Features

Category Archives: Features

Water-source VRF Zoning 101: Combining geothermal with variable refrigerant flow

Photo © OnSite Photography

Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC zoning and geothermal systems are two of the most energy-efficient options for heating and cooling available—now, new hybrid assemblies combine the two. This article provides an overview of geothermal (or water-source) with VRF zoning technology and its advantages compared to traditional geothermal systems, air-source VRF zoning systems and conventional HVAC systems. In addition, the article will discuss considerations for specifying water-source VRF zoning systems and provide case studies of successful applications.

Read More
 

Richardsville Elementary – NET ZERO

net4

September 2010 marked the grand opening for Richardsville Elementary, the First Net-Zero Insulated Concrete Form School in the U.S. Warren County School district, the school board responsible for Richardsville, has been building energy efficient schools that are being recognized for their innovation across the United States.

Read More

Investigating EIFS Performance Across Climates: Exterior insulation and finishing systems studied in long-term test

Photo courtesy EIFS Industry Members Association

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently undertook a series of trials comparing the moisture and temperature management properties of several different exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS) configurations with those of other claddings. This article looks at how the research was conducted (along with related modeling software), and focuses on the findings for different types of climate locations, and other data.

Read More

Innovation with Insulating Concrete Forms

Photo courtesy Nudura Insulated Concrete Forms Ltd.

This article explores some of the benefits realized through the speed of construction enabled by specifying insulating concrete forms (ICFs)—a technology that combines reinforced concrete with thermal insulation. The piece profiles diverse projects—a school, a multi-family midrise, a big box, and a hotel—in detailing the cost efficiencies. It also looks at ICF design possibilities, installation techniques, and accessory products.

Read More

Energy-efficient Design with Masonry Construction

Photo courtesy Richard Filloramo

Masonry materials and wall systems, with their inherent thermal mass characteristics, provide designers with many options to achieve energy-efficient designs. This article illustrates examples of wall configurations that exceed national building code requirements and high-performance standards, taking into account factors like increased R-values for non-mass opaque walls (prescriptive design), continuous insulation, requirements for R-value reductions caused by thermal bridging, mandatory continuous air barriers, and options for building energy design.

Read More