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Title: Innovative Retrofit Insulation Strategies for Concrete Masonry Foundations

This study was designed to test a new approach for foundation insulation retrofits, with the goal of demonstrating improved moisture control, improved occupant comfort, and reduced heat loss. Because conducting experimental research on existing below-grade assemblies is very difficult, most of the results are based on simulations. The retrofit approach consists of filling open concrete block cores with an insulating material and adding R-10 exterior insulation that extends 1 ft below grade. The core fill is designed to improve the R-value of the foundation wall and increase the interior wall surface temperature, but more importantly to block convection currents that could otherwise increase moisture loads on the foundation wall and interior space. The exterior insulation significantly reduces heat loss through the most exposed part of the foundation and further increases the interior wall surface temperature. This improves occupant comfort and decreases the risk of condensation. Such an insulation package avoids the full-depth excavation necessary for exterior insulation retrofits, reduces costs, and eliminates the moisture and indoor air quality risks associated with interior insulation retrofits. Retrofit costs for the proposed approach were estimated at roughly half those of a full-depth exterior insulation retrofit.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States). NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1215046
Report Number(s):
NREL/SR--5500-63139; DOE/GO--102015-4538
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308; KNDJ-0-04338-03
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Work performed by NorthernSTAR, St. Paul, Minnesota
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION RESIDENTIAL; RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS; NORTHERNSTAR; BUILDING AMERICA; CMU'S; CONCRETE BLOCK FOUNDATIONS; CORE FILL; MOISTURE IN CONCRETE BLOCKS; FOUNDATION HEAT LOSS; WET BASEMENTS; COLD BASEMENTS; FOUNDATION EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH; NUMBER OF BASEMENTS IN COLD CLIMATES