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A Study of the Energy-Saving Potential of Metal Roofs Incorporating Dynamic Insulation Systems...

by Kaushik Biswas, William A Miller, Scott Kriner, Gary Manlove
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Publication Date
Conference Name
Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings XII
Conference Location
Clearwater, Florida, United States of America
Conference Date

This article presents various metal roof configurations that were tested at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, U.S. between 2009 and 2013, and describes their potential for reducing the attic-generated space-conditioning loads. These roofs contained different combinations of phase-change material, rigid insulation, low emittance surface, and above-sheathing ventilation with standing-seam metal panels on top. These roofs were designed to be installed on existing roofs’ decks, or on top of asphalt shingles for retrofit construction.

All the tested roofs showed the potential for substantial energy savings compared to an asphalt shingle roof, which was used as a control for comparison. The roofs were constructed on a series of adjacent attics separated at the gables using thick foam insulation. The attics were built on top of a conditioned room. All attics were vented at the soffit and ridge. The test roofs and attics were instrumented with an array of thermocouples. Heat flux transducers were installed in the roof deck and attic floor (ceiling) to measure the heat flows through the roof and between the attic and conditioned space below. Temperature and heat flux data were collected during the heating, cooling and swing seasons over a three-year period. Data from previous years of testing have been published. Here, data from the latest roof configurations being tested in year three of the project are presented. All test roofs were highly effective in reducing the heat flows through the roof and ceiling, and in reducing the diurnal attic-temperature fluctuations.