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Title: Insulated Concrete Form Walls Integrated With Mechanical Systems in a Cold Climate Test House

Abstract

Transitioning from standard light frame to a thermal mass wall system in a high performance home will require a higher level of design integration with the mechanical systems. The much higher mass in the ICF wall influences heat transfer through the wall and affects how the heating and cooling system responds to changing outdoor conditions. This is even more important for efficient, low-load homes with efficient heat pump systems in colder climates where the heating and cooling peak loads are significantly different from standard construction. This report analyzes a range of design features and component performance estimates in an effort to select practical, cost-effective solutions for high performance homes in a cold climate.

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Home Innovation Research Labs, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Home Innovation Research Labs, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
1220296
Report Number(s):
DOE/GO-102014-4485
6883
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Residential; Residential Buildings; PHI; Building America; ICF; HVAC Sizing; Ventilation Design; Hot Water Heating; Challenge Home; thermal mass

Citation Formats

Mallay, D., and Wiehagen, J. Insulated Concrete Form Walls Integrated With Mechanical Systems in a Cold Climate Test House. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.2172/1220296.
Mallay, D., & Wiehagen, J. Insulated Concrete Form Walls Integrated With Mechanical Systems in a Cold Climate Test House. United States. doi:10.2172/1220296.
Mallay, D., and Wiehagen, J. Mon . "Insulated Concrete Form Walls Integrated With Mechanical Systems in a Cold Climate Test House". United States. doi:10.2172/1220296. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1220296.
@article{osti_1220296,
title = {Insulated Concrete Form Walls Integrated With Mechanical Systems in a Cold Climate Test House},
author = {Mallay, D. and Wiehagen, J.},
abstractNote = {Transitioning from standard light frame to a thermal mass wall system in a high performance home will require a higher level of design integration with the mechanical systems. The much higher mass in the ICF wall influences heat transfer through the wall and affects how the heating and cooling system responds to changing outdoor conditions. This is even more important for efficient, low-load homes with efficient heat pump systems in colder climates where the heating and cooling peak loads are significantly different from standard construction. This report analyzes a range of design features and component performance estimates in an effort to select practical, cost-effective solutions for high performance homes in a cold climate.},
doi = {10.2172/1220296},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Mon Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Transitioning from standard light frame to a thermal mass wall system in a high performance home will require a higher level of design integration with the mechanical systems. The much higher mass in the ICF wall influences heat transfer through the wall and affects how the heating and cooling system responds to changing outdoor conditions. This is even more important for efficient, low-load homes with efficient heat pump systems in colder climates where the heating and cooling peak loads are significantly different from standard construction. This report analyzes a range of design features and component performance estimates in an effortmore » to select practical, cost-effective solutions for high performance homes in a cold climate. Of primary interest is the influence of the ICF walls on developing an effective air sealing strategy and selecting an appropriate heating and cooling equipment type and capacity. The domestic water heating system is analyzed for costs and savings to investigate options for higher efficiency electric water heating. A method to ensure mechanical ventilation air flows is examined. The final solution package includes high-R mass walls, very low infiltration rates, multi-stage heat pump heating, solar thermal domestic hot water system, and energy recovery ventilation. This solution package can be used for homes to exceed 2012 International Energy Conservation Code requirements throughout all climate zones and achieves the DOE Challenge Home certification.« less
  • One method of code-compliance for crawlspaces is to seal and insulate the crawlspace, rather than venting to the outdoors. However, codes require mechanical ventilation; either via conditioned supply air from the HVAC system, or a continuous exhaust ventilation strategy. As the CARB's building partner, Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, intended to use the unvented crawlspace in a recent
  • One method of code-compliance for crawlspaces is to seal and insulate the crawlspace, rather than venting to the outdoors. However, codes require mechanical ventilation; either via conditioned supply air from the HVAC system, or a continuous exhaust ventilation strategy. As the CARB's building partner, Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, intended to use the unvented crawlspace in a recent development, CARB was interested in investigating a hybrid ventilation method that includes the exhaust air from the crawlspace as a portion of an ASHRAE 62.2 compliant whole-house ventilation strategy. This hybrid ventilation method was evaluated through a series of long-term monitoring tests thatmore » observed temperature, humidity, and pressure conditions through the home and crawlspace.« less
  • Tests were conducted to evaluate thermal performance of three insulated concrete sandwich panel walls. Heat transfer through the walls was measured for steady-state and dynamic temperature conditions. The objective of the test program was to investigate effects of ties connecting wall layers on thermal properties of insulated sandwich panel walls. The three walls tested were similar except for the type of connectors joining the insulation and concrete layers. Each wall consisted of 2-in. (50-mm) of extruded polystyrene insulation board sandwiched between two 3-in. (75-mm) normal weight concrete layers. The first wall, a control wall, contained no ties. Layers of themore » second wall were connected using stainless steel ties and anchors. Layers of the third wall were connected using high-tensile fiberglass-composite ties. Walls were tested in the calibrated hot box facility (ASTM Designation: C976) at Construction Technology Laboratories, Inc. (CTL). Steady-state tests were used to measure thermal resistance (R/sub T/) and thermal transmittance (U). A comparison of results from steady-state tests on the control wall and the wall with stainless steel connectors showed that stainless steel connectors reduced wall thermal resistance by 7%. A comparison of results from steady-state tests on the control wall and the wall with high-tensile fiberglass-composite ties showed that the ties did not reduce wall thermal resistance. Dynamic calibrated hot box tests provided a measure of thermal response under selected temperature ranges. Heat storage capacities of the walls delayed heat flows through specimens. Average thermal lag values ranged from 5 to 6 hours for the three walls.« less
  • As a result of steadily rising energy costs, construction practice for light-frame wood structure has changed over the past few years. The use of 6-inch-thick walls and application of high-'R'-value, low-permeance sheathings to 4-inch walls has caused concern for the changing moisture patterns that may occur in walls. To observe actual moisture patterns and the potential for condensation, a test structure was constructed near Madison, Wis., for exposure of eight types of insulated wall panels at controlled indoor conditions and typical outdoor weather conditions. Panels were instrumented with moisture sensors and tested without (Phase 1) and with (Phase 2) penetrationsmore » (electrical outlets) in the indoor surface. Continuous vapor retarders effectively prevented condensation; asphalted paper stapled between studs was inadequate. The installation of an electrical outlet changed the moisture profile and resulted in some condensation in most panels. Moisture levels on the back of siding in most Phase 2 panels have been known to produce buckling in long sections of hardboard siding. Although streaking occurred on the siding of two types of Phase 1 panels and three Phase 2 types, and some condensation occurred in all types of Phase 2 panels, there was no long-term accumulation of free water in the structure. The moisture content of framing remained below 12 percent throughout the 2-year study. There was no apparent increase in condensation potential with the addition of low-permeance foam sheathing in this study with controlled indoor conditions.« less