STP922: Infrared Inspection Techniques for Assessing the Exterior Envelopes of Office Buildings

    Chang, YM
    General engineer, mechanical engineer, and senior research engineer, National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD

    Grot, RA
    General engineer, mechanical engineer, and senior research engineer, National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD

    Galowin, LS
    General engineer, mechanical engineer, and senior research engineer, National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD

    Pages: 21    Published: Jan 1987


    Abstract

    In order to assess the thermal integrity of new and existing office buildings, the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) developed and performed a series of diagnostic tests on eight federal office buildings. These buildings have different sizes, ranging from 1800 m2 to 48 000 m2 of floor area, and are located in various climate zones. Thermographic inspection is one of the diagnostic procedures used to identify the locations of heat loss areas, to determine the extent of deterioration of building materials, and to establish a basis for recommendation of retrofit options. Other test methods applied to these buildings for envelope measurements include heat flow for the thermal resistances, tracer gas for air infiltration, and pressurization tests for building tightness. Three types of thermographic inspections were conducted on these buildings: ground-based infrared surveys, serial infrared surveys, and inspection with a spot radiometer. These buildings were designed to meet the new federal energy guidelines of less than 630 MJ/m2 per year of on-site energy consumption and less than 1200 MJ/m2 per year of off-site energy consumption. The thermographic inspections reveal the existence of several classes of thermal deficiencies in the buildings, which were due to both inadequate building design and poor construction quality. Comparisons of the results from several thermographic techniques are shown. Analysis of thermographic data with examples of thermal defects observed from all inspections is presented. Quantitative comparisons of the wall thermal resistance values measured by the spot radiometer with those from heat flow meter measurements are also included.

    Keywords:

    aerial thermography, building component thermal resistances, building diagnostics, building envelope heat loss, ground-based thermography, spot radiometer inspections, roof inspections, thermal insulation


    Paper ID: STP18481S

    Committee/Subcommittee: C16.16

    DOI: 10.1520/STP18481S


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