Tag Archives: Concrete masonry unit

Designing Masonry Buildings to the 2012 Energy Code: Thermal Mass Basics

A material’s thermal mass denotes its ability to store heat within a cycle of time. K-values, generally calculated on a 24-hour cycle, are important because they give general references to a material’s capabilities for storing heat. All materials may be considered for use in a thermal mass calculation, but steel, aluminum, and other metal claddings tend to cycle too quickly, while wood tends to cycle too slowly to offer desirable design values.

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Designing Masonry Buildings to the 2012 Energy Code

The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will bring tremendous change to the way buildings are designed, constructed, and renovated. For example, the insulation requirements for masonry construction have been written to higher performance levels. The prescriptive energy code for the masonry industry is based primarily on the requirement for continuous insulation (ci) within the wall envelope. This becomes an issue when one looks at the standard concrete masonry unit.

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Retrofitting multi-wythe masonry as a veneer assembly

The exterior walls of ‘historic’ buildings are typically constructed of multi-wythe masonry, which controls rainwater by absorption and evaporation. This type of assembly does not have internal drainage and often lacks flashings at critical locations (e.g. window heads), making them susceptible to leakage as the mortar joints deteriorate over time or during heavy, prolonged storm events. Embedded steel in the masonry walls can rust and ‘exfoliate,’ resulting in masonry cracking and bulging, along with increased water entry into the wall system.

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