Innovative Retrofit Insulation Strategies for Concrete Masonry Foundations

Stacey Rothgeb, P. Huelman, L. Goldberg, R. Jacobson, Stacey Rothgeb (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


Basements in climates 6 & 7 can account for a fraction of a home's total heat loss when fully conditioned. Such foundations are a source of moisture, with convection in open block cavities redistributing water from the wall base, usually when heating. Even when block cavities are capped, the cold foundation concrete can act as a moisture source for wood rim joist components that are in contact with it. Because below-grade basements are increasingly used for habitable space, cold foundation walls pose challenges for moisture contribution, energy use, and occupant comfort.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages98
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Work performed by NorthernSTAR, St. Paul, Minnesota

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-63139

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102015-4538


  • Building America
  • CMUs
  • cold basements
  • concrete block foundations
  • core fill
  • foundation experimental research
  • foundation heat loss
  • moisture in concrete blocks
  • NorthernSTAR
  • number of basements in cold climates
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • wet basements


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