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Title: Low-cost sustainable wall construction system

Houses with no wall cavities, such as those made of adobe, stone, brick, or block, have poor thermal properties but are rarely insulated because of the cost and difficulty of providing wall insulation. A simple, low-cost technique using loose-fill indigenous materials has been demonstrated for the construction of highly insulated walls or the retrofit of existing walls in such buildings. Locally available pumice, in sandbags stacked along the exterior wall of an adobe house in New Mexico, added a thermal resistance (R) of 16 F{sm{underscore}bullet}ft{sup 2}{sm{underscore}bullet}h/Btu (2.8 m{sup 2}{sm{underscore}bullet}K/W). The total cost of the sandbag insulation wall retrofit was $3.76 per square foot ($$40.50/m{sup 2}). Computer simulations of the adobe house using DOE 2.1E show savings of $$275 per year, corresponding to 50% reduction in heating energy consumption. The savings-to-investment ratio ranges from 1.1 to 3.2, so the cost of conserved energy is lower than the price of propane, natural gas and electric heat, making the system cost-effective. Prototype stand-alone walls were also constructed using fly ash and sawdust blown into continuous polypropylene tubing, which was folded between corner posts as it was filled to form the shape of the wall. Other materials could also be used. The inexpensive technique solves the problem of insulating solid-wall hours and constructing new houses without specialized equipment and skills, thereby saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving comfort for people in many countries. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has filed patent applications on this technology, which is part of a DOE initiative on sustainable building envelope materials and systems.
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20001837
Report Number(s):
CONF-980815--
TRN: IM0001%%274
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 1998 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Pacific Grove, CA (US), 08/23/1998--08/28/1998; Other Information: 10 volume set available for $200.00; PBD: 1998; Related Information: In: 1998 ACEEE summer study on energy efficiency in buildings: Proceedings, [3100] pages.
Publisher:
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Washington, DC (US)
Research Org:
Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; WALLS; THERMAL INSULATION; RHYOLITES; FLY ASH; WOOD WASTES; WASTE PRODUCT UTILIZATION; APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY