- Decommissioning of the Foundation Test Facility (FTF)
After 21 years of service, the FTF finally has been decommissioned and
returned to the control of the UMore Park administration. The land
will be utilized for playing fields in the larger context of the residential
development being planned for UMore Park. The research conducted at
the FTF has been codified in the Minnesota Residential Energy Code (MN
Rules, chapter 1322) thus creating an enduring legacy to the many
Faculty, Students and Staff who worked at the FTF over the years.
- Improvements in Foundation Energy Simulation Tools
Accurate inclusion of foundation heat transfer in
whole building energy simulation tools such as DOE's EnergyPlus remains
problematic, especially in terms of accounting for 3-dimensional and phase
change effects. Research on a new PRF (Periodic Response Factor)
approach based on a State-Space analysis of the earth/building system is
currently underway. This methodology is showing promise of enabling
full 3-dimensional, transient earth contact heat transfer to be included in
whole building simulations (such as EnergyPlus) without requiring execution
of a detailed simulation (such as BUFETS) either in parallel or iteratively
with the building energy simulation.
- Application of the MN Rules Chapter 1322
Foundation Performance Criteria
The 2009 MN Residential Energy Code including the foundation performance
criteria compliance option finally is in force. The first known
application of the option occurred out-of-state (!). In this retrofit
installation, the selected compliant design consisted of open-cell spray
foam insulation in a stand-off frame over masonry block walls. The rim
joist cavities were flashed with 2 to 3 in. of closed-cell spray foam
insulation and then filled with open-cell spray foam. The entire
system was covered with gypsum without any warm-side vapor retarders.
Note that foundation
insulation systems that are fully compliant with the performance option can
be found on this site.