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The list provided below is an indication of research needed to continue to develop the energy efficiency and durability of building foundation systems.  These needs have emerged from the research carried out to date.


Posting Date
1.  Development of a Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation Model of Coupled Compressible and Incompressible Flow with Quantum Mechanical Phase Change for Foundation Insulation Systems.

Currently available hygrothermal building simulation tools (such the IBP WUFI program) have been shown to be ineffective in reproducing the experimental results from basement walls obtained at the Foundation Test Facility.  This emerges essentially from an inability of these codes to include hydrostatic and hydrodynamic pressure driven advective bulk water flows under continuous, plug and free surface flow conditions.  A further issue is their inability to accurately model solid/liquid and liquid/gas phase changes simultaneously as well as their limitations with regard to accurately reproducing adsorption and absorption physics without reliance on continuum approximations such as sorption isotherms.  While these effects can be modeled to a greater or lesser extent with some "standard" Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations, such simulations are not tractable for practical building foundation design computation purposes that require extended real time transient simulation periods (17000 hours or greater) and large domains (100,000 control volumes or greater) in the presence of multiple information propagation velocities.


2. Revision of the Foundation Design Handbook.

This handbook was developed by the Underground Space Center for the Department of Energy in the the mid-1980's.  The information contained in that publication is now completely out-of-date and even obsolete in many respects.  A new revision of the Handbook is sorely needed particularly with the trend to build ever tighter and more heavily insulated envelopes to achieve net-Zero and gross-Zero energy conservation performance.


Please contact Louise Goldberg at goldb001@umn.edu for further information or for an expression of interest in participating in or contributing to research projects that would address these needs.