497-231: Defining How Building Envelopes SHOULD Be Built

Meeting Days/Time
Tuesdays/Thursdays from 5:00 to 6:15 pm
Steve Beck (CAEE) (sbeck.creo@gmail.com)
Appropriate Majors
All interested students are welcome, Aerospace Engineering, Architecture, Architectural Engineering, Business, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Management, Industrial Technology and Management, Information Technology and Management, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Technological Innovation

According to estimates from the U.S Green Building Council and the U.S., Department of Energy, by the time 3 percent of the design budget for a new house has been spent, 70 percent of the energy use over its lifetime has been set in stone. With 35 percent of a building’s energy loss occurring through its walls, it is critical to have the most cost effective and high-performance solution. The construction industry is slow to adopt new materials/techniques due to lack of comprehensive comparison addressing cost, performance, and payback. Providing a side-by-side comparison of possible wall assemblies will allow the building industry to move forward in addressing energy usage.

The goal of this IPRO project is to construct and test various wall types to create a comprehensive comparison of cost, thermal-performance, structural capacity and payback. A strategy will also be developed for disseminating this information to builders/developers to create real change in the building industry.

In order to achieve the above goals, the IPRO team will undertake the following tasks, which may require one or more semesters to complete:

  • Construct various wall assemblies
    – consider alternative structural components from wood to light gauge steel
    – consider alternative insulation from fiberglass to spray foam
    – consider alternative exterior sheathing from plywood to high-performance
  • Test wall assemblies for
    – thermal performance
    – structural capacity
  • Quantify critical wall assembly aspects
    – construction cost
    – durability
    – annual energy costs
Course Downloads:

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