By Matt Power, Editor in Chief, Green Builder
NOT SO LONG AGO, IF WE WANTED TO COMPARE THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF DIFFERENT WALL BUILD-UPS, roof build-ups and materials, we had to build several homes and measure outcomes over time—using mechanical tools. Not any more. We asked our friends at Dietrich’s Software to use their sophisticated 3D-CAD/CAM digital tools to simulate how various envelope build-ups would change the overall energy performance of a virtual home (a modern farmhouse, pictured in rendering above; floor plan right). They did, and brought to light some intriguing insights into the pros and cons of various wall systems.
Below is an overall chart that illustrates the energy use of each of the construction techniques studied. To find this data, Dietrich's Software determined the heating energy required per year, per square foot. The heating systems, doors and windows in each individual building model are considered identical. Systems with lower BTU ratings would require less annual heating energy.
Construction Technique Energy Rating Chart
* The data in above chart only reflects the impact of the building envelope, not other systems in the house. Also, this modelings does not take into account the embodied energy of the initial product selections.
To get the full article, which drills down on the seven construction techniques, with information on exterior wall build-up values, performance characteristics, dew point diagrams, and cross sectional views, download the pdf here.
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If you want a personalized tour of Dietrich's Software, we've got you covered. Product experts from Roger Shaw & Associates (RSA)—the exclusive distributor of Dietrich's Software in North America—are available to walk you through a product demonstration and help you locate a local representative. The walk through will show you the advanced capabilities of Dietrich's Software, focusing on:
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