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With the increase in the cost of energy, areas of residential heat loss previously not considered to be significant have now become so. One of these areas is the complex heat loss pattern from basements. This paper presents an investigation of the problem.
A section of a basement wall and floor and the surrounding soil was modeled and used in a two-dimensional finite-element heat transfer analysis. Various configurations of insulation (partial and full wall, interior and exterior) were used during the analyses under steady-state conditions. A transient analysis of a one-year period was performed on a similar section that modeled an actual test basement. The measured data were in good agreement with the predicted values. The information generated by these analyses was used to identify the most effective positioning and amount of insulation.
With reference to Scandinavian use of fibrous insulation on the external side of walls below grade level, the merits and performance criteria of this location were indicated and experimental work was done to quantify them, in particular, the insulation and drainage function. As a result, a draft specification for a product designed to these service standards was constructed.
Finally, the performance of this product was monitored through installation on residential buildings during the construction phase and into its first phase of providing a better basement environment for living space.
basement wall, basement insulation, glass fiber, drainage, heat loss, thermal insulation, moisture, system
Product Development Chemist, Fiberglas Canada, Inc., Sarnia, Ontario