Heating and Cooling Energy Modeling of 3D-Printed Concrete Construction of Residential Buildings

Research output: NRELPresentation


3D printed concrete construction (C3DP) is an emerging technology that comes with the associated benefits of high thermal mass walls. We investigated using BEopt software the heating and cooling energy use of a single story C3DP-constructed house. We then compared the heating/cooling energy use of the C3DP house against the corresponding energy use in a traditional timber (wood) frame construction (WFC), as well as a concrete masonry unit (CMU) construction. Both peak energy use for heating and cooling (Btu), as well as base energy use for both heating and cooling (MMBtu/yr) of the C3DP design were compared against the WFC and CMU baseline construction of identical geometries and orientations across all eight climate zones defined in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The BEopt models for all three constructions (C3DP, WFC, and CMU) were built to comply with the 2018 IECC code. Results indicate that C3DP construction has significant heating and cooling energy benefits in certain climate zones, with the highest peak cooling energy savings (9% compared to WFC, and 5% compared to CMU) in the IECC Climate Zone 1 in the month of July. The peak heating and cooling energy demand reduction of C3DP were found to be more significant than the base heating and cooling energy demand in all IECC climate zones. The 2018 IECC compliance-related U-Factor adjustments of all models also resulted in more peak energy savings of the C3DP design in the cooling-dominated climate zones (climate zones 1 and 2), moderate energy savings in moderate climate zones (climate zones 3, 4, and 6), and little to no change in energy savings in very cold climates (climate zones 7 and 8).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5500-82865


  • 3D printed concrete construction
  • base energy
  • climate zone
  • heating and cooling energy
  • peak energy
  • residential building


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