Beginning in late-2012, the Florida’s Masonry Education Foundation (MEF), in joint cooperation with the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) contracted with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to study the effects of various wall systems on the yearly energy used by one and two story residential homes in all climate zones throughout the United States.
The object of the study was to obtain a direct comparison of the actual energy and dollars expended using different types of walls in a typical residential home while keeping all other aspects of the house exactly the same. The basic output from the research is the total “whole house” yearly energy use.
In all, 607 different wall systems were modeled for both one and two story prototypes in 18 different Florida and national climate zones. At total of 21,852 separate analyses were made.
The results of this important research confirms the superior performance of thermal mass in masonry construction and pointedly shows the diminishing returns of over-insulation. A full technical report from PNNL and comprehensive Florida Energy Research Report are now available.