"Thermal mass is most useful in locations that have large swings of temperature from day to night, such as desert climates. Even if the thermal mass does not prevent heat energy from flowing into or out of occupied spaces, like insulation would, it can slow the heat flow so much that it helps people's comfort rather than causing discomfort."
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Heavy or massive objects like masonry can help improve thermal comfort as well as reduce peak heating and cooling demands in buildings. They need to be designed into buildings such that they can charge and discharge thermal energy which often requires a temperature different between the thermal mass and their surroundings. On exterior walls, they work best when coupled with insulation. They, by themselves, are not good insulators.
This case study highlights the design, implementation strategies, and continuous performance monitoring of NREL's Research Support Facility data center.
Berkeley Lab WINDOW is a publicly available computer program for calculating total window thermal performance indices (i.e. U-values, solar heat gain coefficients, shading coefficients, and visible transmittances). Berkeley Lab WINDOW provides a versatile heat transfer analysis method consistent with the updated rating procedure developed by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) that is consistent with the ISO 15099 standard. The program can be used to design and develop new products, to assist educators in teaching heat transfer through windows, and to help public officials in developing building energy codes.
THERM is a state-of-the-art computer program developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) for use by building component manufacturers, engineers, educators, students, architects, and others interested in heat transfer. Using THERM, you can model two-dimensional heat-transfer effects in building components such as windows, walls, foundations, roofs, and doors; appliances; and other products where thermal bridges are of concern. THERM's heat-transfer analysis allows you to evaluate a product's energy efficiency and local temperature patterns, which may relate directly to problems with condensation, moisture damage, and structural integrity.
Method for testing and diagnosing the simulation capabilities of the exterior envelope portions of building energy simulation programs. BESTEST (Building Energy Simulation TEST) evaluates design and analysis tools relative to their ability to adequately model the envelope dynamics of buildings. It has been adapted for certifying tools for Home Energy Rating Systems and by other organizations.
Aids in the design of single- or multizone energy-efficient buildings where the loads are dominated by the dynamic interactions between the building's envelope, its environment, and its occupants. SUNREL is especially well suited for passive solar buildings and includes algorithms for Trombe walls, advanced glazings, schedulable window shading, active-charge/passive-discharge thermal storage, and natural ventilation. The program is a true simulation model based on time steps of one hour or less. The model representation of the building is a thermal network solved with forward finite differencing among other techniques. In addition, a simple graphical interface aids in creating input and viewing output.
The Commercial Building Energy Alliances sponsor supplier summits, which allow commercial building owners and operators to communicate their energy-efficiency needs directly to suppliers of building equipment.
Cool roofs can help many building owners save money while protecting the environment. This guidebook has been created to help you understand how cool roofs work, what kinds of cool roof options are available, and how to determine if cool roofing is appropriate for your building. If you are planning a new building or replacing or restoring an existing roof, cool roofs should be considered as an energy efficiency option. Cool roof products exist for virtually every kind of roof
The purpose of this handbook is to furnish guidance for planning and conducting a highperformance building charrette, sometimes called a "greening charrette." The handbook answers typical questions such as, "What is a charrette?", "Why conduct a charrette?", "What topics should we cover?", "Whom should we invite?" and "What happens after the charrette?". Owners, design team leaders, site planners, state energy office staff, and others who believe a charrette will benefit their projects will find the handbook helpful.