Thermal Performance Analysis of a High-Mass Residential Building (Preprint)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Minimizing energy consumption in residential buildings using passive solar strategies almost always calls for the efficient use of massive building materials combined with solar gain control and adequate insulation. Using computerized simulation tools to understand the interactions among all the elements facilitates designing low-energy houses. Finally, the design team must feel confident thatthese tools are providing realistic results. The design team for the residential building described in this paper relied on computerized design tools to determine building envelope features that would maximize the energy performance [1]. Orientation, overhang dimensions, insulation amounts, window characteristics and other strategies were analyzed to optimize performance in the Pueblo, Colorado,climate. After construction, the actual performance of the house was monitored using both short-term and long-term monitoring approaches to verify the simulation results and document performance. Calibrated computer simulations showed that this house consumes 56% less energy than would a similar theoretical house constructed to meet the minimum residential energy code requirements. This paperdiscusses this high-mass house and compares the expected energy performance, based on the computer simulations, versus actual energy performance.;
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2001
EventAmerican Solar Energy Society (ASES) Forum 2001 - Washington, D.C.
Duration: 21 Apr 200125 Apr 2001


ConferenceAmerican Solar Energy Society (ASES) Forum 2001
CityWashington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-550-29537


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