This research project, titled Energy Modeling of Historic Buildings: Improving Simulation and Verification Techniques, was formulated to address two energy modeling objectives.

  • Improving Methods of Energy Modeling Historic Buildings: to develop and implement energy modeling methods that are sensitive to the unique situation of historic buildings and
  • Low-cost Verification Techniques for Building Characterization: to investigate the use of preliminary verification techniques using low cost testing equipment and sensors to provide more reliable building characterization data for energy modeling use.

Often for historic buildings air infiltration and thermal resistance values for the envelop are not well known and can significantly influence accuracy of energy modeling simulations as well as the actual energy performance of a building. By using in-situ non-destructive testing methods to measure heat flux and surface temperatures more accurate thermal resistance values were determined for both buildings. By using door blower pressurization tests the air tightness of both buildings were measured allowing for a more accurate understanding of air infiltration rates. By using these field derived parameters the energy models and proposed retrofits provided a better approximation of the potential energy cost savings and the payback period when evaluating different retrofit options. Using this method of energy modeling coupled with field testing should improve confidence and accuracy in future modeling activities for historic buildings and ultimately help provide more meaningful energy data in the decision making process for owners and operators of historic buildings.

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119