, thermal mass, and improved air tightness on the overall energy load; and a comparison of the cost of ownership for the various wall systems. The results indicate that properly designed concrete wall systems can reduce annual heating and cooling costs. In addition, the results show that the most significant impacts of improved wall systems are, from greatest to least: infiltration reduction, improved insulation configuration, and thermal capacitance. Finally, the results show that while there are energy savings associated with concrete wall systems, economic justification of these systems must also rely on the other attractive features of concrete systems such as greater durability and disaster resistance.
- Masters Theses