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Cost Assessment of Building Envelope Retrofits...

by Harri M Salonvaara, Antonio J Aldykiewicz Jr, Diana E Hun, Andre O Desjarlais
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Proceedings of the ACEEE 2020 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Publication Date
Conference Name
2020 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Conference Location
Pacific Grove, California, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

About 65% of US buildings were constructed before the Department of Energy established the Building Energy Codes Program in 1992; therefore, their envelopes are likely significant contributors to heating and cooling loads. Numerous techniques to improve the thermal, airtightness, and water tightness performance of existing envelopes have been explored; however, these tend to be lengthy and disruptive because most of the material assembly occurs at the job site. Overclad panels that are fabricated offsite and include most of the envelope components are a potential mechanism to reduce construction time and minimize disturbance to building occupants. These benefits have been demonstrated by European programs such as Energiesprong and MORE-CONNECT, as well as a few case studies in the US. Nevertheless, preliminary evaluations appear to indicate that overclad panels may be too costly to be implemented in the US. This paper summarizes cost estimates, strengths and weaknesses from several envelope retrofit techniques; assesses the feasibility of overclad panels in the US; and proposes methods, such as advanced manufacturing techniques, that could decrease the cost of building envelope retrofits.