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Assessing the Performance, Application, and Cost of Retrofit Wall Systems for Residential Buildings

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Assessing the Performance, Application, and Cost of Retrofit Wall Systems for Residential Buildings

April 21, 2022 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

Building enclosure wall energy loss in the United States accounts for about 2 quads of energy annually, costing homeowners and occupants billions of dollars. Enclosure retrofits targeting these losses can save significant energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save occupants millions of dollars over time.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the University of Minnesota have been conducting a three-year study of residential retrofit wall systems. The researchers have identified, tested, and verified the hygrothermal performance of 16 wall assemblies in retrofit applications. The approach to this study included a comprehensive literature review, the involvement of an expert advisory group of thermal enclosure experts, small-scale experimental in situ testing of the wall assemblies at the University of Minnesota’s Cloquet Residential Research Facility, and energy and hygrothermal simulation of wall assemblies using EnergyPlus, THERM, and WUFI. Simulation and experimental results were then combined with an economic analysis to produce a techno-economic study of residential wall systems for deep energy retrofits.

This presentation summarizes the findings of this research project and is intended to guide architects, designers, and architects on how to retrofit existing residential wall assemblies without creating issues of condensation and durability in the walls.

Learning Objectives:

  1. What building science experts consider the best wall systems to deploy when performing a deep energy retrofit.
  2. How these wall systems perform when tested in situ in a cold climate.
  3. How field testing and computer simulation of both the thermal and moisture performance of these wall assemblies compare.
  4. How the costs of these systems compare to the benefits they derive.

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Andre Desjarlais, Director of the Air Barrier Association of America | ABAA Board of Directors

André Desjarlais

André Desjarlais is the Program Manager for the Building Envelope and Urban Systems Research Program at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He has been involved in building envelope and materials research for over 45 years, first as a consultant and, for the last 30 years, at ORNL. Areas of expertise include building envelope and material energy efficiency, moisture control, and durability. Desjarlais has been a Member of ASTM since 1987 and serves on Committees C16 on Thermal Insulation, D08 on Roofing, and E60 on Sustainability. He is the past Chairman of ASTM Committee C16 and was awarded the title of Fellow in 2011. He has been a member of ASHRAE since 1991 and serves on Technical Committees TC 4.4 on Thermal Insulation and Building Systems, TC 1.8 on Mechanical Insulation Systems, and TC 1.12 on Moisture Control in Buildings, and is past Chairman of TC 4.4. André is also a founding director of the IIBEC/RCI Foundation.


April 21, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
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