Integrated wall retrofit solutions for existing masonry construction for commercial buildings



Publication Title: Integrated wall retrofit solutions for existing masonry construction for commercial buildings

Consortium Member(s): Covestro, Inc.

Project Contact: Amy Wylie

Date: September 09, 2015

The session, conducted by Covestro LLC and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, aims at identifying best practice recommendation for energy-efficient, cost-effective retrofit solutions for the interior of existing masonry wall system for commercial buildings. The target market identified is climate zone 4 & 5.

Old masonry buildings (often uninsulated or under-insulated) offer a good potential to achieve energy efficiency through improved envelope performance. Conditions such as historic preservation or zoning issues could require masonry walls to be insulated on the interior. However, adding insulation to interior of existing masonry wall without proper analysis might result in potential moisture/durability issues such as freeze-thaw damage, especially in cold climates. Hence, hygrothermal analysis of potential retrofit solutions along with effective air-tightness to reduce vapor drive is essential to ensure improved thermal performance and moisture durability for the existing masonry wall.

This session analyzes a number of integrated retrofit solutions addressing masonry wall construction. These retrofit solutions were vetted through industry experts in an expert review conducted in August 2014. The retrofit packages are compared against a number of evaluation parameters and 3 scenarios are down-selected to represent a good, better and best recommendation. The down-selected scenarios are constructed as mock-up walls and tested at ORNL for thermal performance and air leakage analysis. The laboratory test results validated against the initial evaluation are used to identify the best practice recommendation for an integrated retrofit solution for existing masonry wall systems for climate zone 4 & 5