A currently unresolved problem in building design is the paradox between increasing demandfor good thermal insulation, and the requirement for ample levels of ventilation, to maintain ahealthy indoor environment. A possible solution to this problem is a supply air ventilatedwindow. This utilises an airflow between panes to pre-heat ventilation air to the building, andto reduce thermal convection losses thus reducing the window U-Value. At the base of thewindow is a vent to the external environment, allowing air inflow.
Basement problems are a frequent source of claims made under new home warranty programs. This Update presents the results of an IRC/industry research project on the performance of insulation systems applied to the exterior of basement walls
Breathing walls were installed on opposite sides of a scale mock-up model of a housing structure that was situated in an artificial climate test room. We analyzed the thermal insulation capability. heat recovery effect and indoor climate for the inflow of outdoor air across the breathing wall. The rate of heat recovery reached 30% under strong winds of up to 8 mis. Even when the ventilation rate tripled due to the strong wind, the temperature difference in the vertical direction was less than 2 K.
Two energy-efficient single-family houses (known as ESPI houses) with competitive overallcosts were set up during the study in Finland. The consumption of energy for room heating inESPI houses was reduced to a half at the construction stage, by employing simple solutionswhich can be used by every builder. The level of thermal insulation of the houses wasimproved remarkably. The houses were equipped with a controlled ventilation system and anefficient exhaust air heat recovery unit. One of the houses was oil heated and the other waselectrically heated.
The need to conserve energy in buildings of all types has led to improved standards of insulation, including those of flat roofs in domestic, public and industrial buildings. This Digest discusses the properties required of thermal insulation in flat and low-pitched roofs with continuous waterproof coverings. It reviews the wide range of products available and suggests criteria for selection.