Track 1: Effects of Climate Change in Warm Weather Coastal Regions
APT Student Scholar Abstract and Application
Historic buildings represent a significant portion of the building stock and there is a growing interest in improving their thermal performance. Interior insulation is proposed as one possible way to preserve the value and features of historic buildings while upgrading their efficiency. Yet, while energy retrofits attempt to improve building’s energy efficiency, adding interior insulation to walls might give rise to some possible problems. Issues like increasing material durability risk caused by moisture content, free-thaw damage and interstitial condensation may arise when retrofitting from the interior. Moreover, there is evidence that calculated U-values for retrofitted historic walls are usually overestimated, which has led to observe a poorer actual thermal performance than expected.
This project aims to evaluate the actual thermal performance of buildings in Over-the-Rhine, a designated historic district located in Cincinnati, Ohio, by comparing measured and computed thermal performances. The Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is one of the largest, most intact urban districts in the U.S and many of its buildings have undergone a recent renovation to meet sustainability requirements for local financial incentives. In this project four buildings, two retrofitted and two unretrofitted, are analyzed by measuring their U-value. From the obtained results two main comparisons are carried out: pre- and post-retrofit measured U-values are compared between them, and post-retrofit monitored values are compared to assumed calculated values. In situ U-value measurements are taken following the Heat Flow Meter method given by ISO 9869 standard and walls are previously investigated with thermography.
This presentation describes the tested walls, the set-up and the equipment for the field measurements, explains the criteria followed in the process and thoroughly examines the results. The conclusions drawn from this study serve to assist future upgrading projects in Over-the-Rhine and other historic buildings, by helping to identify possible issues related with the retrofit. Beyond comparing thermal performances, this study contributes to the limited work that has been made in this field in the U.S.