Conceptual Reference Database for Building Envelope Research Prev
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  • ORNL: Resource: institutes, organization, associations
  • Moisture-Expert, WUFI-ORNL/IBP: HAM: computer models

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    Oak ridge national laboratory

    Proposed moisture control strategy by ORNL

    References related to material properties at ORNL

    Web sites with downloadable documentations

    This link was checked on Dec. 2006ORNL Buildings Technology Center

    The following was directly cut-pasted from ORNL site

    The Buildings Technology Center (BTC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the premier U.S. research facility devoted to the development of technologies that improve the energy efficiency and environmental compatibility of residential and commercial buildings. Established by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Building Technologies, the BTC is a designated "National User Facility," which means that its facilities are available to manufacturers, universities, and other organizations for proprietary and nonproprietary research and development.

    The BTC is housed in a cluster of six buildings offering 20,000 square feet of space and state-of-the-art experimental facilities valued at over $6 million. A permanent staff of 59, continually supplemented by 10 to 20 guest researchers, operate the BTC. Annual program expenditures are about $20 million.

    ORNL BTC expertise centers around eight program themes:

    1. Heating and Cooling Equipment

    R&D in the building equipment area focuses on laboratory and field research, design, and testing of heating and cooling systems, refrigeration systems, components, and replacement refrigerants. Areas of expertise include high-efficiency electric and gas heat pumps, refrigerator/freezer modifications to increase efficiency and eliminate CFC and HCFC refrigerants, combined cooling, heating and power and central heating and cooling plants, thermally activated gas heat pumps, vapor compression, desiccants, assessments of global warming impacts of alternative refrigerants, and increased efficiency and environmental compatibility of automobile air-conditioning systems. The average annual expenditure in this area is almost $10 million.

    2. Thermal Environmental Engineering

    Needs for thermal environmental engineering innovations continue to grow as factors concerning cleaner environment, stronger economy, and secure future put further demands on sustainable energy technologies. The program draws on its team expertise in thermal sciences, combines research with technology development, and involves public/private-sectors partnership in meeting these challenges. Current activities include frostless heat pump development, advanced environmental control devices for buildings and space applications, energy-efficient appliances, automotive air conditioner, HX component technologies, thermophysical aspects of hydrogen storage, and intelligent machine learning for fuel cell operation. The annual average expenditure in this area is around $500K.

    3. Envelope Systems and Building Materials

    The building envelope is the roof, walls, and foundation of a building. The envelope provides the thermal barrier between the indoor and outdoor environment and is the key determinant of a building's energy requirements. Building Envelope Research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is aimed at identifying energy-saving opportunities in the envelope system. This research includes (1) eliminating CFCs and HCFCs used in materials production, (2) developing highly efficient envelope systems, and (3) operating a user facility for cooperative research with industry. The annual average expenditure in this area is almost $2.7 million.

    4. Building Design and Performance

    The ORNL staff involved with Building Design and Performance work with several organizations, including multiple programs in the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE) Programs and Offices of the U.S. Department of Energy and different services within the U.S. Military. Research and development work is conducted on technologies and methods for residential, commercial and industrial buildings to:

    Enhance the performance of energy technologies for new and existing buildings

    Determine benefits of energy technologies and practices

    Measure and analyze whole building performance, including energy performance

    Identify appropriate energy measures for buildings (e.g., audits, design guides)

    Manage large-scale energy efficiency programs for buildings

    The group specializes in meeting the technical and organizational needs of local and community partnerships who are working to deploy energy efficiency technologies and sustainable development approaches in facilities and communities.

    5. State and Community Programs

    The expertise in this program includes evaluation of the Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Programs, technical support for the National Energy Audit (NEAT and MHEA), and electricity restructuring, and resource leveraging. Our mission, in support of DOE's Office of State and Community Programs, is "to work with state and local partners to promote the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and practices -- thereby helping the nation realize a stronger economy, a cleaner environment, and a more secure future."

    6. Federal Energy Management Program

    The area's which we have recognized expertise in this area is geothermal heat pumps, reflective roof coatings, innovative financing

    7. Communications and Market Outreach

    The mission of the Communications and Market Outreach group is to relay the results of the research and development being performed at the Buildings Technology Center (BTC) to a variety of audiences to encourage cooperative agreements and increased use of energy-efficient and environmentally safe building technologies.

    The Communications and Market Outreach group provides customized information: 1.) current and past research and development conducted at the BTC, and 2.) how to conduct cooperative research at the BTC.

    The group also directs an international building envelope conference featuring over 150 presenters; hosts exhibits at the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigerating Exposition; and promotes a kiosk that after entering zip code and house characteristics, recommends the most cost-effective type and amount of insulation for a homeowner.

    The Communications and Market Outreach group markets energy-efficient building technologies through numerous media, including kiosks, CD-ROMs, the Internet, conferences and displays, published articles, and targeted mailings.

    By participating in International Energy Agency programs, the group promotes U.S. technologies internationally while facilitating cooperative research among experts in various countries.

    Networking with private industry, other national laboratories, universities, and building associations, along with strong leadership from the Department of Energy, is our key success.

    A variety of arrangements are available for potential users to access the center. User agreements allow users to work on their projects with BTC staff. Cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) enable users to share research costs with the Department of Energy. Work for Others Agreements enable the BTC to carry out proprietary research for full cost recovery. To date, nearly 300 organizations have used the facility under 36 separate agreements. Users include organizations such as Dow Chemical, Du Pont, Allied Signal, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Clayton Homes, Dow Corning, and the National Roofing Contractors Association. Academic institutions such as the University of Minnesota, the Technical University of Denmark, and Tennessee State University has served as partners with the BTC.

    Core Capabilities:

    Efficiency Improvement: Technology Development- Heating, Cooling, Water Heating, and Refrigeration Equipment; Building Thermal Envelopes; Existing Building Retrofit Research; Weatherization; Combined Cooling, Heating and Power; Residential and Commercial Appliances.

    Testing of Building Materials and Roof, Wall, and Foundation Systems Using Unique Facilities Testing of Energy Efficient HVAC Systems and Refrigeration Systems and Appliances

    Modeling and analysis using numerous software programs we continue to expand as needed. A partial list of software programs which we utilize: DOE-2, BLAST, Power DOE (Whole Buildings), HEATING (Heat Transfer), MATCH, MOIST, WUFI (Heat and Mass Transfer), PHOENICS (Fluid Flow), HPDM (Heat Pump Design Model), NEAT (Building Energy Audits)

    Analyzing advances in HVAC Design, Optimization and Control

    Utilizing Whole Building System Approach to Improved Energy Efficiency

    Monitoring Performance of Buildings and Facilities for Technology Demonstration

    Developing Rating Methods for Building Energy Performance

    Forming Successful Partnerships with Industry to Solve Problems

    Validating DSM Energy Savings

    Preparing Energy Performance Contracting Strategies, Approaches, and Execution

    Quantify Energy Savings and Cost-Effectiveness of Retrofits

    Developing Energy Audit and Management Techniques

    Analyzing Properties of Refrigerant Mixtures

    Developing Alternative (Non-CFC) Refrigerants

    Identifying Cause of Building Moisture Problems and Developing Moisture Control Solutions

    Enhancing the Awareness and Understanding of Environmental Issues in Buildings

    Electrical Power Systems Technology: Transmission, Distribution, Automation, and Control; High Voltage AC and DC Equipment; Distributed Generation and Storage

    Selected Projects of particular interest to this CEC Proposal

    The Evaluation of 4000- Home Geothermal Heat Pump Retrofit at Fort Polk, LA., employed multi-tier, nested monitoring procedure to verify energy performance prediction tool. Statistically valid findings of 35% annual energy savings and 43.5% peak electric reductions. Developed state-of-art performance contracting energy savings predictor using inverse heat transfer techniques embedded in a detailed dynamic computer model of the building, GHP and controls system. ORNL/Con-460, Patrick Hughes and John Shonder, March 1998.

    Joint Duke Power-DOE project. Energy Savings Opportunities in Small (<7000ft2) Commercial Buildings. Developed unique building selection procedure using hourly end-use data, monthly energy bills and customer surveys, conduct on-site audits, DOE 2.1 simulation, selected most promising retrofit measures, lighting, Controls and new HVAC. Project results; 32% annual and 22% peak demand energy reductions, ORNL/CON-414, Michaela Martin, Mike MacDonald, August 1995.

    Analysis of Savings Due to Multiple Energy Retrofits in a Large Office Building (United Union Building in Washington DC. Used DOE 2.1 to calibrate the model to the building prior to retrofit. Model was used to identify the individual contributions of lighting, VAV, economizer controls, and EMCS. This study exercised the potential of simple EMCS for not only HVAC optimization but also for monitoring building performance and potentially responding to real time energy rates, ORNL/CON-363, Howard McLain, Michael MacDonald, May 1994.

    Measuring Energy-Saving Retrofits: Texas LoanSTAR Program. Four levels of building monitoring, building performance data base, monitored energy savings 40% lighting 60 %HVAC.

    Field demonstration of horizontal axis washing machine in Bern, Kansas, monitoring protocol and experimental set up lead to heavily quoted 60% energy and 40% water savings 1998.

    Athens Project; most detailed study on entire community electric distribution system. Demonstration of advanced electric distribution and control.1981-1985

    Karnes Houses Three identical unoccupied side-by-side houses, used for development of crawl space heat pump, validation of attic radiant barrier, IAQ studies, ground coupling, and duct efficiency 1980-1984

    MIUS Modular Insulated Utility System , HUD project Jersey City Demonstration of dispersed power consisting of Combined cooling, heating and power generation for a planned residential community. Generated 25 technical reports on all aspects of dispersed utility concept, power, heating cooling, solid waste to energy, portable water, and sewage treatment 1975-1977

    ATMES Advanced Technology Modular Energy System, generated software design tool for AE firms to use for design and operation. Generated 28 reports on major components for these small scale dispersed cooling, heating and power systems. 1978-1981

    Village Green, 154 unit planned community with demonstration of gas fired chillers .1999-2000

    JOINT Institute Dormitory Two year detailed study of a 4000 ft2 office dormitory. Hourly data collected on under ground construction, passive solar design, trombe wall, economizer cycle, thermal mass, earth covered roof, bermed north wall, thermal comfort , IAQ, radon, vestibule, EIF System. 1980-1983

    Energy Savings Evaluation of Electric Utility Direct Investment in Comprehensive Lighting Retrofits in 1000 Commonwealth Energy System Commercial buildings in Massachusetts. Developed more accurate post-retrofit evaluation procedure then used by the Utility using multivariate regression methods and an enhanced building retrofit candidate screening criteria. ORNL/Con-380 David Trumble and Michaela Martin, August 1994.

    30/30 roof program. Development of commercial building low slope roof which doubles the thermal performance and service life. Work on enhanced membranes, reflective roof services, environmentally acceptable foam insulation, moisture tolerant design, advanced roof fasteners,1997-2000.

    Triple effect absorption chiller. Will generate 20% energy savings compared to double effect and bring back the market to the US, which was lost to Japanese 1989-2000..

    Development of small gas fired heat pump based on GAX technology. This will produce a commercial unit by the year 2002, which will heat homes for 30%, less gas than currently best available condensing furnace. 1989-1999

    Federal Energy Management Program advanced financing 1998-2000.

    Moisture Control Handbook.

    More info of this article can be found on the web at: This link was checked on Dec. 2006

    Web Links:
      CMHC- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
      "the federal government's housing agency, is responsible for administering the National Housing", formerly the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation

      ASHRAE-American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
      "the sole purpose of advancing the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration for the public's benefit through research, standards writing, continuing education and publications."

      ANSI-- American National Standards Institute
      "a private, non-profit organization (501(c)3) that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity."

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