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Field Study of the Effect of Wall Mass on the Heating and Cooling Loads of Residential Buildings. (Log Home Report.)

pdf icon Field Study of the Effect of Wall Mass on the Heating and Cooling Loads of Residential Buildings. (Log Home Report.) (565 K)
Burch, D. M.; Remmert, W. E.; Krintz, D. F.; Barnes, C. S.

Oak Ridge National Laboaratory. Building Thermal Mass Seminar. Proceedings. June 2-3, 1982, Knoxville, TN, 1-47 pp, 1982.


residential buildings; thermal mass; wall heat transmission; residential energy consumption; envelope transfer; thermal transfer; weather effects


Six test buildings were extensively instrumented for measuring heating and cooling loads, wall heat transmission, and indoor temperature and humidity. During these measurements, the effect of wall mass on the heating and cooling loads was observed. These buildings were exposed to a winter heating season, an intermediate heating season, and a summer cooling season. The test buildings were 20 x 20 ft (6.1 x 6.1 m) one room buildings constructed at Gaithersburg, Maryland. These buildings had the same floor plan and orientation. They were identical, except for the wall construction, which was as follows: insulated lightweight wood frame; uninsulated lightweight wood frame; insulated masonry with outside mass; uninsulated masonry; log; and insulated masonry with inside mass. The insulated buildings including the log building were designed to have walls of approximately equivalent steady-state thermal resistance. No reductions in heating energy attributable to wall mass were observed furing the winter heating season, when the buildings typically did not float (i.e., some heating energy was suplied each hour). However, during the intermediate heating season and the summer cooling season, when the buildings floated during a portion of the day (i.e., no heating or cooling load occurred during a portion of the day and the indoor temperature rose above, or fell below the indoor set temperature), significant reductions in load attributable to wall mass were observed. Wall mass was observed to have a larger effect when it was placed inside the wall insulation as opposed to outside the wall insulation.